Sorry for the very very long pause at the beginning of this. I couldn't edit it out in time to get it posted.
15 years ago today was the last time I talked to my dad on the phone. At the time I was serving a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It was only a short couple months after then that I received a call a week before I was to fly home that my father had passed away in a sudden car accident. I remember immediately feeling a sense of relief as I know life hadn't been easy for my father in many ways. Although he was only 60 at the time, which is soo young, I also felt as though it was his time to go. I can't hardly believe it's been almost 15 years.
Some of the most important things he taught me were ..
- Don't let anyone else determine your value.. you are perfect just the way you are
- Figure out what it is that you love and make money doing it
- When you get bucked off, get right back on and keep going
- People and relationships are important
- Make everyone you meet feel like they are the most important person in your life
- Seek for truth in all things
- It doesn't matter where someone has come from.. love them all the same
- Never to give up on myself ... even when you think others have
My father was one that influenced so many people in this world. He started a summer camp for kids for the sole purpose of making a difference in the world. He had the vision of making the world a better place by teaching correct principle to the youth who would be our future generation. He had the biggest heart in the world. We used to joke with him a lot about his HUGE rib cage. He needed a huge rib cage to hold that huge heart of his. I remember at his funeral people coming up to me and telling me that they had lost their best friend. Of course, I was thinking.. "NO. he's my best friend!" That is how my father was. He made people feel so special. He took time to develop those relationships. Many people trusted him with his life. Still to this day, I hear stories of how much my father meant to them in their lives. He was someone who cared very very deeply for those around him and people could feel it to the very core of their souls.
I know for a fact as I was struggling through my teenage years, I wouldn't have made it had it not been for the encouragement I got from my dad. I knew he was always there for me. I always knew he believed in me. One of the last things he told my grandmother before he died was that he worried least about me. He knew I was going to be ok. I can't say my father was perfect.. actually he was far from perfect however at the same time he did the very best he knew at the time and I am grateful for the influence he was in my life and still is. I know for a fact he is with me in many ways as I go through this process of healing and of creation. I feel his presents near me often.
What a beautiful example he was of being a true blue dreamer. I got my passion from him and my drive to never quit. He lead his life from his heart. He believed in people. He was a thinker.. a very deep one at that and wanted more than anything to live in nature which is where he found his soul rejuvenated. I know for a fact that so much of who I have become is because of him.
So today with it being father's day I want to share with the world, my appreciation for who he was and what role he still plays in my life today. Dad.. thank you for your example, your tenacity, your love and your acceptance of me at all different stages. I love you.. I miss you.. I think of you.... and I acknowledge your presents still in my life.