Sunday, June 19, 2011
Happy Father's Day!
This is my Dad, and this is the picture that comes to my mind when I think of him now. Constant is his nature, when all the women around him are running (usually to Wal-Mart), Dad can be found on a couch holding the newest baby in the family, keeping them happy and quite. With 17 grandchildren and counting, his spot on that couch is secure! When not holding a baby, Dad can also occasionally be found on the golf course with one or all of the son-in-laws and some grandsons.
When I was growing up however, Dad was busy helping to shape us 6 kids into the productive, faithful, successful adults we are today. Dad's motto: Prior proper planning prevents pitiful poor performance. Dad and 'Mr. Covey' have helped to keep us on track. And with 4 daughters, and two sons, that is no small task.
When I was growing up, I used to think that my Dad missed his calling. He really should have gone into the marines. His work ethic and attention to routine and detail were unparalleled. He managed to get us all out of bed at 5:30a.m., without any bloodshed. (Now that I am a mother of 4, I appreciate that that was no small task.) He would flip on our lights and help my mom make us breakfast before he went to work. I look back now and am grateful for him waking me up and giving me memories of green pancakes. He could have chosen to get up later and barely get ready in time to rush off to work, like so many others do, with barely a good morning to us. But that was not my Dad. When he woke me up and I went to breakfast, Dad was already showered and ready for work. Dad made a conscious choice to leave for work early so that he could get home early. Family was, is , and will always be his number one priority.
I remember him always being present and supportive. He involved himself with us kids, coaching many football and soccer games, and coming to innumerable dance performances.
Helping with the sports was second nature (not surprising) but what is truly impressive, is that my Dad could finish watching me dance and tell me that I did a great double pirouette. Now how many Dad's can you say even know what a pirouette is. He values education and self discipline, and has always practiced what he preached. If he didn't know the answer to something, he wouldn't rest until he did. I wouldn't even be surprised if he had 'The Dad's Guide to Ballet Technique' stashed somewhere that he researched so that he could support me in my dance. Because by the time I was in college and still dancing, he knew the in's and out's of chaines, grand jettes, develope leaps and was well versed in lyrical, jazz, ballet and hip hop forms of dance. And this was the stuff he learned just for me. For my sisters and brothers he also supported and appreciated theater, band, and sports to name just a few.
Dad would be described as the strong silent type, quietly leading our family with his strong example. (Maybe he just couldn't get a word in edgewise with all of us girls:) I cherish the memories of his support and faith in me. I knew that he believed in me and I knew that he put his trust in the Lord and obeyed without hesitation when he new it was right.
During my ninth grade year, my grandpa Hunsaker was in an accident and became a quadriplegic. Grandpa lived in Idaho, and was a farmer. With all of my Dad's sisters being tied into the farm, this was devastating not only emotionally for everyone, but economically as well. There was the concern about losing the farm. We lived in Kaysville, Utah at the time and my Dad worked for the State of Utah. He had moved away from the farm at 18 to go to college, finishing a bachelors, masters and law degree. There were NO plans on moving back to Idaho, or to farm life. However, my Grandpa asked my Dad to come home and run the farm so that he could take care of his mom and sisters.
I am amazed at his strength of character sometimes. When you are young everyone thinks of their dad as superman, but then as we get older we usually have that view dispelled. Not me, the older that I get the more that I am sure that my Dad must be superman. He is the man of steel. His character is unwavering, is loyalty in unparalleled and his faith and love are breathtaking.
Dad moved us to Idaho and had faith that the Lord would provide. He taught us duty...duty to God...and duty to family.
One of my most favorite memories of my teen years and one that I have told often, depicts that dry humor and sensitivity of my Dad.
We had just moved to Idaho and I was just 15, I wanted nothing more than to fit in. I became involved in a dance studio among other things. One of my first performances up there was at The Festival of Trees at the Burley Inn. I was so nervous. I was a seasoned performer in Utah, but this was my first year in High School and my first performance in Idaho. Not to mention that the WHOLE Mini Cassia Area goes to the festival of Trees. It was PACKED. My Dad and Mom found a spot so that I could see them as I performed and....I did horrible. The pressure got to me, it was like I was in the worst nightmare I could imagine. I was leaping in the air when everyone else was rolling on the ground, then I was rolling on the ground when everyone else was leaping. The dance couldn't get over fast enough for me. I was humiliated and was sure that I could never show my face in public again. Maybe I would have to live with one of my aunts in Utah for the rest of my high school career. When I finally came out of the dressing room my emotions where hanging by a thread. I knew that if anyone so much as said hi to me that I was going to burst into tears. The first person I saw was my Dad, with a proud smile on his face(or maybe it was a mischievous smirk). I put my most teenage angst ridden expression on and stomped toward him. He saw the tears in my eyes and with utter sincerity said.."Hollie, I don't know what dance those other girls were doing, but your dance was awesome!" I was so taken back that I laughed and the crisis was over. Though I was laughing, I also knew without question at that moment that my Dad loved me. That was a defining moment for me, Dad taught me to how to handle a potentially devastating moment with humor and grace.
As I continued in High School and Dad continued with the farm, we both became very busy with our respective activities. Anyone who knows about farming, knows that you don't just clock in and out like a State job. Dad must have always been consumed with worry and stress over the farm. But that is not my predominate memory during that time. I remember dad making it to my games and performances. And when I went through a particularly hard year, Dad made time once a week to drive with just me to Twin Falls and back, giving me his support and love. I will always cherish that time that we had together before I left home, Dad made sure that I knew that his love was unconditional. I think that time that we had where Dad was constantly putting credits into my bank account, helped strengthen me and prepare me to be on my own at college, and to make the most important decision of my life, who to marry. I had an amazing example of what a husband and father could and should be.
Now that I am married and have kids of my own, I look back on the lessons that I learned from my Dad and it helps me to make better choices and to always keep God and Family first, no matter what. I could go on and on about why My Dad the Greatest Dad, but any of you who know him, already know that.
I love you so much Dad! Thank you for loving me and for guiding me through all the peaks and pitfalls of my life. Thank you for strengthening me and supporting me through my trials, it has given me the confidence in myself that I have needed to be able to meet my challenges head on. Thank you for providing an unwavering example of faith and fatherhood that sets the bar high for all of the fathers that you have helped to shape. You ARE superman!
I love you,