Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I was caught off guard in Primary today. Sharing Time consisted in the leader going around the room and having everyone name something they liked, appreciated, remembered about their dad. My eyes immediately teared up. In high school I was called on to talk in Sacrament Meeting on Father's Day and tell about my father. There was another boy who was also speaking who didn't have a dad. I struggled writing that talk. I had stories and a few personal thoughts. I'd practiced. I was sitting on the stand and as the chapel filled up, I quickly found where my mom was sitting and focused on her. (That was always her advise when I had to give a talk, "Just find me and look only at me and speak only to me. Forget anyone else is even there.") The other boy spoke first and he stood up there with his shoulders thrown back and his head held high, with no notes at all - his talk was memorized. His talk was very well articulated and he spoke confidently and precisely. The more he went on the less confident I felt. Way too quick it was my turn. Head down, notes in hand, I slowly stood up and went to the pulpit. I remember telling the first story (You know the one: boy who plays football and his blind father comes to every game and then during one game he gets a call telling him his father has died. The coach wants to take him out of the game but the boy insists on staying in because this will be the first game his dad will actually see him play.) Anyway, I remember that much and the rest was a blubbering mess. I never have figured out what they were thinking when they asked me to talk. Sorry to say, even though she did the best she could, Mom didn't give me many happy, pleasant thoughts of my father and since I had only three years with him before he passed away, I don't have many memories of my own. I've resented not knowing him first hand and having to rely on other peoples' memories and points of view.

However, [I've rambled again], I've learned for myself that my father knew me and loved me and cared about my welfare. Not just past tense, either. One time in particular I remember having a very good friend give me a blessing. I was struggling and needed some extra help. Things happened, feelings were felt, words were spoken and when it was over, we both knew my father had given me that blessing. I don't remember all that was said, but I knew my dad cared about me. That's the memory I shared with the Primary kids. Of course, I blubbered through that, too.

When Alan and I married and started having children, we were both young and naive and had preconceived notions and made mistakes . . . but we did the best we could with what we knew and had at the time. Alan was and still is a good dad. His intentions are pure and good and from his heart. Even more, though, I have watched him step up and push himself above and beyond when it comes to being a Grampa. He is a good Grampa! He may lose sight of a kid now and then or let them do something that might be a little beyond them or ride his bike a little too far ahead but I have never seen someone teach card games as patiently as he does or go on 'just one more bike ride' as willingly as he does or lose the chance of getting a bite on his fishing pole to help a child untangle and re-worm their pole. Thanks Alan! Love you lots.
Nathan, Joseph, Scott:
You are amazing fathers!

4 comments:

  1. Well said my friend. I enjoyed the memory of the blessing... gave me chills!

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  2. What an awesome tribute, Janis. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  3. I should not have read this at work!...made my eyes water. :) I agree with everything that you said & on Father's Day I thought about how grateful I am that Carter has so many good male role models in our family.

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