And while I am deeply grateful of each one of them all throughout this day celebrating fathers (and future fathers!), I can't help but spend a minute here on the father of my children. It makes me smile to make a list of his great qualities:
-He is an extraordinary man, a renaissance man. There isn't any project or idea that I come up with that he can't figure out how to do. And better than that, he usually volunteers himself to do it before I can even ask. I literally come to him with a magazine picture and he can build me the same thing. Its been done over and over again in our household, and I have yet to find the project that will stump him!
-He loves being a father. He loves our children and their spouses. He is happy when surrounded by all of them. He is so proud of each of them and who they are and where they are going in life.
-He adores being a grandfather. The world stops when our grand baby comes over, and I know it will continue to be that way with each additional grand child. As they grow and become involved in life, I know they will always know that he loves them and cares deeply for them and about them. He will stop at nothing to get to their important events (whether a spelling bee, a graduation, or a wedding!)
-He is always willing to help. If he is aware of a need, and can be there to help, he'll be there!
-He is a proficient tractor driver. He loves tractors, and has a couple of his own, and has become very adept at maneuvering them and working with them. And time on the tractor doesn't equate to "work" in his mind.
-He is a love, caring, father of our ward. He spends countless hours tending to the needs of the people in our ward. It keeps him busy, and at times weighed down with worry and the seriousness of others' challenges in life, but he gives 110% to try his best at being a bishop. And our ward members know of his love and concern. Oftentimes they will stop by to talk to him at work, (which happens to be a mile or two from home) because they know he is very accessible and willing to drop whatever he is doing to help.
-He loves to say funny things. Many times, because of his dry sense of humor, I am interpreting to others that "he's only joking".
-He treats me like a queen. I'm not really exaggerating that, either. I feel like there is nothing I could express a want or need for that he wouldn't find a way to do. Ever since we had our first baby many, many years ago, he was very intent on making sure that I could be home with the kids instead of working outside of the home. He even took two jobs many years ago to insure that there would be enough income. And now that the kids are all adults, he still recognizes and respects my desire and love of being a homemaker.
-He's not afraid of anything. And if there is something he's squeamish or uncertain of, you would never know it. He just plows right through even the most intimidating of circumstances.
-I've mentioned before that he is the strongest man in the world. I mean that literally. He is the strongest man that I have ever known. He has the strength and endurance of an ox. And he doesn't go to the gym to lift weights. His strength comes naturally, and is honed through hard work. He can just keep on going and going and going. When we go on our extreme hiking or snowshoeing adventures, he just heads straight up a mountain, (not bothering to find a trail) climbing over fallen trees, up steep inclines, without even stopping to think about it. On pioneer trek, he can pull that loaded handcart up a hill like it was a toy. And his strength goes far beyond the physical. He has an inner strength and determination and drive like nothing I've ever seen before.
-He is the hardest worker I know. Literally. Out of everyone I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, I've never seen the likes of him. He leaves early in the morning (yes, before I am out of bed), and goes to work. He comes home no earlier than 6:00pm, but often later than that. He has created and built a business from scratch (when I say scratch, I mean it in the most definitive way).
-He has taken the examples he has seen in his life, and pieced together the man and the father that he wants to try to be. He has painstakingly sifted through his life experiences and used both the good and the bad to learn from.
-He is smart. Really, really smart. He has never been to a day of college in his life (unless you count the one day he went -- truthfully one day). Yet he has the ability to store knowledge and use it in an amazing way. He has worked and moved his way through positions and companies until he reached the point of starting his own business. And its a pretty technical business. They build complicated cable and wire harnesses for airplanes (commercial and military). He can read a detailed blueprint like its a comic strip. Easy peasy.
-He will do anything to assure that I am happy and safe. For a big instance, I have texted him when I've spotted yet another snake in the yard, and he literally has dropped everything at work and come home to try to "dispatch" the snake. (movie line from Princess Bride: "Shall I dispatch him for you?")
-He loves life and gets just about everything he can squeeze from each and every day. Very little of it is wasted, because even the time at the very end of the day that we have to spend together watching something like Perry Mason, could never be considered wasted time.
He is the man of my dreams. When I was a teenager, and I dreamt of who I would marry and what my life would be like as a grown-up, I know I dreamt of him and the life I have now. Even when things have been hard, we have rolled our sleeves up and experienced them together, side-by-side. I'll take it all -- the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. Its all a part of the whole beautiful picture, and I'll take it all.
Happy Father's Day, love!
"Noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine"
- James E. Faust