I am so blessed to have had this man in my life. As I wondered what gift to send him this year, I couldn't help but think of all the gifts he has given me throughout my life. Here are a few:
- The gift of love--They say the best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother. Dad personifies this truth. His love for my mom is so pure, deep and constant. Their storybook romance and happily-ever-after marriage is the best example I could ask for. I think it is very telling that each of my 3 sisters and I married extremely wonderful men. We were just looking for guys like our dad! And, as much as I hate to admit it, each of my 3 brothers are outstanding men, husbands and fathers. They are just trying to be like Dad!
- The gift of learning--Dad is constantly reading. Not just reading...studying. He studies the scriptures, the New York Times, biographies, histories, scholarly texts. Dad knows something about everything. He always says, "If you want to know about something...you can learn it from a book." My love of learning comes from Dad.
- The gift of adventure-- You have to love adventure if you're going to have 7 kids before you're 35! He went back to graduate school and started his own business while raising a houseful of children. He's also a big traveler, who sees the world as one big campus. If you want to find a cool museum, neat old cemetary or an out-of-the-way historical monument, just follow Dad.
- The gift of endurance--Dad has cheated death quite a few times. His health has always been fragile and I know he must be quite uncomfortable most of the time. Still, he has hung on and hung around so he could be there for our graduations, missions, weddings, and other special days. Now that he has 18 grandkids, a whole new generation is blessed by his influence. Thanks for sticking around, Dad!
- The gift of faith--I am so thankful I had a Dad who taught me to pray, to follow the Lord, to live a clean life and to do the right thing even when it's hard. He teaches me by word and by example. The strength in our family comes from having an honorable dad.
Dad, there is no gift on earth I could give to thank you for the wonderful gifts you've given me. Your life's example is a constant source of hope and strength to our family! Happy Birthday, I love you!