We met just over 20 years ago. You were the grade 8 teacher that everyone was trying to set up with my beloved Aunt Pat who’d just started teaching grade 1 at your school. I wasn’t sure what to make of you at first. After all, you were dating my favourite person in the whole world, and she was living with us (it was a dream come true to have her in Georgetown and not in Kingston). She’d had her heart broken by a previous boyfriend and though I was only 11, I was worried that you would hurt her, too. I also didn’t understand your sense of humour. THAT has certainly changed!!
It was 20 years ago this month that you two got engaged. You were the first addition to the Panetta family in my lifetime, and I wondered how you’d fit in. I never needed to worry – you were so easy going that you fit in like you’d always been there. You two always had time for me, and never made me feel like I was in your way. Your wedding, on a cold day in December 1989, was wonderful. Yours is the only wedding party I have ever been in!
Over the years, I have appreciated your jokes, your hospitality (man, can you cook) and how welcome you have always made Dave. You are an amazing Dad and a wonderful partner for my Aunt. And though I don’t call you by this title, you are the type of uncle I hope all people are lucky enough to have.
We are thrilled that you are going to be our son’s Godfather.
Happy 50th Birthday, Fred. We wish you many happy returns.