Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I know sometimes work and life gets frustrating, we all have those days. Maybe you even feel like a failure when things don't go as expected, but you aren't. Sometimes the things we think are trials are actually blessings in disguise. It just takes time to see them in that perspective.

I remember as a little kid seeing certain people who did well financially, and later seeing many of them let money and things ruin their life. There is a family in my ward, when I moved in they were married, but they suddenly came into a lot of money and the money destroyed their marriage and now they are divorced. Kinda sad that one seemingly insignificant thing like money would ruin a family, yet for them, it was the destroyer.

I remember most of my roommates in college who had mommy and daddy footing their bills and tuition. They failed half their classes and didn't care if they did their homework. One of them even pretended she was going to school, but she wasn't. She just took their money and did whatever she wanted with it instead. It has made me determined to make my children work their way through school. I want them to appreciate it, not take advantage of it.

You taught me to work hard and to appreciate things. If you hadn't done so, maybe I would've been like those roommates who probably never graduated from college and took advantage of my family.

You taught me to install my own sprinklers. I'm sure glad you did. It has saved me a lot of money over the years. Every time my neighbors break a sprinkler, they have to call a landscaping company and pay them a bunch of money to fix it. Seems like such a shame that they don't know how to do something basic like swap out a sprinkler head. They could save so much money by learning how.

You taught me to be frugal and to work hard. Thanks to that, I have tried to work hard at my job and do my best. It also means I save money and don't blow it on stupid things. Well, maybe some things you might think are dumb, but for me, the are good things. It's all a matter of perspective.

You've always grown such nice plants and food in the garden. How lucky we've been growing to always have so many fresh fruits and vegetables to eat. They are so expensive and not always very tasty coming from the grocery store. And it's made me appreciate being able to grow things in my yard.

I know sometimes success can seem very visible for some people who have nice houses and fancy cars, but that isn't really success. You're one of the lucky ones, you have real success.

You've got 8 kids, and 25 grandchildren. I think that is true success. I am envious of that kind of success. I'd trade my job and my house for that any day.

The other day my VT partner looked at me and said, "You and I are those ladies who will never get married and have kids, so for us, we just have to be content to be the super aunt." I told her, "I am not going to just be a super aunt, I'll be a super mom someday too." But it made me realize that people with kids are so blessed. There are many who will never experience that in this life, and you've gotten to several times. That's pretty blessed in my book.

I really believe the true measure of success isn't how much money you did or didn't make, or whether or not you could buy something super big, but it is how you lived your life, and the good things you accomplished. It's the people you've helped and those around you that you've diligently served.

In a few years, maybe you'll look back and realize how blessed you were, even if you don't feel that way now. For during this time of your life, you've got time you can spend with your family. Maybe you will be able to go to the temple more or have more time to do other things that you've not had the time to do.

You've got an orchard full of trees that have fed many people, and a garden that has started growing food that blesses the lives of so many people. You've got a nice big yard where the kids and grandkids can run and play. And cows to eat and fill the freezer full of meat.

It doesn't matter to me that you don't drive a fancy car, or that you taught us to work hard. In fact, I am glad you did so. Had you not, I might've been so focused on things like flashy clothes or items in my house that I'd not realize the truly important things in life.

My point is, I think you are highly successful and so incredibly blessed. I'm slightly jealous of what you have. Maybe it's not my lot in life to have what you have, or to experience what you do, but in my perspective, you are so loved by our Father in Heaven. He must have some incredible things planned for you in order for you to need the experiences you are going through.

Don't give up, or feel discouraged. Life doesn't have coincidences, it has purpose. We may not understand the whys or hows the moment things happen, but somewhere down the road, you will see how all the pieces fit together in the puzzle and you will rejoice in the things you've experience whether or not you thought they were a trial.

I love you and admire you. I hope that someday I can be even half as successful, kind, and giving as you are.



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