My father passed away when I had just turned eleven years old and he had just had his 45th birthday. While I don't remember much about him, I have been blessed with a few memories that I cherish...trips to the local hardware store always ending with a penny for the gum machine, early morning newspaper deliveries where he never got mad at me for being sick from the car fumes, singing songs to him when he'd come home from work. I love all those memories.
I don't feel like I missed out on life experiencing it without a father but how grateful I am for the two fathers in my life today. Almost seven years ago my mom remarried an amazing man by the name of Bill. While all of my brothers and sisters were grown and had moved away by the time they married, some of us have had opportunities to live at home and get to know him. I have been blessed with such an opportunity. I have felt of his strength and his power through priesthood blessings. I have felt his love as I cried and laughed in times of despair and joy. Thank you Bill for being the man you are.
Then of course there is Rick. Every day I watch him go to work to a job that was his second choice so he could support and care for a family that needed him. I watch him come home to a family who has been anticipating his return since he walked out the door. I watch him love his children in all the ways a father should...throwing a football, encouraging Aren to learn a bigger word than the day the before, painting Tatiana's toenails, being with his children so I can go to a meeting and never complaining that another one is just around the corner. Thank you Rick for everything you've been through that has made you the father you are today.