I am blessed.
Because I have been given two amazing parents. And although I could easily blab about both of them and tell you how amazing they are, it is Father's Day. So, that's what I'l stick to.
For the last three years of my single life, I had the opportunity to live at home with my parents (aside from college semesters) where I had them all to myself. That is one of the beautiful things about being the youngest, I suppose. I am so thankful for those years because I developed a special relationship with my parents. I will always be grateful for that time.
My earliest memory of my father is one from a time in my life when I was very sick. I was four, and I had developed gangrene thanks to a ruptured appendix that no one could figure out until it was almost too late. My father was holding me on his lap, he was wearing blue jeans. We were talking about something. We were looking at a doll house in the play room at the hospital. I wasn't feeling well and he was there to comfort me. He held me and loved me because that's all he could do.
We lived for a time in Lexington, MA while my father pursued an education in order to provide for our family. It was not long after I had had the surgery, so I was probably about four or five. I remember being strapped into the child seat on the back of his brown bike. We were going for a ride down our street and it was fall. I remember seeing his white tennis-shoes pedal as I look down at all the colorful leaves blowing off the asphalt as we rode pleasantly along. That winter we also had a snowball fight. He was always up for goofing off and having a good time.
My father is not perfect. He does not always say or do the right thing. He is (in shock to my childhood daydream of him wearing a superhero cape or shining armor) human. It is because of him that I know it's okay not to be perfect, as long as we are trying our best.
My father is funny, strong in more ways than one, stalwart, joyful, compassionate, full of charity and brotherly love. He loves his family more than anything, second to the Lord. He teaches about Christ and His gospel every chance he gets. He is someone who would laugh with me, dance silly with me, throw a ball with me, bring me flowers to every dance recital, cry with me, scold me when I needed it, hold me when I needed it, and loved me unconditionally no matter how much pain or joy he received in return.
He is the reason I will always be his little girl. He is the reason I appreciate all the plants and life around me. He is the reason I learned to work hard and earn my reward. He is the reason I know it's okay to be silly and find joy in life. He is the reason I married a man as good as the one I did. He is the reason I know that i deserve to be loved unconditionally. He is the reason I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and that I am a child of God.
Of course, nothing came from my life without the amazing work of both my parents and the love that existed in our home. My mother is every bit as amazing as my father. But today is the day we recognize fathers.
And because I am so so far away from him today, I just wanted to let him know how much I love him. And to say a world of 'thank yous.'
Happy Father's Day to the best dad this side of the Mississippi. And that side.