You sure HAVE DONE a great job raising me. You may think you were done when I left home 10 years ago, but I am still taking mental notes of the amazing husband, father and grandfather you continue to be. That's right... you continue to raise me and shape me through your evident belief window and your urgent desire to bind our family into eternity. I believe one of the best teachers is our memory, and the lessons, large or small, that we take away from our memories. One that comes to mind...
Sunday Naps... I hated taking naps when I was a kid. But I loved spending time with my Dad more than I hated naps. I remember joining you on your waterbed each Sunday, awake and antsy as could be, usually preventing you from the one thing you had hoped to do... nap! You allowed a few minutes of pestering activities such as letting me pluck your ear hairs with tweezers, pulling out your Mexican machete and other drawer rummaging, and pillow fights. But instead of kicking me out in the end, you allowed me to stay there fidgeting sleeplessly and staring up at the ceiling as you faded off to "the spirit world." I remember taking your giant hands, and comparing them to my little ones. I remember looking down at your size 13 feet compared to mine that were so little. I remember testing how long I could match your breathing pattern, only to nearly pass out from trying. In those moments, I can remember often wondering in amazement how it was possible that my childish body could eventually grow to be as big as Dad. Twenty years later, I have grown physically into my fathers image (minus a few pounds... for now :). As I continue to benefit from your wisdom over the phone, and during your visits, I ponder the same way that I once did on Dads bed. I am grateful to have a Dad who has lived a spiritual life that to this day seems so large. I have faith that as I take on Heavenly Fathers plan for me as a husband, father, and provider, I will one day become like the Spiritual Giant, who I call Dad. Thank you for leaving me a high bar to aspire to.
You are my Hero, Dad! I love you.