Today is my dad's birthday. I have learned so much from his incredible example. He has given me so much wise counsel, taught me so much, and loved me thoroughly.
Here are a few of the many qualities I love about my dad with accompanying anecdotes:
-He let me exercise my agency as I grew up, but then he also helped me learn from my mistakes. One time, when I was 13 or so, I got on the Internet and a box popped up that said I won an X-Box! I was so excited and decided I wanted it. My dad didn't really want me to try, I'm sure, but he did. About half an hour or so later I asked for his help after realizing I had been sent on an endless string of forms that required me to fill in my address, phone number, and e-mail address. He explained to me about the lies that abound in the online world and the junk mail and e-mail I should expect. Sure enough, I was spammed a lot, but I learned a valuable lesson without resenting having my agency restricted.
-He always seems to have the answer. I still haven't figured out how, but my dad seems to know almost everything. It seems that I can ask him about any subject and he will always know the answer. Just recently, he was explaining to me the different types of internet connections and how our webcam works in extreme detail.
-He can fix just about anything. Whether it be cars, computers, toys, phones, appliances, decorations, bikes, tools, or even broken hearts, as a favorite children's book says, he can fix it. If he doesn't know how, he will find out how. He has sacrificed so much of his time learning how to fix things and then fixing them. Once when I was in college, my computer got infected with a virus. I didn't know that was what had happened, but it wasn't working, so I called my dad. He talked to me for a while, asking me about the problems, and then asked if he could call me back. After a couple of hours of researching various virus removal programs on his end, he called me back and talked me through the installation, explained how it would work, and helped me clean up my computer.
He is so generous with what he has. I remember one time my parents had been out while we kids were at home. They came home with a couple and began preparing the hide-a-bed. It turns out their car had broken down and they were stranded on the side of the road. My parents stopped to help, and they brought them home to spend the night at our house until they could take their car to get it fixed in the morning. Another time he spent countless weeks installing an automatic sprinkler system in the yard of a single sister he home taught. He has been such a good example to me of being completely selfless with time and means.
He is a worthy priesthood holder. My dad has been able to give me blessings in times of need, and he has presided over our family in righteousness. I am so grateful for the solid spiritual foundation my parents gave to me.
The list of things I admire about my dad goes on and on, but I want him to know that I love him and I am so grateful for his steady example and continued influence in my life. Happy birthday!!!