Last Fall, he came to visit for conference weekend. Saturday night, when the microwave started sparking and lighting practically on fire, he went to home depot to get a new one. Sunday night, when we discovered the leak in the garbage disposal, he figured out the problem—and said he'd help me fix it. I woke up early Monday morning to find him on the floor, underneath the sink, finishing up the installation. He was supposed to be on a plane.
A couple weeks later, he stayed on the phone with me until 3 in the morning helping me figure out ideas for re-routing the water pouring into my basement (and then ideas for cleaning it up and saving the carpet).
Christmas morning, he made everyone beef stick sandwiches with mustard.
In the Spring, when he came for April conference, he spent all Saturday fixing the dishwasher. He didn't eat anything until it was done.
A month later when I was visiting, we planted tomatoes in the backyard. He didn't mind when I broke one on accident. The stem just fell off when I picked it up (it was a very small seedling). He just told me to stick it back in the ground. He promised he'd keep his eye on it. He'd let me know if it lived.
Later that day, I watched him make the rounds around the 3-pt line (after I beat Q in p-i-g).
Before I drove home, he gave me a blessing—of safety, of happiness, of the love of heaven.
(Yesterday, we were discussing all sorts of things, and he said the tomato was still alive and growing!)
One time I totaled the family car. My 3 best friends were inside. I was 18, and two weeks shy of my high school graduation. It was a terrible event. My dad was mad. He was really mad. And mostly worried. It was a miracle no one was seriously injured. He never made me feel guilty or worse than I needed to. He spared me the details of exactly how much it cost (in buying a new car, in insurance, etc.). But, before he offered to put me back on the family's insurance, he made me re-take driver's ed. I was 20 by then. And one day, several years after the incident, we were walking across the grass to a family picnic, I brought up the story, and apologized again—for causing so much trauma to him and mom. He put his arm around me and started laughing. He said he was happy I was alive, and that I was a good sport for accepting the consequences.
That story has nothing to do with this year—except that I see more clearly the sacrifices my father makes for my happiness. I can never re-pay him. And, so, I try to be kind to people.
I love you dad! I hope you have a wonderful year!