Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best Way to Feel Heaven in Your Home is to Have Someone You Love in Heaven

My mom received a plaque with the words "The Best Way To Feel Heaven in Your Home is To Have Someone You Love in Heaven". I thought those words to be fitting for the title of this blog. My dad passed away recently, and though this blog is difficult for me to write, I feel it is important to pay tribute to him. Over the past couple of weeks, I have heard story after story of the service and love my dad gave to the people around him. I knew my dad to be a generous man who followed promptings without hesitation, but he almost always did his acts of service in a very quiet and private way, so it wasn't until after his passing that I was able to hear of the impact he had on so many people. His acts of service ranged from playing his bagpipes for those that were sick or grieving, to offering a perfect stranger money, a hotel room and a bus pass to get home. He showed love and acceptance in such a way that so many of the people he knew thought that he was THEIR best friend. Not only was he a good friend to nearly everyone he came in contact with, he was a good son who took care of his mother after his father passed. He was a good brother who always had his siblings best interests in mind. He was a loving and devoted husband who continually searched for ways to make his wife happy. Most importantly to me, he was a good father. Not only did he take time to play with us and laugh with us, he always took advantage of opportunities to teach us valuable lessons. I am sure Kiera, Ian and Sam learned similar lessons from my dad, but these are lessons I personally learned from him. He taught me to be an honest and hard worker. He taught me to think of others before myself. I learned many lessons from him just by observing him. I remember after a serious work accident he was in about eight years ago, he was laying in the hospital covered in dirt, with bruises and broken bones and he asked a nurse how she was doing when she came into the room to take care of him. It wasn't a casual "how are you doing" either, I knew he sincerely wanted to know. That really impressed me. He taught me to have a better understanding and love for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as he lead us in family prayer and scripture study and talked to me often about different areas of the gospel. I will miss his council and comforting words. I will miss his constant support of the decisions I make. I will miss those rough and worn, but gentle hands that would playfully tug on my hair and pat my shoulder as he walked by or squeeze my hand in times of discouragement and reassure me that everything would be ok. Although I won't be able to feel those hands any more or see his face, I know that heaven isn't far way and he will often be near. Whenever I hear his name mentioned or think of the life he lived, my heart will swell with pride to know that he was my dad.