14 years ago today vile prostate cancer took my dad from us. I’m the oldest of three girls and as I’ve said many times, “I’m my father’s son”. He and mom were a generation ahead of the world in that there was no distinction or gender expectations. At age 5 mom taught me my first household chore; washing dinner dishes, at 6 dad taught me to shoot a 22, at 7 to fish and put a worm on the hook, at 8 he taught me to change my bicycle tires, at 9 or 10 I started mowing the lawn, at 13 he taught me to ride a motorcycle, at 16 to rebuild my VW bug after I injudiciously lent it to a friend who wreaked it and at 18 when I married against his advice he never said, ” I told you so”, even to the day I divorced. And every day before he left for work he planted a kiss on our foreheads while we slept.
He was a quiet man, who worked hard, could stop a naughty child with a finger snap and a look, who served anyone at anytime, had visions and feelings that protected us, and he was kind and loving.
My dad taught me something almost every day; sometimes by word, but most often by deed. He taught me many things … but these 6 are the foundation of my life. He taught me to Always Love and Respect My Mother. He taught me to develop & use my talents. He taught me to serve others and serve quietly. He taught me honesty; whatever the cost. He taught me to take care of my tools. Most importantly he taught me that my life is my testimony of my love for our Savior Jesus Christ.
I know that even now, from the other side of the veil, he watches over us and is still there helping us. Often when I’m trying to figure out a problem or I’m stuck in the middle of a project and don’t know how to finish, I’ll say out loud, “ok dad, what next”? what am I missing?” and I’ll start through the problem or process again, as he taught, and the answer is there often before I’ve hardly begun.
I know that he loved us then and loves us still. I miss him everyday.
And a warning. All you men out there get your prostate exam. My dad was only 69.