Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day Dad

Happy Father's Day!

Today marks a new type of Father's Day for me. This is the first one that I celebrate my dad not here on this earth.  It's different, but it's also the same. I still have great lessons that I think about. I still love him. I just can't give him a hug and tell him so.
   My dad was really good at deep doctrinal conversations. We would often be found on my parents bed in a discussion. There were many. My parents were (mom still is) very good at holding FHE every week. I think that is one of the things I miss the most, I could always count of my dad to want to talk to me about the gospel.
When I was in high school I have a very distinct memory of going into his office and talking to him. I would sit on the floor while he was working on his computer and I would just talk to him. This particular time I had taken a notebook full of scriptures that I had read, and marked and asked him to help me organize them. Little did I know that he would take on this project and give me a book of my scriptures-beyond my expectations. He not only organized them for me, but he even indexed them and then printed the 75 pages. Paper was an important resource and you didn't just take paper from his office.
My dad talked a lot about unconditional love and about trust. He said no one can "earn your trust."  Trust is just given. It wasn't about the other person-at all. If someone does something that breaks your trust it's because of your own beliefs, it's your own expectations. I didn't really understand what he meant. I am beginning to understand his words. I can't live by someone else's "rules" there is no way I could ever know all of their expectations and their beliefs. I can only live by my beliefs and my expectations. I know those. I trust my husband. It's not because he is not going to do things that I don't like-or fall short of  meeting my expectations. But that's just it-those are my beliefs and my expectations. It goes right along with unconditional love. I love him-unconditionally.  Will we have problems? Yes. will we get through them? Most definitely yes.
My dad also treated people the way he felt they should be treated. He was kind to others regardless of how they treated him. He said he was the one in charge of his emotions. No one could make him mad, or sad. He got to choose how he would react. I didn't understand this one very well either. I am beginning to though. I can be happy and choose positive things, no matter what is happening.
My dad cherished my mom. I never heard him say anything bad about her and would sing her praises any chance he had. I know his desire is to be with her again, just as much as my mom wishes to be with him.
My dad has an unwavering testimony of Jesus Christ. He is His personal Savior and he bore testimony of him often. He knows the Gospel is true and would tell me so.
I don't know how many times I went to my dad in tears. I am a crier-so it was probably a million. He made me feel like he wanted me to come to him. He would listen and counsel with me. I felt love from him. He would tell me he was proud of me, he would tell me I was strong, he would tell me that I was on the right track and I was doing the right things. He was a huge support and comfort to me.  I am grateful for his kind manner, his calm energy. He has always been my rock, my compass and my anchor.
The last lesson I was able to learn from my dad was the one he gave me the day before he passed away. I was able to spend about an hour alone with him. He talked to me about our family and how they were his biggest blessing. He told me how much he loved everyone. He told me not to forget to stop and smell the roses. Then he grabbed my hand, after squeezing it and giving a chuckle he said, "I know you do." He was very contemplative that day.  He couldn't say enough about the family. He wanted it known that he loved his family, that he cherished his relationships and that he loved us all.
When I left that evening-he took my hand again and he didn't let go until I leaned in and kissed his forehead. I am so grateful for him for that. I have no regrets because of his awareness. I hugged him, I kissed him, I told him that I love him. But even more than that-he loves me. He loves all of his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. I know because he told me himself, he is also proud of them all.  Again, I know that because he told me that over and over and over.

These past few months have been hard for me. I have missed him everyday. I want to keep his lessons in my memory.

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