Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Birthday!

This is the day before Chad and I got married and my family took family pictures. The boys thought it would be funny to come out in wife-beaters for the pictures and surprise me. This picture of my dad always makes me smile.

Dear Dad,

Happy birthday! Wish you could be here so we could celebrate! I'd give you three cards like I always do. This year will have to be different, but I did find something to give you. When I was helping mom clean out the house in the process of moving to another house, I found a gift that I gave you for father's day in 2002...a tribute of sorts. I am going to share it again as it has even more meaning now.


I remember eagerly awaiting your return from business trips. You always brought us back a gift from your trip: the dog for the bathtub that had ears that shook water, the Alf puppet from Burger King, and the fluorescent slap bracelet.

You spent countless hours after work with me teaching me how to ride a bike without training wheels. You held me up and then pushed me off so I could do it on my own.

I loved sitting with you on the stand at church. I'll never forget how you would twist the hair at the ends of my braids and tickle my ear with it.

Every Christmas morning you made us wait at the top of the stairs as you changed your clothes, brushed your teeth, and shaved.

I remember our many trips to the hardware store, especially the tip that ended up being minature golf at Fun 'n' Stuff.

When I was in elementary school, you came early with me in the morning before you went to work to have "Doughnuts for Dad".

One of my favorite memories is when you accompanied me to the Daddy Daughter Square Dance when I was in third grade.

Our exhausted legs carried us as we ran through Disney World late one night after riding Space Mountain.

You baptized and confirmed me on November 7, 1987.

We rode Magnum together for the first time and you held my hand up in tha air as we sped down the first hill.

Throughout the years, we have shared many games of cribbage together, counting fifteens, making pairs, and forming runs.

You spent countless hours with me, working on math homework, checking and rechecking the problems, helping me to master the concepts. They may have seemed like torturous hours, yet I look back quite fondly on the time we spent together and the sacrifice you made for me.

You have filled my whole life with corny jokes and expressions. We may tease you about saying these things, but I love them. The scary part is that your words always pop into my head at the approriate times.

You patiently taught me to drive, practicing maneuverability by guiding me around the milk jugs with sticks in our culdesac.

You have always been there and have been worthy to give me father's blessings in times of need or comfort.

You have always encouraged me to do my best and excel in whatever I am doing.

You took the trip to West Point with me and my friends and their dads so I could attend the cadet ball.

Late at night we went fishing together in the canal in Key West, catching no only many snappers, but also Jim's boat.

You have noticed when I have made improvements and progress in my life.

On several occasions you have helped me troubleshoot problems with my car over the phone.

In the past several months, you have conunseled me nearly daily as to my graduate school decision, following the process every step of the way and giving me the much-needed reassurance.

There are so many more things that I could add to this list, however, if I kept writing, I would never finish. I love you dad and I am so grateful for all that you have done and continue to do for me. It could not be counted in time or money. This is just a small list to show you how much I care. Happy Father's Day!"

Now there are many more things that could be added to my list:

You danced with me at my wedding to My Girl. Although it was a difficult song to slow dance to and I kept stepping on your feet, it was a special moment.

You danced with me again during the Dollar Dance and gave me a $100 bill.

We continued to talk on the phone all the time discussing school and then jobs.

You came to live with us in Vegas for seven years, uh, I mean a couple months while you were looking for a job here.

You were one of the first people I called when we found out that Parker was going to be a boy. I knew you'd be excited to finally have another boy in the family. You had always told me that you couldn't wait to sit next to a grandson at a priesthood session of General Conference. I know you'll always be next to him in spirit.

You and Chad worked many many many hours on Parker's room so it would be ready when he arrived. The room is still the nicest in our house and will always remind me of you.

You were in the room when Parker was delivered. Although you promised to stay above my head, as the pushing went on, you moved closer and closer so you could see Parker come into this world. I'm glad you got to have that experience.

We went to Costco countless times together and sat and had lunch. Lots of good discussions.

We did lots of Durdee Furn together. You started a little iffy, trying to help me carry a mattress without actually touching it. Gradually the money must have made those mattresses and couches look a little better.

You scrubbed down lots of furniture and went as far as taking a couch in the back of our pick-up through the car wash.

You and Parker played a lot together while we were trying to work.

You anxiously awaited the arrival of two new grandchildren.

Many people gathered and filled a chapel to celebrate your life. Lots of tears were shed and many laughs were heard as we remembered you.

And we always will.

I will keep all of these memories as cherished treasures forever to remember when I miss you and to share with my children so they can know you.

I love you and miss you!