June 20, 2010

A Very Special Fathers Day

Today was the perfect Father's Day. It all began with waking Shane up with his all-time favorite breakfast, Biscuits and Gravy. Lilly and I made Shane and my Father Special Father's Day cards before church. I had the very special privilege of speaking in my ward at church today. I told my Dad that I was giving a talk honoring him and he drove all the way from the Tri-Cities to be here for it.
The talk went better than I had planned. I definitely was emotional, but it all came out coherent, I think. In my talk, I shared some of my most precious memories of my Dad. I'd like to share some of those with you all as well.

A cherished memory is when my dad would gather us around a rocking chair, those that would fit, snuggled on his lap, the others circled around on the floor, and he would lovingly sing primary songs. Some of his favorites were Give Said the Little Stream, I Have Two Little Hands and Because I Have Been Given Much. I will never forget the sweet spirit that I felt at that time.

Not only did my father help me with my school work, such as math and science, he also taught me how to cast a fishing line, bait a hook, skip rocks, and shoot a free throw. But, the lessons that have stuck with me the most are the life lessons he taught me.

My dad taught me to work. I can recall many Saturday mornings filled with washing cars, pruning fruit trees, planting, watering and maintaining the garden, washing windows, and painting the our fence.

He taught me compassion. When I turned 16 I was anxious to get my drivers license. I scheduled the appointment and went with my mother after school one day to take the driving test. The drive did not go as planned. The lady that assessed my driving abilities was intentionally intimidating and unkind. I remember the harsh words she spoke to me and my body shaking from the disappointment of utter failure. I was heart broken when I saw my mother waiting for me. She sternly told me that I’d just have to try again. On the contrary, I explained to her that she was wrong and that I’d never ever come back to take this test again and that I’d rather walk the rest of my life. My mother told my father about the days events and how I was mistreated. My dad was full of compassion. He came up with an idea. He called the Sunnyside DMV and got me an appointment there to take my test instead. He took off time from work and let me drive his new truck. That time I passed with flying colors.

I also remember as a small child, waking up in the middle of the night with horrible nightmares. I’d muster up the courage to scurry into my parents room and my dad would sweetly make me a little bed on the floor next to him and reassure me that everything was going to be okay. Again, he showed love and compassion.

My father also taught me about service. Shortly after I had my first child, Lilly, exhaustion set in from getting up 3-4 times in the night. I would call home to my parents and vent about my frustrations. My mom and dad invited me to come home to visit them so they could help me out with the baby for a few days since Shane was unable to with his taxing classes for school. One night my parents offered to take Lilly all night so I could get a good rest. My sweet dad got up in the night, made her a bottle, held, rocked and changed her. What a man!

Another example of service was when he’d make sure my car was started, scraped and filled with gas before I left for school in the morning around 6:30AM.

One of the greatest gifts my dad ever gave my family was the gift of providing for us in such a way that my mother was able to stay home. My father has worked at a government job for over 30 years. He has never loved his job….in fact, he really would rather be out fishing, but he has stuck with it for his family. I realize now what a truly big sacrifice that has been.

The final thing that I love about my dad is that he LOVES my Mom. I can never remember them saying unkind things to one another. I loved to see them share a kiss when Dad would come home from work. To this day, I love seeing them hold hands or snuggle. I love that my Dad is always so helpful to my mother. Thank you so much Dad for being you. You are the ultimate Dad and I love you.

I also just want to say again to my husband, Shane, how much I appreciate him. He shows me daily just how much he loves his girls. Happy Happy Father's Day to all the men out there!!!


Dave and Teresa said...

Erica, your parents are some of my most favorite people in the world! They've always been great examples in many different areas of life and it was always reassuring to know that they were right next door if needed. I sure do love them!

Erin said...

What a sweet post Erica! Happy father's day to all the wonderful fathers out there!!