By Melissa Larimore

About Town

I heard somewhere that instead of referring to your age as just a number getting bigger each year, we should refer to our age as a level in a video game.

For example, I'm 33 years old, but I can say I'm on level 33 in the game of life and that sounds so much cooler.

Well, on Friday, my father will level up to level 60 in the game of life. It's quite an accomplishment.

If he were a video game character, he would be strong. He would have dark curly hair and a goatee. He would be wearing likely cargo shorts, a T-shirt and some white New Balance tennis shoes. He would drive either a motorcycle or a black Ford 500 with 300,000 miles under its tires. His weapon would be a leather belt with a J on the buckle. His moves would be a powerful teeth grind and a wrestling hold his opponents would fear. His name would be Big Bad Booty Daddy, a silly name we call him. His backstory includes life as an Army brat, father of four, husband and hardworking paint tech representative.

Throughout the game, the settings of the levels would vary. Settings would include Panama, New York, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina and Ohio.

At each level, he would face obstacles. The death of his father, stepfather, mother and son, as well as other loved ones. A divorce. Job changes. Colon cancer. But still, he came out on top and moved on to the next level, stronger than ever.

Outside of the battles, he is an off-key but fabulous singer; he's got moves his mom would be proud of; he's toned down his cussing road rage with age; he is a cook; he is a craftsman; he is tough with a soft heart; he is the best couch Jeopardy player I've ever seen. He's always provided his children with any kind of support we needed. He's the person I have always looked up to and I hope to be more like.

Happy 60th birthday to my dad, Jeff Mollohan! It doesn't matter what level you are on, you have already won the game!