Monday, January 16, 2012

8 years ago and a Tender Mercy

Last week marked 8 years ago since my dad died.
My sister wrote about it on her blog here Papa Kent
My brother wrote about it on facebook.
Cole and I went to the cemetery to take flowers (he kept referring to him as "Uncle Kent".
oh well.  He'll get it one of these days.)
But, there's a story that I feel that I need to record about my dad and this is as good a time as any.
I did share this a few weeks ago at YW, but I wanted to make sure that I had it written down...
It's really kinda 2 stories that work their way together at the end.

Lots of years ago at Christmas time when Summer was a baby we were visiting Utah from Missouri.
Rick's family is small and so is mine, so even though it was a "H" family get-together, my mom, dad, and Bryan came as well.  Rick's mom had put together a little program for Christmas Eve.  
One of the things that she did was give us each a little slip of paper where we could write down a gift to give the Savior that we could work on throughout the year.  After everyone had filled out their slip of paper, we gathered them all up and put them in a box and Rick's mom wrapped it all up.
The following year, the box was opened on Christmas Eve.
However, Sierra was a newborn and we were living in Michigan and couldn't afford to come to Utah for the holidays.  So, Rick's mom took the little slips of paper that belonged to me, Rick, and my mom and dad, and Bryan and put them in an envelope and mailed them to us.
I laughed when I opened them and read them.
Bryan's said that his gift for the year was to help get his very recently returned missionary brother married (which did happen in August of that year).
I don't remember what Rick's or my mom's slip of paper said.
But, I kept my paper and my dad's paper.
I tucked them away in a box with sticky notes and stationary.

(Pause for Story #1, begin Story #2)
Last Summer/Fall, I was troubled by some things in my life.
I tried to talk it out on several occasions and with multiple people, but it didn't really seam to make a difference.  And then I was called out by some of those people in that the very thing that I was having a problem with, was a characteristic that I wasn't necessarily exhibiting myself (sorry if that's complicated. because it is).
I was so confused.  
So, (plug for Personal Progress) since I was working on Personal Progress for Young Women, I looked at one of the goals that I still needed to accomplish.  
There seemed to be several that could help me, but Knowledge #4 stuck out to me:

Select a gospel principle you would like to understand better (for example, faith, repentance, charity, eternal families, or baptismal covenants). 
Read scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets that relate to the principle. 

The subject that I was researching was actually quite broad and it took me a long time to read enough about it that I thought it would do me any good...more like a 10 hour value project than just a value experience!!
I finally felt like I had come to terms with this thing that was troubling me and I was starting to get a grip on it when I was looking for some stationary to use for a Young Women's Lesson that I was preparing.  
I had completely forgotten about those little slips of paper that I had tucked away so many years ago.
But, as I was looking through the box, this little slip of paper fell out:

It was like my dad was right there, giving me advice and telling me what to do.
If you know my dad, he was always a man of few words when in came to serious stuff.
Never one to preach.
But, this is exactly what I needed to hear to figure out a way to deal with the thing I was struggling with.
I just read that little slip of paper and cried.
Then I put it on my bulletin board by my desk where I look at it every day.
Right below it is a picture of my dad.
How could those 3 words + my dad's name written 12+ years ago be the answer to what I needed to hear.
I have to admit, that I do not think that I would have understood the message if I had not been working on Personal Progress and making an effort to learn more about certain principles.
Thank heavens for Personal Progress.  And Tender Mercies.

Miss you, dad.


Leslie said...

Thats about the neatest story Ive ever heard!

Jess said...

I love your stories. And your kids will love having them written down.

I need to call my dad tomorrow.

Amara said...

In the beginning I thought I'd heard you tell this story before, but then realized I hadn't. It's wonderful. Somehow it seems that the fewer words we here from someone, the more weight those words have. My Grandpa was like that. I'm so sorry you don't have him around every day to tell you all of the things you need to hear --including his love for you --but I guess you know and feel that love. I also wish I could take some of your pain for you. It's not the first time I've wished that.