My mom being comforted by granddaugher Zoey
My dad passed away the day after I arrived in Utah. I was lucky to have made it in time. I spoke at his service today and wanted to share my talk with you. It was tough but I was able to do it without breaking down. He received a 21-gun salute, a bugle playing taps and a bagpipe playing, "Amazing Grace," at the grave site after the service. It was a wonderful tribute. The entire Provo Police Department, closed down (they had the City of Orem PD cover) giving EVERYONE on the entire force, even dispatch & administration the opportunity to attend.
It was an incredible turn out and an amazing show of love!
MY DAD'S TRIBUTE
When I was 7 years old, Heavenly Father gave me a wonderful gift, my dad. In my younger years I treasured this gift; a kind, loving, caring and ever-attentive father. In my teen years however, my dad, "the gift," somehow became burdensome.
He had a love for classical music and would call us into the bedroom, turn the music up very loud and make us sit and watch him conduct the orchestra. My younger brothers and sisters enjoyed this immensely, I however, had better things to do than watch him conduct.
But then my dad would surprise me with unexpected things. What I didn’t know at the time was everything he did was well thought out and planned. It was to achieve a purpose.
When I turned 16 years old, he told me to go shopping and buy a fancy dress; he was going to take me out to dinner, just the two of us. He chose the nicest restaurant he could find. It was down in LA at the top of the Bonaventure Hotel. The restaurant slowly rotated, creating a gorgeous 180 degree view. I’d never been to LA or a fancy restaurant. My dad wore a suit and I a bright fuchsia tulle dress with puffy sleeves. We ate and talked. He told me now that I was old enough to start dating, he wanted to show me how a young lady should be treated, with dignity and respect.
He knew the importance of showing by example. Other lessons my dad taught weren’t as fun however. He somehow felt the need to teach me patience, along with my friends. I’d ask if I could go somewhere or to a church dance early in the day, only to have my friend come over hours later at night, waiting with me while my dad, “my gift” decided if it was okay.
As I became older, I once again began to appreciate my dad, the role model, the kind, loving example.
When my dad and mom came down to visit me in Huntington Beach, he proudly said, “Did I show you this Lis?” He held up an orange bracelet around his wrist. “No, what is it?” I replied. It says, “A carrot a day and reminds me to do something nice for someone every day because I’ve been given another day to live.” Once again, he showed me by example, as we all headed downtown to walk on the pier and get some lunch.
There was a lady struggling to carry several large boxes across the street. She looked like she was going to take them into a restaurant. My dad hurried over and asked if he could help. She gratefully accepted and said she was taking them to her car. He told us to go ahead and he’d meet us in a store. A long time passed and we wondered where he was, only to find out he had to carry them 5 or 6 blocks, but he was happy to do it.
His example reminded me not to focus on my problems but to use each day as a gift, looking to help and be a blessing in someone else’s life, for that is where you find true happiness, showing Christ like love.
As my dad grew weaker, I prayed daily to know when I should come to Utah. My Heavenly Father answered my prayer when my mom text me that my dad was asking where I was. I knew it was time to come; I checked the weather report and saw that it was only supposed to snow one day, Thursday. Every day before and after was sunny.
I arrived late Wednesday night and as I went in to see my dad, his face lit up as he smiled and said, “Tomorrow’s going to be a good day.”
On Thursday morning as we gathered around my dad. We opened the blinds to a dusting of snow covering the rooftops and grass. I said, “Dad, it’s snowing outside.” He said, “It’s supposed to be.” My dad loved the snow!
On that beautiful, snowy, “Good Day,” my dad went home to his Heavenly Father, surrounded by his children and wife. I’m sure, that as he stood before the Lord, he heard Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
I love you and will miss you dad, till we meet again.