Did y'all know that my dad is cited in Wikipedia? Yep. He is. TWO times, in fact. Once for some ECU report from '89 and then of course, for his book, "Strengthened by the Storm." Just search for "Harkers Island" and he is one of the sources. THAT is one of the 5,420 reason's my Dad is the best!
In the Children's Hymnal, we find a song called "Fathers." The first verse reads:
The Father of our home leads our family
With wisdom's light in all that's right
My Father's good to me
Father's are so special with a very special love
They watch us and protect us
They guide us and direct us
Back to our home above
And THAT is another reason. Ya know. I've realized something as I've gotten older. I really do have the best daddy ever. Not only has he always provided for the temporal needs for our family, but far beyond that, the love and faith he has for Heavenly Father stands at the forefront of his being. When I was very little, I remember him leaving for church early. Then, getting home late. Of course it was not to socialize or to intentionally be away from his family. It was to be about his Father's business. From Bishop to Second Counselor in the Stake Presidency to Stake President, the last 25 years have been quite the smorgasbord of service. I respect him so very much for that. Furthermore, he still did find time to do the more ordinary fatherly duties, like coaching ball teams and instilling in us the values that we all hold dear today. I remember one night, in particular, that he taught me about football. It was the night of my D.A.R.E. graduation (in 5th grade), and as we sat across from one another in the cafeteria, enjoying our refreshments, he scribbled on a napkin what the lines of defense and offense looked like. Not only did I not "get" a single word he said, but I could probably not even picture what a football uniform looked like. Even so, those little moments to teach and to share with me a passion of his make me look back on my childhood with so much fondness.
Another time that I will never forget with Pa is our winter walks around the neighborhood. Always, always, ALWAYS with our kerosene lamps. I'm sure, that as we took those walks down Diamond City Drive, Bayview Drive and finally back down Lewis Street, he taught us quite a bit, too. As a matter of fact, from my new "mommy eyes" that I have had on for the past 4 1/2 years, I see a husband who was looking out for his wife. I would imagine that mama didn't bat an eye when she knew that the six kids would be out from under her feet for just a few minutes. Heck, when Rodney wants to give the kids a bath without me being present, I feel free as a bird. That was mighty sweet, daddy. ;)
Finally, I'll go ahead and take the opportunity to tell Pa how much he means to me and my family. Pa, because of your example of patience, kindness, generosity and humor that you forever show us, we know that you love us with all your heart. You have made me the person I am today, and I will forever try to make you proud to be my daddy. I love you! Ooh, and I almost forgot. That card I bought you at Target about a week ago. Yeah, it's still on my counter. I'll mail it this week sometime, I promise. LOL! :)