Though I may not always be the best at vocalizing it, as far as fathers go, I have to say I have a pretty good one. He has his flaws and shortcomings, but the good things about him sure overshadow them.
I am so grateful that I have a father that treats my mother like he does. Out of anything that my father has ever taught me in my life I believe that has been the most important. She has always said that even though as a non-member at first, he was a bit rough around the edges. Despite that, no one ever treated her better than him. Nothing in my life has ever made me think otherwise. I know they have had hard times and struggles, but I have never had to question the way my parents felt about each other, nor worry about their commitment.
Being a convert my dad was thrown into a world much different than that of his earlier years. There was a lot of changing for him to do, and even though he wasn't or still isn't perfect, he has never wavered in his testimony that I know of. He has never been anything but a great example of what a member of the church and a priesthood holder should be.
He has never been afraid to help others. Since the day this happened, I don't believe I have ever brought this story up to him or to anyone else, but it has been one that I have reflected back on numerous times over the years. On a cold day in Idaho (what?!?! I know, they have one occasionally) we had driven over to shovel his parents' driveway. Driving home, we noticed an older women shoveling hers. Without thought my dad hit the brakes. Sensing what was coming, I immediately started pleading my dad not to go back. I was a teenager, I was cold, and I'm sure I thought there was something else I should be doing. She really didn't have much left, and after several seconds of my pleading he gave in. As we drove off, with a slightly pained voice he said something to the extent of, "Please don't ever make me do that again." For years and years of my life I've regretted that decision. I am so grateful for his example and willingness to help others around him always and hope I won't ever be a detriment to that again.
I am sure he would not say he was the greatest father, but to three children he was. Though he lied to Christin about Santa Claus, set me down in alligator infested waters (it really isn't as bad as it sounds), and fought with Candice through most of her life (can you really blame him though? she is just as stubborn as he is), he has always been there for us. He's been there for Christin's 24 graduation ceremonies, Candice's wedding, picked me up from my mission, and bawled like a baby at everyone. Though he might be a bit old for us to dog pile on now without us worrying about him breaking a hip, he will always be the perfect dad to us.
The dad who would nap with me.
The dad who gave me tongs so I could hold the first fish I caught.
Was the proudest dad ever of his missionary son.
The dad who was there to show me the way.
And occasionally even wipe away my tears.
Happy Father's Day.