Thursday, May 14, 2009

Word up for the Dad!

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.

10 comments:

The McInnes Family said...

Gina! Your Dad sounds like an amazing man! It sounds like the sort of guy I'd like to be! Thanks for sharing this!

Hopie said...

I always felt that I came into the family one week too late. He is one of those people that I look forward to meeting one day. I feel like I know him and sadly have never met him. I will never forget the day he died. I'm glad you have so many of your dad's traits!!! Just a few more reasons why I love you so much!!! Tears and all ;) Love you!!!

Alicia H said...

Thank you for sharing that Gina! You are a great person and I feel so fortunate to be your friend. Even though we are far apart now. I still consider you a good friend. Hope you are doing well and hangin' in there. Hope to see you soon!

JeMM said...

Angel Gina! You are amazing! Thanks for sharing.
I will have my kids all read this. I always felt lucky not be be thrown into the pool but as I got Derek's grad announcement this week I thought how Dad had teased me when Derek was a new baby and I was holding him, he got hungry, and went rooting for food in the most likely place on my body. Dad just laughed and said "What's the matter, Jennie, your equipment not working" That was horrifying for my 17 year old self but he sure enjoyed the laugh!
LOVE YOU ALWAYS! Jennie

The Palmers said...

How wonderful!

Shane and Brandi said...

I only remember a few things about your dad. He was amazing! I see a lot in your brothers too. I also think that Adam looks like him. I have no doubt that you will raise him to be just like your dad. Love ya, Brandi

Kim and Kyle said...

It's funny how I can remember little bits of grandpa, but not a whole lot and how much I miss him. I know he was an awesome guy though and wish I could remember more about him. Well anyways I just wanted to let you know about our blog so you can keep up with us! I don't know if our address will show up on this so it's kimandkyleneva.blogspot.com. Love you guys!

Lindsay said...

When Matt is really mad his lips disappear....now i know he gets that from your dad as well as the tongue!! I love him! I am going to make matt read this right now...

Tiffany McLaws said...

This brought tears to my eyes! How I miss him & mom too! I feel very very blessed for the time I did get to spend with them. And he did push me in the pool - I was totally unsuspecting it. Luckily I was already in my swimsuit and not fully dressed, but having just smeared a bunch of suntan lotion on, trying to soak up the last few rays of the day & not wanting to get my wet...I wasn't very happy about it.

Debie said...

Thank you Gina for the beautiful tribute and helping me remember such a great uncle. We didn't get to interact with him much growing up but when we came to visit he was so wonderful. That's not to say we didn't get into trouble and heard about it from him but we always knew he loved us also.