Monday, February 29, 2016

Thoughts on Dad

I spent the weekend remembering a man who molded and shaped me into the man I am today.

This was not a perfect man, though much of my life I thought he was.
This was not a wealthy man, though we didn't really know he wasn't.
This was not an overly successful man, by the world's standards, but I always thought he could do anything.

When some think of their dad the thought conjures up bad memories of abuse, to them or of a substance. 
When some think of their dad they might think of discipline or harshness.
Some may think about a lazy man who never did anything for anyone but himself.
Others may think about someone who was stingy and grabby, never sharing with others. 
And there are others who may think about someone who was unfair and unkind.

None of those things come to my mind when I think about my dad though.

When I think of my dad I think about as close to opposite of these things listed above as could be possibly imagined. 

If there was ever abuse in our house it was us abusing him. I think we often took for granted the things he was doing for us rather than being thankful for them. Not always, but too much.

Dad was a man of discipline and I, like him, can give off the impression that I am disciplining someone without even saying anything. I never, ever, heard my dad raise his voice in anger and I, for one, gave him plenty of things to be angry about. His discipline of me was always deserved and often not fully what I deserved. 

I've seen some lazy men in my life. I've seen men who work only as much as is needed to get by and don't raise a finger at home to help their family. This was about as far from who dad was as a person as can be pictured. He was relentless at his "work", whether that was leading a school, teaching, coaching, studying, working in the yard or cooking, he was all in for the long haul. He was no slacker. "Don't rust out, wear out" was him.

As far as the stingy piece goes- he was one of the most generous people I have ever met. We didn't have much to share, by the world's standards, but he shared himself and everything he had with others. I remember him raising things from our garden just so he could take it to church to share with others there. It was his delight to share himself and all he had.

Lastly, with regard to the fairness and kindness. I often thought that dad should have been a judge. He had a way of looking at everything on the table and being able to make the right decision. If we could have had him as a Supreme Court Justice America would have been a better place. He just knew the right thing to do and it was not out of unkindness or spite that he made his decisions. 

He was a man who loved his people and loved His people as well. He loved making people laugh just as much as a deep theological discussion. He loved helping and watching people win at sports AND math. He loved his wife and kids and bragged about us all the time. Not necessarily in front of us but you always knew he loved you- there was never a question.

When people say, "Wow, you look just like your dad", I know that it's very true. I only hope that at the end of my race I will look as similar to my Savior as dad does. 

I'm gonna miss him and the ability to give him a call and ask "what do you think about this?" but I KNOW he is rejoicing with his Savior and that has been on his mind since a very early age. He's been anticipating singing these words-
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!”
He's wrapped up in seeing what he could only dimly imagine for many years- 
                "And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,  the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,"
 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they existed and were created.”

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