Father's Day. I love my dad every day, but my thoughts turn to him especially at this time of year. I think about the ways he has influenced my life, my character, my views. I love to think about my dad. When I was a little girl, he was a super hero. With his jet-black hair, people often said he looked like Superman. There was nothing he could not do in my eyes. Yes, he frustrated me at times with his teasing. He embarrassed me with his unapologetic pride in me in public situations. I still roll my eyes at his continual rhyming and impromptu song-writing and singing.
As I got older, I began to realize that he had very real struggles. I knew that he was not Superman, but rather, a mortal man, and his weaknesses have cost him dearly. I have watched him suffer in sorrow and regret. I have been pained by his choices at times. I have faced him, and forgiven him. I have watched him lose everything and rise again. Actually, he has taught me a great deal about how to pass through suffering. I have watched him take the Savior at His word and put his whole and complete trust in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It has not made all things better yet, but it has made him better in every way. I know there are catacombs of sadness within his heart, but to be with him is to know only cheerfulness, encouragement, and optimism. His belief in me convinces me that I can do anything. He is the smartest, wisest, kindest person I've ever known in this life. He has been a spiritual anchor for me in this world. He has blessed me, and prayed with me, and held me, and wept with me, and taught me. He has done the same for my children. He and I are connected spirit to spirit. I am aware that he is not perfect. But he has been the perfect father for me. I cannot imagine being in this world without him.
I have two fantastic parents, but I like to think about what parts of me came from my dad.
Gardening, for sure. My dad taught me to garden, as a girl growing up in New Jersey. And every year I plant a garden for many reasons, but one of them is to honor his legacy. He has taught me many spiritual truths from the simple act of putting seeds in fertile soil.
I am an avid journaler because of my dad. Dad writes in his journal every single day. He never misses. I am not (currently) that faithful, but my love of journal keeping is a gift from my father.
Both of my parents are autodidacts. Both are readers extraordinaire. But I get my love of the scriptures from my dad. In fact, last week I ordered a used copy of a gospel study guide I'd heard of on another blog. It's an entire series of books that covers the entire Standard Works. I chose one volume to begin with, the volume on Isaiah. Isaiah is tricky for me, and because of that, I sometimes don't enjoy it. I realize that if I understood the symbolism and language better, it would make more sense and have more application to my life. I know that Nephi loved the writings of Isaiah. I know that Jesus Christ loved Isaiah's words. And those are good enough reasons to find out more, but for me, I want to love Isaiah because my dad loves Isaiah. I want to understand the things that are of deep importance to him, and he loves the writings of Isaiah. His example continues to inspire me.
I honor my dad this day. He has overcome great personal obstacles in life. He has achieved greatness in all the ways that matter. He lives a simple, humble, servant's life. His heart is tender to the spirit and to know him, really know him, is to love him.
What a privilege that I get to call him 'Dad'.
I love you, Daddy! Happy Father's Day!