Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Memory

Later, I will post on my sweetheart's Father's Day. He has already been greeted with a wonderful email from a daughter, a visit by a son, daughter in law and granddaughter, and eaten the best homemade sausage biscuits and gravy I have ever made! I was thinking dad. We had talks in church, of course, about fathers. One sister had a list of things she remembers her dad saying...and things she hears her husband say now...and I realized that I could not remember anything my dad said.

He missed out on high school graduation, my first date, my first steady date, my first fiancee. He missed my first real job. I remember him always being at my band concerts, my softball games. I remember him being sick and in the hospital. I remember that he was able to drive me places in that little yellow Toyota truck that, to this day, I don't know how he knew where to take me. All those years...and I don't think I can remember an exact thing he said. I was a nasty 13 year old. He wanted my skirts long, so as soon as I left the house, I would roll the waist up, so they would be short. I don't remember anything bad...I also don't remember anything much at all. So sad that I didn't take a moment to at least write a word or two down. So sad I was so selfish.

I remember, too, when my kids were least they had their Dad cheering in the seats at their band concerts when the band actually sounded good! Dad would work at night, take all his breaks and lunch in one time period and drive all the way to a little league game to watch a few innings, and then return to work until midnight. My kids had a dad that could help on their complicated science projects, who could teach them to drive, who was there for their high school graduation and their first trip to the temple to receive their endowment. He was there to help them when they were locked out of their car, to loan them a few bucks when times were down. I would often think of how they really didn't know just how blessed they have a embarrass them, to say silly things that would totally get them mad, to tease them, to teach them...when they could remember.

He died at the beginning of my senior year in high school. I was 16. I remember sitting with him at the hospital while he was pretty much unconscious. We were just waiting. I DO remember the last thing he said to me...I leaned near him, and said, "I love you, Dad" and he said, "I too". He died days later. I remember at his funeral, a dear friend, Sidney Mitchell, felt impressed to share a message to each of us kids from our dad, and mine was to stay close to the church. I remember feeling kind of put out...heck, I was 16 and thought I knew everything...who knew that I would someday be engaged to someone who decided he didn't want to stay close to the church, and that those very words of counsel saved me and led me to the man I hope to spend eternity with.  I Do remember that he loved to eat rice with meatballs and mushroom soup. I remember he liked 3 Musketeers Bars and those sugar jelly orange slices, and every time the kids would get one in their trick or treat bag, I would have one, just to remember him. I remember his slouchy yellow fishing hat that he wore to work, and his jeans. I remember he liked to make homemade ice cream with a hand crank and the rennet tablets and the peaches he would put in always came out frozen solid. I remember that, before he was a Latter Day Saint, he smoked a pipe and a few months ago, I got a whiff of that cherry blend tobacco he used to use. I remember that whenever I was home sick from school, he would call from work and ask me how I was doing. I remember that the Spirit touched him a lot after he had a stroke, but those tears, embarrassing then, are quite cherished memories now. I remember what a dedicated Sunday School Secretary he was, and a great home teacher. I remember his crew cut. I remember Sam, the white ceramic bust of a thing that he had by our black and white tv. I remember he loved Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and we would often drive around ASU in Tempe, and Paradise Valley to look at it...So boring to a 12 year old! I remember him walking into the ocean in plaid bermuda shorts after a plastic jeep my brother had thrown into the dad could not swim! I remember him being working hard for us, and doing all he could. I remember family prayer in the morning, the others asleep, me curling my hair in the bathroom, and him standing faithfully in the hall. I, too, remember a child that I babysat with a picture of my dad's obituary on her bulletin board...because he was always so nice.

Memories are funny...I guess I do remember. I think I will make sure that, from now on, I will take more notice of what people say...what they do...because in a moment, they could be gone. And while we will all be gone, no one deserves to be forgotten...especially not a Dad.

I love you Dad. Thanks for your love, your example, your faith, your prayers, and I am sure that all that continues today, though it is on the other side of a veil. I will see you soon someday.

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