“Real men are not those who kill all the bad guys and save the world in movies. Real men are those who strive to be great fathers to their children to make the world a better place”. Anonymous
Tribute to My Dad!!
Father’s Day is here and I wanted to honor my dad with thoughts of his importance in my life. There is a magical connection between a father and his daughter that can’t be duplicated. As magical as this connection is, there is a need for a balancing force in families and this is typically provided by the father. When the dad is present from the earliest moments, the baby learns that the world doesn’t just consist of Mom. There is something beyond the sense of oneness with the mother. With this ‘realization’ comes a sense of freedom and choice. Without a dad or a third really involved individual, the child lives in a world where the mom is the only source of goodness and thus they learn that they need to meet Mom’s needs and be connected to Mom in order to get goodness. With the father, there is another place to go to get their needs met. A father is another foundation block for a child in its development.
My earliest memories of my father are one of going to Flat Head Lake in Montana and camping. My dad loved that place and we would go with “Uncle Charlie” who was a close family friend and camp, boat and fish. I remember meeting and playing with the Flat Head Indian Tribe children and for the first time being introduced to a diversity and culture that was separate from mine.
My other early memories with dad are filled with traveling and singing in the car. My dad and mom loved to sing and tried to make car traveling more fun by filling it with music and “car games” like the alphabet game looking at license plates, “who can see the first bear” gets an ice cream cone, who can be quiet the longest, and so on. It didn’t always make time go by faster while riding from one place to another but it helped.
My mom and dad went oversees as missionaries which opened up an entire world of cultures, peoples, experiences which I will never forget. Living in those countries filled me with fear, pride, strength, courage, wisdom, empathy, love and bonded experiences to dad. He would come back from his travels with stories, pictures (oh so many pictures) and things he would buy for us as he thought of us and wanted us to have momento’s to keep.
I remember that when he would preach he would also provide the special music for the service. My mom would play the piano and my dad would sing and I would sit in the pews of the church proudly watching them both inspire and bless those in attendance. I wanted to join in and the time came when dad did ask me to sing with him. I thought I had just won the lottery when he asked me to sing a duet and my heart was full of love and pride that my father thought enough of me to ask me to join him in this important part of his ministry. I sang with him several times after and even played the piano for him as he sang solo, which I have always cherished in my memory book.
My dad was tough but also kind to others, a great story teller, a father who was not always able to be home because his job required lots of travel, anal about keeping his car clean inside and out (which I mimic to this day), a man who worked hard for God and his family, and who was there for me when I needed an advocate as a teen. Dad was not only a minister but also a printer, a CEO, a water skier, a fisherman, a golfer, but his most important role was father.
I learned from him so many lessons that have served me well throughout the years. I learned leadership skills, speaking skills, tenacity, truthfulness, never give up attitudes, integrity, significance, loyalty, and how much love means to me. My dad is an amazing man who has made his influence in life and family known.
My relationship with my dad has not always been perfect but I strengthened his patience during my teen years for sure (or perhaps not. Ha). However, I am so blessed that it has grown over the years into a beautiful, fulfilling, close relationship, that I value so much.
Happy Father’s Day to my amazing dad!! Love you!!!

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