Here's to You, Dad!

By Holly Burns

When my father was celebrating a milestone birthday, I pulled together a surprise gift that he'll never forget.

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Holly Burns and Patrick Burns

My dad and I talk a lot about the past -- nostalgia runs in our blood, I think -- and we both love to reminisce. So when he turned 60 I came up with a fun idea: What if I could get everyone he'd known over the years to send me a memory they had of him, put each one into an envelope -- 60 total, of course -- and have him open them, one by one, on his birthday? So I wrote an e-mail to family and friends, explaining my idea. I asked them to jot down a favorite memory of my dad and sign their name. I encouraged them to submit more than one (after all, I had a lot of envelopes to fill!), but to please put each on a different piece of paper. And I reminded them to keep it a surprise.

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