Thursday, June 25, 2015

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

OK, so it's a little late. But I just have to take a few minutes to share some favorite thoughts and memories and photos of this amazing man who I get to call Dad.

My dad is truly unique. In fact, as my sister Charity pointed out when we got together on Father's Day, Dad is so unique that there needs to be some sort of new uber-unique word made up just for him. He thinks outside the box, he does what he feels is right, he dresses in his own special style, and he couldn't care less what anyone else thinks. He's also about the most deliberate person ever. He makes plans and goals and makes things happen like no other. He oozes purpose and drive. He has about 100 exciting new ideas every day. He offers amazing advice (and has gradually learned to offer it mostly just when asked!). He loves and cares more deeply and passionately about more people and more things than most people can even imagine.

He's raised us to be the change we wish to see in the world, to dream big and then think and plan carefully to bring things to pass. He's raised us to be "citizens of the world" and has instilled us with an insatiable desire for experiencing new things and new places and new people.  He's sent us on plenty of guilt trips and been somewhat of a control-freak at times, but all that helped point us in the right directions and for that we're so grateful. He's showed us that being a parent and a grandparent is the most beautiful and powerful and important role we can play. He's taught us to love more and to find great joy in serving others.

I love this photo-booth shot. Dad always did photo-booth pictures with us when we were little. And he could get us laughing like no other.

On a cross-country road trip
Dad was great about getting us out in nature.

Dad dressed up as a clown and did all sorts of fun magic tricks at all our birthday parties. This is Shawni's 7th birthday party - she's in the middle on the back row.

Josh made dad some cucumber glasses and he wore them with pride.

Here we are with Dad on a picnic up the canyon (Saydi, Josh, Jonah on the ground, Dad, Talmadge, me, our dog Canie, Shawni). Can you see the mutual adoration going on?

Dad fulfilling his dream of building a log cabin together

My kids think their beloved Grandfather is about the coolest and most fun guy in the whole world and I'm so grateful we live near my parents now and relationships have been able to deepen. Here the kids are with Grandfather a while back. The great relationships are pretty apparent in the photos.

Here are a few of the quotes my dad had us memorize as kids that I still think of all the time and that I can type out off the top of my head:

"See how the masses of men worry themselves into nameless graves while here and there, a great unselfish soul forgets himself into immortality."

"True joy comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to think freely, to enjoy simple, to risk life, to be needed."

"Good is the enemy of best."

"You wouldn't worry so much about what other people thought of you if you realized how seldom they did."

"Some people look at things that are and ask 'why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'why not?'"

Cast aside the old phrase "If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well" and replace it with "If a thing is just barely worth doing, then just barely do it."

"We don't own anything. We are mere stewards. An attitude of stewardship creates gratitude and generosity while an attitude of ownership can make us selfish or prideful."

"Live with an attitude of serendipity. Serendipity means 'when, through sagacity and awareness, we see and act upon something better than that which we were originally seeking.'" (My name comes from the word "serendipity," my parents' favorite word at the time I was born.)

Thanks for being who you are, Dad, and for being it so completely. Thanks for doing so much to help us be all that we are. And thanks for all you do for my children. You have influenced SO many in such important ways. I'm eternally grateful that you are my dad.


Eyrealm said...

Saren this is spectacular. I can't tell you how much this means to Dad! He is a pretty incredible guy! I's so lucky to have him full time! Thanks for always taking the time to re-create these remarkable memories! You are really truly incredibly amazing! How blessed we are to have you as our oldest child/mentor/creator! Love you!

Jenny (also) said...

What a beautiful tribute!! I think the fact that you "kept it real" with a few asides about the challenges of having a super deliberate, goal oriented Dad made this piece so much richer than it would have been with only the rose colored glasses parts. Well done, Saren!


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