It's funny how true the saying is "time flies." I wonder where it originated from?
It has been 17 years since my dad moved on to the next stage of living....most people call it "passing on." Sadly enough, I'm able to remember the amount of time easily by the ages of my 3 nephews who were all born that same year and have grown into awesome men (yes, men, I talked to Todd on the phone the other day and he definately didn't sound like a boy anymore...same with Kaden and Mike).
My dad was one-of-a-kind. It's strange for me to think about the people in my life now and how very few of them actually met my dad....a man who was so influencial in my life and who I am. Not even my husband has met him, which he will someday and I sure hope Mike is prepared for THAT meeting...hahahahahaaaaa!
I can't say that I knew my dad very well, I was 14 when he died and really, how well can you know your parents at that age...but I think I had a pretty decent grasp on who he is. Because of our family business, we were able to spend time together that most kids don't get the opportunity to with their dads. We worked together as well as lived together. In fact, some of my favorite memories of my dad include those times when we went on road trips to deliver merchandise to national parks...sleeping in vans and eating nut rolls. He always made me feel special by introducing me to the people he knew...and didn't just brush me aside. My dad called me "pumpkin" or "angel" and gave me the opportunity to learn about reflexology by massaging his feet...A LOT, something that I didn't appreciate as much at the time but do now. He taught me about having fun and letting loose after working hard. He was the first person to try and throw someone in the pool with their clothes on or make someone jump by poking them in the ribs. When he got mad, his lips disappeared and that's when you knew to stop. He loved my mom in a way that I have never seen another human being love a person.....completely and with such adoration and care...if my mom could do wrong in his eyes, I never heard about it or saw it. My dad was fun-loving, a motivated and hard worker, and loved family and God more than anything else. I remember one night sleeping on the van floor on a piece of cardboard with his coat to cover me as we drove all night to make it back from Yellowstone in time to go to church. I was tired and I'm sure my dad was exhausted, but he taught me the importance of fulfilling church duties and Sunday worship and the importance it held in his life. He boar testimony of the things he believed were true mostly through his example and the way he lived his life and interacted with others. When my dad would talk about his love for his family he would usually cry...but he let us know often how he felt about us and our mom without any shame that it brought on such emotion. He had a way of making everyone feel loved and accepted, calling them "sis" or "governor", etc. He loved to go grocery shopping with my mom and buy things like Spam or Vienna Sausages in bulk from Costco....which my mom would sneak out of the house via us during Christmas time for the canned food drives. He enjoyed laying on the living room couch and listening to my mom play piano and it always seemed as if it was a part of heaven to him. He was very vocally complimentary of my mom and her talents and abilities. There's a lot about my dad I could share, but that would be a very long read.
I know well enough that my dad was not perfect...but he was a great man who strived to do his best and encourage others to do the same. It's awesome to see parts of him in my brothers. I NEVER doubted his love for me and I hope to raise boys who honor him by emulating some of his qualities.