Thursday, August 18, 2005

Song of My Father

Yesterday my Dad turned 63 years old.

Dad has those smiling eyes, the kind with permanent crow’s feet at the corners. He is a fan of cheap haircuts, however crooked. He knows his way around a kitchen, and makes a mean ensemble of dutch-oven cuisines. He loves German chocolate cake and Shwann’s Ice Cream. On a hot day he drinks lemonade with ice cubes. He was my Scoutleader, for a time, and devised terrific troop cheers while visiting the latrine. He loves the companionship of dogs, and a well cooked lamb roast. He knows the concept of good budgeting, and revels in driving an ugly old car into the ground. He has a contagious laugh that all of my friends recognized. He loves early mornings, and the smell of sage brush. Dad is patriotic, is fascinated by American history, and shakes with pleasure when he gets around military rifles. He loves his brother, and they get together often to laugh and cuss over BYU football. He’s never grown facial hair, though he probably could, and he’s now starting to turn gray. He labored many years on his own farm; he herded sheep in his youth, and knows how to do stoichiometry. “All roads lead through moles,” he would say. Dad knows how to tell a good story, and was adept at convincing his kids that there was a vicious beast called the Side Hill Gouger that lived in our potato cellar and ate naughty children. Dad is a father in the holiest sense of the word.

Dad would give the shirt off his back, the shoes off his feet, his bed, his home, and everything he owns if he thought you needed it. He’s got a head start on heaven based on his selflessness alone. Dad has always treated my Mom with love, respect, and flirtatiousness. He is the father of six children, all of whom have firm faith in Jesus Christ, which is saying something. Two of them have special needs, which is also saying something, because Heavenly Father arranged their care under Dad at some point prior to his birth. Whether he knows it or not he followed the Spirit on many occasions, saying something to me that I needed to hear, and certainly affecting the trajectory of my life for the better. He has a deep, full-bodied love of the gospel, and is my hero.

I love you Dad, Happy Birthday.

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