My dad is about to turn 80 years old! I can't believe that he is really that old (lol). His birthday is October 30th and we are planning a quiet family celebration in his honor the Saturday after his birthday (Nov 1st) His 4 kids, spouses and my Uncle CJ and Aunt Marion will all gather for dinner at the "Market Street Grill". It will be so nice to honor this huge event. So I hope everyone who reads this Blog will send him a warm Birthday Greeting:-))
On Sunday, Nov. 2nd, we are having a huge family party at my niece Kristi's house. The entire family is invited and all of the little grandchildren and great-grandchildren are invited and have been encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. My dad always gets kick out of seeing the little ones. So for all of you who live far away, it would be great if you could send pictures of your little darlin's in their costumes..he would LOVE that!
My husband and I were over at his house the other night and visited with my parents. It was not a good night for my sweet dad. He was in so much pain but managed to keep his wonderful, unique sense of humor and despite his physical weaknesses, he has a spiritual strength that is utterly amazing.
We went into his room to see him and if any of you have visited him recently, you know that it is about 105 degrees in there! He loves to keep it extremely warm. This indicates to me that his circulation must be very poor because he is now always cold. When I was a little girl, I was the one who was always cold and he was always too warm. I remember snuggling up to him and making a deal with him. I'd say, "I'll give you some of my cold if you'll give me some of your hot!" My how things change.
He has finished my painting. He did a fantastic job and I can't wait to get it framed. It will hang in a place of honor and I will forever think of my father and the love and effort he put into it to make it beautiful and a true work of art.
I am so proud of my dad. I want all of you to know that he is one of the greatest men I have ever known. Growing up, I always felt close to him. He still makes me laugh and he always teased me (and my sister) unmercifully (in a good way!) We were definitely his little princesses and there was never any doubt that he loved his family. My dad is a "nick-namer". Our given names are Mark, Mary, Carol and Paul. But rarely were we ever called by those names. I remember Mark was always "Marcus" or "Pal". I was "Mimers" "Mare" or "Babe". Carol was "Kitty", "Keelo" or "Baby Girl" and Paul was "Saul", "Pablo" or "Pablito".
My dad is a big tease. He has more goofy sayings than anyone I know. Even now, I hear things come out of his mouth that make me laugh. He is full of Southern sayings that we, his kids, affectionately call his "Jay-isms".
I love my dad and I know that his time on this earth is very short. Every second is now a blessing and I know the day will come when we all wish we had even 5 more minutes with him. He has blessed my life so immensely and I doubt that he will ever realize the true impact he has had on me. I owe so much to him and can never repay him. I have had a great life.
My childhood was filled with wonderful, goofy memories. We were totally the "Griswalds' (from the movie "Vacation") when we took our family vacations and saw every Mud hut, Hogan (an Indian dwelling), TeePee, Ghost Town or any other "off the beaten path" site along the way to our final destination. All we wanted to do was get out of our "family station wagon" and get to the motel pool! But in the long run, I guess it was all worth it.
He taught me how to fish and I love it! I watched old Westerns on T.V. with him and learned more about football than should be allowed! Some of my best memories were made on the golf course with him. We used to golf about 3 times a week and he taught me the game. If I was having a bad day and, for example, lost my ball in the water he'd say, "Don't take a penalty stroke, you lost your ball...that's penalty enough!" We took mulligan after mulligan and then would celebrate our "Great Score" after the round. He was the most fun "Cheater" I ever knew!!!
My dad has been a BLAST! I am so thankful for all of the precious memories I have of him and will forever cherish them in my heart. Most of all, I am thankful for his moral courage and strength. He is "Steadfast and Immovable". He has never wavered in his spiritual beliefs and we, as his children, always knew where he stood. He loved (and loves) each one of us uniquely and individually. He loves everyone...He still serves in his limited way. He shares his great and abiding testimony with everyone. Several months ago, my parents visited my ward. It was Fast and Testimony meeting and we were sitting on the second row. When the Bishop turned the time over to the congregation, my dad was the 1st on his feet. It took him probably 2 minutes to make his way to the podium. During that time, a hush fell over the crowd. It was so silent that you could hear a pin drop. When he spoke, his voice was frail but his words were powerful and strong. 3 months later, I still have people who come up to me and comment about how he touched their life that day!
His Testimony of Jesus Christ (shared with his posterity in Aug 2007 @ our Family Reunion)...sorry, I didn't quite get all of it.
He isn't perfect, but he his humble and he is good. I know that Heavenly Father will welcome him back by saying, "Well done my good and faithful servant." I am honored to be called his daughter. I love you, Dad!