Dad. My dad is the hardest worker I know. My entire childhood he worked day and night to provide for us. Whether it was working out of town, or stacking wood in the lean-to, or stirring paint in the shop, he was always working. This usually meant that we were working along side him, too. Sometimes he would take us to work with him, those were the best times! I got to go to Montana with him once to do work on a hospital there. I remember I got a chocolate milk, and he and I talked a lot about towns we passed through. One town in particular was Monida. It took me about 45 minutes to figure out it was a town on the border of Montana and Idaho, but he never gave me the answer, he just kept throwing me hints. I was probably like 8 or 9, and obviously not the brightest, but I figured it out eventually. The best were the times he let us pick up rivets with a magnet after he installed lockers at a school. Being alone in those huge hallways was a little creepy, but it was so liberating to have the whole place to ourselves. And those magnets were awesome, and to see how many rivets you could load up before you had to empty it was always a treat.
Dad taught me a lot about working hard. Those lessons have stuck with me. He has taught me that others come first, whether it's serving in Church, to neighbors, or to my kids. Sharing the blessings we have with those who are lacking is a top priority. So thanks, dad. I love you.
My mom. How can I express the thanks I have for my mom? I know so many of you never knew her, except from this blog and her cancer blog, but grew to love her just the same. There are just so many lessons she taught me that I'm still figuring out. But lately, the lesson that has been resonating in my life the most is to let my kids make their own mistakes. I was never a bad kid, per se, but I was mischievous. I was naughty. So many times I made my mom sick with worry, I'm sure, but she never tried to force me to act a certain way. She let me carve out my own way, and then she was there to comfort me when it blew up in my face. She never said "I told you so", she only said "I love you". So mom, thanks for loving me unconditionally.
My mom also taught me to love others despite their choices. My mom had so many friends. She had friends from high school that were still her besties. She had friends from elementary school that she still met up with on a regular basis. She had friends from friends from friends. She knew every one, and every one that knew her loved her. Because she loved them, without judgment. Now, don't go thinking she didn't have strong opinions about people, because she totally did, but she kept them to herself for the most part. That is one trait I need to work on, for sure. So thanks, Mom, for teaching me to love others.
Stay tuned tomorrow for an extra special tribute to the person (people?) for whom I'm most thankful. It will be good, I promise.