Monday, July 5, 2010
Gifts from My Dad
I started this blog on Father’s Day but it has taken me this long to get all the pictures together. July is also his birthday so I do get a second chance to celebrate him. This should be a time for me to give a gifts to my Dad. Unfortunately a hard job for the following reasons:
#1 He is 82 and has just about every tool, gadget, book, tie, cowboy hat, vest, jacket or thing that a father would want.
#2 My hands are shaky because of the chemo so long notes of appreciation are hard to write down in a card or letter this year.
#3 His gifts to me, as a daughter, so far outweigh any I can give him that I want to acknowledge his years of love and service to me, his family and those who know of his generous heart and loyal friendship. He deserves way more than a tribute on my blog but for now this is my gift to him.
I never called him Father; he has always been Daddy or Dad to me. However his life and example have taught me about the love and care I can expect from my loving Heavenly Father.
Here are some of the traits they both share.
Unconditional love: As child I saw with the eyes of a child. Dad was the boss; he was the big guy that you needed to obey. I remember the first time I was lost. I was 5 years old and we were at Disneyland. One minute I was holding my dad’s hand and the next thing I knew, I was standing in front of the Disneyland castle and he was not there. I don’t remember how we found each other but I do remember the joy of holding his hand again and needing to obey him if I wanted to stay safe. Commandments may seem hard or restrictive when we are young but as we grow we learn to understand that they are his way of keeping us safe.
Creativity: He makes things with his hands. This is the third home he has built. This home he built after he retired and moved to St George. He loves to create. Here is just a little of his handy work. He spends every day in the shop making furniture and gifts for people he wants to serve.
He made this mountain man outfit as well as the rifle he is holding.
Last year he made tissue boxes for Natalie and me while he was in Buffalo visiting. I think he made about 60 of them. Not only built but sanded, painted and stamped with his “hand made by Jimmie Thompson” stamp. We had them to give to neighbors and friends with a little card that said “Tis the Sneezin to be Jolly.” What a creative and appreciated gift from my Dad.
Sometimes we receive gifts from our Heavenly Father we never thought to ask for. We all inherited the desire and ability to create from our Father.
Service: My dad has always been the first to help. He built a bathroom for my grandmother soon after he married my Mother; up until that time they were using an outhouse. I watched him care for his mother, stopping to see her every day after work in her last years. He is always and the first to volunteer for a community, church project or helping a neighbor. My Dad has always been an example of service to his family as well as to any other who needed his help. He rode with the Ute Rangers in formation performances as well as Search and Rescue.
Dad serves with the Mormon Battalion today, helping to carry the flags for most parades and awarding Eagle Scout awards at Eagle Courts of Honor when asked. These last years he has been serving my mother who has many health problems and there could not be a more devoted husband. He shows love for her as our loving Heavenly Father tenderly caring for his children, Answering prayers and blessing us in ways we sometimes do not see or acknowledge.
Commitment to the Gospel: Dad is a 100% home teacher. He would always find a place to attend priesthood meetings even when we were on vacation camping in the mountains. He was not one to feel comfortable in a leadership position but he was perfect as a support staff position. He surprised himself at how good a missionary he was and how much he enjoyed sharing the stories of early church history in St George. There is no gray in his life he chooses the good all the time.
Teach by Example: Dad taught me how to do things by show and tell. He loved to have us kids work with him and he would explain why he did things the way he did them. When I lived in California and needed to fix something like a fridge, I could call my Dad and get a step by step explanation on how to do the job. He taught me to make gravy as well as clean the terminals of the battery in my car. There was always room to find a better way and my ideas were always of value. We have been given instructions from a Heavenly Father on how to live in the scriptures as well as with living prophets. By example we can see how he teaches us by consistently giving us the instructions for a happy life. There are lots of examples of doing it right and wrong so we have a chance to choose the better way.
First things first: Dad worked hard; most of the time that meant working two jobs. The first 10 years of my life he worked graveyard shift and would need to sleep during the day.
When vacation time came we would GO together as a family and explore the beauty of Utah, visit family in California or find the best fishing in the state. Dad loves life and loves to enjoy it with his children and grandchildren. We had the first motor home ever made and I am sure the first dune buggy. From horses, ski boats to blow up fishing boats if he thought that we kids or grandkids would enjoy the ride he would do anything to make it happen. He still has a 4 wheeler and will get it going in a heartbeat for a great grand kid. He enjoys life
“Man is that we might have Joy” as it says in the Book of Mormon. Even with my mother so ill he will take time to smell the roses, march in a parade with the Mormon Battalion or go fishing with James.
Every year of my life he has visited where I live, no matter how far, sometimes more than once a year. Like my Heavenly Father he has never left me alone. He is always there for the children he loves.
So Happy Birthday and Happy Fathers Day to a great DAD