Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today, my Dad would be 70 years old. Wow, that is hard to imagine since he passed away a little over 17 years ago.
My Dad was a great man. Not just a good man, a great man at least to me. He would do anything to make my Mom happy. He was involved with me in drill team and my brothers in Indian Guides and hockey . Even though he was often on the road as a salesman, he tried his best to be involved. That's how I remember anyway.

My parents were not active in the church while I was growing up, but in Lansing we had an amazing home teacher who showed up (all the time it seemed to my Dad) and we began slowly to go back to church when I was a junior in high school. Then my Dad lost his job and we had help from the church and we had a wonderful Bishop Lindy Robinson who helped my Dad get a job as a custodian of our church building. Back when that position was full-time. He was in the building, all alone all day. He began to read the Book of Mormon for the first time and that was it. My Dad's testimony never waivered from that point on.

In March 1980 my parents traveled on a bus on a ward temple trip to the Washington, D.C. temple which was the temple for us in Michigan and were sealed there. That's my Mom on the right. On the left is Marie Anderson one of their good friends from the ward.
At one point I might have said my Dad was a little bit of a bigot. It was the 70's and I know he loved some racial jokes with all of his buddies. But when Spencer W. Kimball revealed that ALL worthy men could hold the priesthood, that was it for my Dad. We were all equal in his eyes.

My Dad loved Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jim Croce and Porter Rockwell. He used to call me "Stinkweed" and when we were annoying he'd say "How would you like a knuckle sandwich?!" He liked to cook. I think his best meals were breakfast for dinner and he loved to go camping. Or maybe my Mom loved it and he loved my Mom. He did love our boat while we had one and he taught us how to water-ski. When I was born he decided he needed to take more care with his health and he quit smoking, just like that. Cold turkey as they say.
After he had a back injury that prevented him from working full-time he played Santa at the mall for several years. That's him with Vanessa on the left and my niece Maddie on the right.

My Dad was funny and he loved football. In fact during those years that we weren't going to church we worshiped at the 50 yard line every Sunday. Especially the San Fransisco 49ers. I think he would have loved to play football, but his Dad died when he was 12 and at 14 he dropped out of school so he could work to help my grandma with the household.
My Dad always won when we played Trivial Pursuit. He knew So much about so many different things. To this day I wonder how he knew so much with a GED and no college.
In September 1989, my Dad had a stroke. He was at his sister's in a mountain home near Shasta, California and it took about 45 minutes from the time of the stroke until the paramedics arrived. He was the same funny guy, but he couldn't express it anymore. I know it had to be very frustrating for him.

This is my Dad in Hawaii (my Mom's sister lives there). My Dad loved Hawaii. And in this picture he looks great.

I miss my Dad. I miss how he laughed and how he loved. He wasn't all that demonstrative, but you knew. My Dad would do anything he could for you. I wish my son could have known my Dad. I wish my Dad could have known Kian. I think they would have been proud of each other.
Thank you Dad for your wonderful example of how to be a genuine person. How to be stable in unsturdy times. You never let 'em see you sweat and you always knew that things would work out somehow. Your testimony was my testimony and you helped me figure out how to grow my own.
I love you, Dad!


Jaime said...

I loved reading about your dad. He sounds like an amazing person. I would have liked him for sure. You obviously have a lot in common (amazingness...) thanks for sharing.

jendoop said...

I've been offered a knuckle samwich or two in my day. It was great to hear about your Dad. Maybe one day my Dad will be lucky enough to have a home teacher like that. I would bet that your Dad and Kian had more than a few conversations before Kian first arrived at your house.

PS. You are awesome and I love ya.