Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day

This Father's Day, I thought I would share with you my great love and admiration for the Father in my life.

Growing up, my parent's divorced when I was young, so we always celebrated my Mom on Father's Day. She truly deserved every thank-you. It wasn't until I was older, and beginning to date (with marriage in mind) that I began to think much more about my Father. The little I knew about my own Father, I didn't admire. I am grateful that he gave me the chance to fulfill my mission here on earth. If nothing else, I can give him that.

My true Father joined my life when I was 20 years old.

As I said before, when I dated, I constantly thought about how each person would be as a Father to my children. My best gauge for this was his own Father. I was seriously involved several times with guys, but I just couldn't get past their Fathers. One had a Father who's prized possessions were an arsenol of illegal guns stashed in his basement- YIKES! Another had a Father that HARDLY EVER communicated with his wife. No joke- I spent 8 months living with his family (while the son was on a mission) and it was a RARE treat to see his Father engage his mother in a conversation that included more than a few grunts. His son was a good enough boyfriend, but with that kind of role model to look up to, I was a little apprehensive as to what the future would bring.

Enter, THE ONE...

My future husband, that is. Scott and I dated for roughly 2 weeks and 2 days. I knew he was the one the first Sunday after the first Monday that we met. I was playing hookey from church, and I received a call from Scott. He was calling from church asking where I was. Apparently too dim-whitted to think of a good lie, I told him I was just hanging out at home. He told me he would be there in about 15 minutes to pick me up and bring me to church. I hung up the phone and knew immediately that I would marry him. Now, to find out about his Dad....

I don't remember the first time I met Scott's Dad (henceforth referred to as "Dad"). I wouldn't be surprised if he remembered me, though. I had just moved to Kansas City from New Jersey, where I spent many nights in NYC going out on the town. I was pretty wild and crazy, and was enjoying life. I had finally made my peace with God, and knew who I was. I had a strong testimony and wasn't afraid to share it with everyone. I was completely unorthodox, wearing black and white striped hose with my Doc Martens to church. And no, they weren't your ordinary Doc's, we're talking orthopedic, multi-colored clown shoes. They were awesome. I was doubtful they were Dad's cup of tea, though. I remember meeting Scott's family and thinking how NICE they were, and could they be REAL? I was intruiged by watching the interaction between his mother and father, and could have sat and listened to them for hours. They were what I wanted. What I wanted as a child, and what I wanted for my children. While I already new I had found my future husband, I had just realized I had found my Father as well.

Here are a few things that have set Dad apart from the rest:

-Shiny, silky PJ's. The day Scott and I announced we were engaged, it was right before bed, and Scott's Dad had on these silky pajamas. I still crack up when I think about it.

-Tears. I think it was Dad who said something about crying everytime the sun rises. That may be the case, but it never fails. When he is speaking, and tears fill his eyes, the spirit is tangible.

-Strictness. Funny, funny, story. The first time my Mom ever met Scott's parents, we went over to their house (where Scott was still living), and were getting ready to go somewhere. Scott hadn't mowed the lawn, as he had been told to do, and my Mom and I had to sit and wait until he finished before we could go. Whooooo-eeeee was Scott mad! I thought it was hilarious, but then again, it wasn't happening to me. We use this story often with our own children.

-Sense of Duty. I wouldn't even know where to begin with this one. I guess one of the best things I remember, is when our youngest son, Aidan, was admitted to the hospital for immediate life-threatening surgery. Scott called his Dad, sobbing to him that we were at the Children's Hospital and we needed to give Aidan a blessing NOW. It seemed like mere seconds went by, before Dad was by our side, laying his hands on Aidan's tiny head. I don't remember the words, but I'll never forget the feeling. Dad sat with us as we talked to the surgeon. He was there. He was there as a priesthood holder, as a Father, and as a Grandfather.

-Love. I felt love from my Mother continuously, but had never felt it from a Father before. Until Dad. I could tell you the first time he hugged me and the first compliment he ever gave me. I had never received those before, and they seemed so foreign to me. Over the years, there have been many hugs, many laughs, many tears, and even some words of wisdom. I have treasured each one, each moment with him. While I was not born to him, I feel he was born to me, from Scott. Never before in my life, have I felt such love for an earthly Father, and never and again will I have to feel that love withheld.

On this Father's day, I give my greatest thanks to you, Dad. You will never be my Father-In-Law, you will always be my Dad. My love and gratitude to you for raising a son who lives up to his covenants, and for being the example I have prayed for all of my life. Our family is eternally bound.

Your daughter,


Topher said...

Cool stories about someone our family loves "like a father", too. It was really cool for me, especially, to be in the stake for the past several years and able to learn from him.

I probably could have done without the PJ bit, but then again, he probably could have done without seeing that stupid video we made in Hays in high school.

Karie said...

I loved reading about your "Dad". Very heartwarming story.