I have always been blessed to be surrounded by wonderful men. Excellent men, men who have integrity, who are hard workers, who respect women and children. Men who make this world a better place. I do not know why I have been so blessed. But I do know there is one person in my life who set this standard for all the other men around him. One man who set the standard for what I would look for in a husband. My Dad.
Today, I watched my Dad complete his journey here on this Earth. At 1:30, surrounded by loved ones in his home, he passed away. But one thing I know for certain is that my Dad lived an excellent life. A full life, filled with love, service, faith and family.
Things I remember about my Dad…
He always had complete reverence for all things sacred.
When he laughed really hard he would bounce up and down in his chair. And if he laughed really hard his ears would turn red. (My brother David could usually get him to laugh this hard.)
He told the sweetest story of how he first saw my Mother and noticed how beautiful she was at a Middle School Christmas Program.
He has always loved and adored my Mother so much.
When I was a kid we would sit out in the hot tub at night. Whenever, my Mom would walk out in a bathing suit he would sing…”There she is, Miss America.”
He could sit and talk business with Evan for hours and hours and never get bored of the conversation.
He knew that miracles could occur with Faith. His life was filled with miracles.
When we would go to Hawaii, he would float in the Ocean forever and never get tired. Just bouncing up and down with his hat on his head so he wouldn’t get sunburned.
He was really good at growing tomatoes, tangerines, oranges and avocados.
There is no way to measure or count how many people he helped in this life because he was constantly serving those around him. Service was a way of life for him. He and my Mother are wonderful examples of this.
As we would leave the house as teenagers to go out with friends he would always say to us, “Don’t do dumb things.”
He taught us to work hard, to learn the value money, and to stay out of debt. If we did these things we would be free. Free to live happily, without the burdens that would come with debt. But more importantly, free to help others.
He would call me Sand.
My list could go on and on. And thankfully, my memories will be with me forever. But better yet, I know he will always be my Dad. Thankfully, the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches us that families can be together forever. And that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we will live again. And if there is one thing I know for sure is that my Dad knew this. He lived this and he spent his life sharing this message. And because of him, this World is a better place.
I have lots and lots of pictures I have been going through tonight. I think I may post a bunch just for fun.
And this is where he would sing “Thanks for the Memories….”
I love you Dad!
A memorial service will be held in his honor on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center located at 674 S. Yorba Street, Orange, California. All are welcome.