My dad is a protector and strong. I remember having very little fear of anything growing up, IF he was around. He had big muscles and was brave. I did not ever doubt that he could win a fight. In fact, when my parents were first married, my dad chased down a robber in a carpet store and tackled him to the ground jumping off of big rolled up carpets (I know it sounds like a movie, huh!). I remember my friends throwing rocks at my window in the middle of the night trying to get me to sneak out--being half awake I was totally FREAKED out. I scream for my Dad and he was right there to protect me! Once,we were in a house dog sitting, and heard someone upstairs--we called my dad and he was there in 10 seconds flat, shoes off and sleeves rolled up. There was nothing that could hurt me when he was around.
I also felt he was strong that way spiritually. He always blessed our family with the most sincere and real priesthood blessings. There was never moments we were left comfortless. He always enforced scripture, prayer, and family home evening w/ the phone off--much to his teenage daughters dismay!
My dad has an uncanny sense and method of packing! From packing the car to the dishwasher he somehow makes it ALL fit. Our Astro van was the magic Mary Poppins carpet bag when we all piled ourselves and vacation (we usually camped across country) gear in and out of it! My Dad is the hands for my mom's master mind. Any vacation, holiday decor, and experience we had was a result of my dad's grunt work! Oh...and can my dad do dishes and make a mean HUGE pot of homemade mac&cheese or What!!!!(My family minus the last 2 at Rehobeth Beach NJ?-my dad is 2nd in on the left and I am in HOT pink!)
(Our annual Christmas nativity...way back when we were missing the last 2 babies)
So not only is my dad our biggest fan, but is our advocate. When my varsity cheer squad qualified for nationals we were informed that we would not be able to attend the competition b/c cheerleading was not a recognized sport in our school district. We were heartbroken because our squad was GOOD and we had worked soo hard to get there. My Dad saw our disappointment and would not stand for it-- he got ALL the parents together and took on the school board to get cheerleading recognized as a sport and THEN to raise enough money to get us there! I remember spending weekly meetings with my dad as the lead, I got to see his business savvy and organizational skills in action. I was proud to see his name in the paper as it was all taking place. He also was one of the rare dad's who has served as a PTA president (PTO here). He was absolutely involved.
(My mom and dad walking me out on the track as Homecoming Princess at halftime...check out the BIG hair!!! Love the 80's)
My dad is not afraid to embarrass himself at our expense either, for all of our 16th birthdays he would dress up in his Donald Duck costume (head to foot) and deliver balloons to school singing in his infamous Donald Duck voice, not even a flinch.
IF you think he is the best dad ever you should see him as a .....Grandpa!! Everything that has made him a good dad makes him an awesome grandpa...and the grandkids even get a softer version.
My dad was there long before grandpas camp. He has come and seen all the babies as quickly as he can get out after they are born. he cried every time he has to miss one of their baby blessings.In fact, he was able to come out to Houston while we were living there for his birthday...so he could watch Colton while Sterling went in for a pretty painful surgery on his club foot. It was so comforting knowing he was with Colton so we could focus on Sterling.
(Abuele Guapo with his first 2 grandsons-Sterling (l) Colton (r))
(Grandpa kissing Sterling the night before surgery)
My Dad has never withheld physical touch. He will hug and kiss you at will. As a teenage girl, when my heart was broken I always had someone to hold me!
(Grandpa playing with Colton on the beach on Galveston Island, Texas)
My dad has not been dealt a very good hand of cards in his life. He has battled unemployment on and off for 12 plus years (through no real fault of his own), lost his mother and a brother while they were young, has hydrocephalus and had many open brain surgeries associated with it, battled prostate cancer,had a knee replacement, totalled at least 5 cars, lost a few homes, and on and on. It has taken its toll on him to not be able to support his family as he had always envisioned. However, everything that is of MOST importance he has never lacked. He remains strong in the gospel and sure footed in his path and desires for righteousness..for that, nothing he accomplished in this life could be greater. he has always worked hard, I remember him coming home for a few hours after full-time employment only to go work the night shift as a cook at a local Denny's type restaurant, he has taught us to work hard and be self-reliant.He has ALWAYS put us first. We are grateful for his very presence in our midst (as it is a miracle in itself if you look at his medical history) and find reason to celebrate his LIFE today.I think every one at some point has felt like his favorite. We always have someone on our side! Thank you for loving us the best way you know how! Happy Birthday Old MAN!
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