(n.) 1. father, guardian, protector, carer, friend 2. teacher, mentor, coach, task master, listener 3. sports fanatic, mower man, king of corny jokes, biggest tease, taxi, bank, part-time fun guy, part-time fun police 4. tough on the outside, soft in the middle
My parents moved a lot in their married life. Twenty one times is what we counted a few years back. My dad was a CPA but longed for adventure and seeing life outside of Utah. I was number 3 of 7 children and we all were part of these moves. We lived in Hartsell Alabama, Macon Georgia, Sacramento California, Las Vegas Nevada, and many places in Utah (Southern to Northern). It was fun, hard, educational, etc. We grew close as a family. My dad was a super hard worker, full of integrity, and loved his family very much. We all watched him as he held our mom’s hand every time they were together, he always helped with Saturday morning chores. This was our deep clean day. We divided, some of us doing inside chore and the rest doing outside chores. We grew up hearing “many hands make light work”. After our chores were done we would do something fun as a family. I have many fond memories of playing in the red sand dunes in Southern Utah. Long drives exploring back roads in Alabama and Georgia. My dad was always so sweet to my mother. This is what helped me know what to look for in a husband.
My dad would take mom on dates as often as they could. He would surprise her with quick trips somewhere on special anniversaries. There was a feeling that it didn’t matter what they were doing as long as they were together. I grew up knowing that I wanted this in a husband.
When I was 15 years old I worked for my parents in Brigham City Utah. They had their own business doing Physician Billing, his business was called Michael E. Miller and Company, Health line Physician Billing. All of my siblings helped where we could. I’m so grateful for the lessons I learned while working for him. We cleaned the office, emptied trash cans, stuffed envelopes with patient’s bills, licked the stamps and envelopes (did you know that there are calories in those envelopes and stamps? My sisters and I were not very happy when we learned that), took payment batches to the bank, etc. It was a never ending job but I loved being there with my family. My dad was a quiet man. Not shy, just quiet. One afternoon it was time to go home after work and it was just Dad and I there at the office. We locked up everything and climbed into his big red Ford truck. The radio was off and we had a 12 minute drive to Honeyville. I looked outside and watched the community going and doing. We drove the whole time in complete silence. Even though a word wasn’t uttered I felt so much love from my dad and I loved him. I felt safe in that spot.
A couple years after Ryan and I were married in 1999 we had our first child, a boy named Koby. I wish I could put into words the change in Ryan’s eyes when he held him for the first time. That amount of love comes with lots of emotions: a desire to protect, care for, teach, love, etc. Ryan has been a great dad too. There are no perfect parents, just parents that try–right?
Last 4th of July my dad passed away from brain cancer. He battled it for 20 years. If your dad is still around give him the BIGGEST hug. Listen and learn all you can from him. Life is too short to take him for granted.
I remember my dad had this brown metallic paint GMC pick-up truck that had to be the coolest truck in all of Henderson, Nevada at the time. I wish we still had that truck, it was so cool. I had a child-like awe about that truck and loved riding with my dad in it and often did. Whenever I hear about people with their non-existent dads, I realize that I must have been very lucky. My dad was always there. He worked hard for our family, he served in our community, he served in our church and he even came to my games. Now, don’t get me wrong, for a long time I didn’t think my dad even liked me because he seemed to always be mad at me, but now that I have teenagers of my own, I can relate.
My dad has an eternal reservoir of information tumbling around in his brain. He can fix nearly anything and he can build things and he can tell you what business is moving in or out of nearly any building in the greater Las Vegas area. He is a news-aholic and always seemed to know everything about anything you could imagine. I always marveled at how many facts and figures he knew about. There was a time when I thought my dad was smarter than Google and Google didn’t even exist yet.
Today thinking back, my dad was always a constant in my life. He never shirked his duty as a dad. I never felt abandoned or unloved. Maybe a little under appreciated at times, but again, teenagers! He worked mostly in the financial industry with a degree in Accounting, he worked in banking and in insurance but has finished his career as a tax auditor for the state of Nevada. I did take an accounting class at his advice. I remember about 3 weeks into the course, I called my dad and said; “This is what you do for a living!! This is the worst thing I have ever done.” He laughed at me and told me to stick it out. I did and I am not sure I changed my opinion much regarding accounting.
My dad taught me some powerful principles though. I remember when we moved into a new house. We had to put the yard in ourselves. I was in charge of digging the sprinkler ditches in the very rocky Nevada soil. It was very hot and I wanted to come in for a drink about every 5 minutes. He would tell me to finish a row before I took a break. He taught me to not get distracted every few minutes and to get work done before taking a break. I learned to be a hard worker from him.
One quote that always stuck with me that my dad said to me many times in my youth was “What’s right is right even if no one is doing it, and what’s wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” I tell this same quote to my children to this day and it is a guiding light to me when making decisions. I am grateful for the example my dad has been to me and the lessons I have learned from him. I am also grateful that I am able to speak to him still to this day. He is getting ready to retire and I hope he and my mom will travel more to see us way up here in Northern Utah.