This year marks the 10th anniversary of my dad’s death. There is probably a more politically correct way to say that, but there it is. I’ve been racking my brain to think of a good way to celebrate/commemorate it. I’ve already made a video so that’s done. Then I started thinking about some of my favorite memories of him and how much I love to share them. So I decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite memories with my dad. Here they are! These are ones that applied specifically to me. I thought of a lot of other great memories watching him interact with others, but these are special just to me.
A lot of my favorite memories are on trips I got to go on with my dad. He went on a lot of business trips to meet with clients, and if I wasn’t in school sometimes I got to go along. When I was young we didn’t always have a lot of money since there were 6 kids. One particular trip when I was very young we stopped and he bought me gum. I was so excited because I almost never got gum! As we drove along I fell asleep. Later when I woke up, I had a brief thought that I no longer had gum, but didn’t think about it until I later found it in my hair. I was scared to say anything because not only had a wasted the precious gum, but I had a mess in my hair. I finally fessed up about my sticky situation, but of course my dad wasn’t mad. He stopped at a store and bought some dissolve-it which took the gum right now! I was so relieved!
9. Pioneer Day
When I was probably around 12 we had a Pioneer Day Party at church. We played this game that was sort of like a real life Oregon Trail where you had to pick what supplies you had before hand, then as we got closer to Utah things would keep happening. My dad and I were on a team. I don’t remember a lot of what happened, but I remember at one point thieves came to camp, but if you had a dog it would scare them away. Well my dad had bought a dog so we were good! I cheered out “Go Spottie!” and my dad said, “Who is Spottie?” I just responded, “that’s what I named our dog!” He laughed. It was a great day:)
Obviously I cannot make a list of memories of my dad without mentioning his incredible voice. I have so many memories of him singing throughout my childhood, but I decided to share one that makes me smile (and occasionally cry) every time I hear the song. My dad was the chorister in our church for a while, but he had such a big voice you could always hear him above the congregation! Once we were singing “Count your Many Blessings” which starts out “When upon life’s billows…” however he started out with his loud booming voice singing “Count you many blessings…” then realized his error, gave a big goofy grin, and continued singing the right words. We all had a good chuckle.
Side note. I loved singing with him and always hoped I could be as good as he was.
7. I have to go potty
Remember those business trips I got to on with my dad? So once we were at a farm and while he was meeting with some people, I got to go out on some farm equipment with the farmers. Now I was really young, we’re talking single digits. So of course once we got to the far end of the field I announced that I needed to go potty. I don’t remember how they got me back to the house, but I do remember that after I had resolved the situation I wanted to go back out there. So my sweet dad took the time to drive me around to find where they had gone so I could continue riding with them.
6. My Daddy Dances!
Some of you might not know is that there were daddy dances too! When I was really young I remember all the dad’s dancing in white shirts with sun glasses. It was such a silly dance and and one point they all lifted up their knee, made a fist and yelled “uh!” in unison! (Can you picture that?) It was hilarious! And I was so proud to have my daddy up there. Oh and let’s not forget he danced in the Nutcracker 2 or 3 years! And for those of you who knew him, he was not a dancer. He just loved his girls.
5. Halloween Candy
I love this story. When I was super young it was my turn to be the vampire for Halloween. This meant that I got to hide in our coffin (yes, we had one) and jump out and scare passerby’s! This year I was also throwing candy out before I closed the lid. I had been having a great time scaring the locals and throwing out candy, when all of a sudden after one scare, the lid was opened from the out side. There, standing above me, was a group of teenagers. One reached down into my bucket of candy and grabbed a handful of candy. I told them to stop, but obviously they wouldn’t listen and went away laughing. Well I was terrified and ran inside crying. I told the story to my family and my dad got very serious. He just asked “Which way did they go?” I pointed and said the guy who took the candy was wearing a skeleton costume. He left. A short while later he came back with the handful of candy. Now in case you didn’t know this, my dad was a big guy. He told the story of how he had caught up with the group of hooligans a short ways a way, walked up to them and said in a big booming voice “Who took the candy from my little girl?!” They all turned and pointed at Skeleton boy, who held out a handful of candy with a shaking hand.
Nobody messes with my dad. I felt so happy and safe knowing he was there to protect me!
4. Snuggle Bugs
I don’t have a specific memory here that stands out, but for years when I was young I would wake up to my dad calling upstairs “snuggle bugs!” My sister and I were both instantly awake and we would run downstairs to get our morning snuggles with daddy. Eventually it would be time to get up for school, but we would always say, “One more minute!” which would turn into 5 or 10, at which point we would say again, ‘one more minute!” but then he would kick us out. Oh we tried to hold him back, but we didn’t stand a chance.
3. Senior Pictures
This was the last trip I went on with my dad. We had found this great photographer to take my senior pictures. It was a few hours away (I don’t remember how many) I was upset because I had wanted my high school boy friend to come so I spent the first little bit sulking. He was very understanding and eventually got me to come around. By the time we got to the photographer I was happy to be there with him. We had a lot of fun taking pictures. He got to be the one holding up the sun shades, etc. At one point I saw him tearing up (he was such a softy) and he told me “You just look so pretty, I’m so proud of you.” I’ve always tried to make him proud as I am so proud to be his daughter. After pictures we stopped at Sonic for a bite to eat before heading home. I’ll always treasure that day.
When I was young I was in love with corvettes. I thought they were the most beautiful thing and I got so excited every time I saw one. So a few days before he died, my dad took me to a Corvette Supercenter. It was awesome! They had every model ever made! We had a blast going around touching them, taking pictures with them, I even got to sit in one! Dad tried to get them to let me test drive one..but you know..I was 17…lol. It was a lot of fun though, and I still have the business card.
1.When I got accepted to BYU
My dad died during my senior year of high school, so he wasn’t there when I got my acceptance letter to BYU. I was so excited since I’d wanted to go there since I was very young and it was the only school I applied to. I jumped around and cried and screamed with excitement. It had been a tough few months and this was a welcome relief. At some point after I had called everyone and settled down I went into the kitchen and opened the fridge to get something to eat. At that moment I was not alone. I felt an overwhelming feeling of love from my dad. I knew that he was there with me and that he was so proud of me.
Honorable Mentions (because there are so many more than 10 but I wanted to stay with the top 10 list thing)
A Vampire making home made Root beer
some of you may know that Dad would make his own Root beer and it was delicious. Well a couple of times he took it a step further for Halloween parties. He would dress up as an awesome Vampire, then stir his root beer in a cauldron. Of course his root beer was made with dry ice, so not only was there this epic vampire stiring a bubbly liquid in a cauldron, but it had a fog coming out of it! Just picture that. Yes, it was indeed legendary.
Growing up we usually had some sort of a garden be it vegetable or flower. I was never a big fan of them because they required work, but my dad always enjoyed it. I remember one day in my early teens I was out there with him weeding in the vegetable garden. I wasn’t really enjoying the weeding, but I enjoyed the pleasant conversation with him. At one point he was talking about how the prophets have said we should have gardens and he said he thought they were more for growing children than vegetables. I always thought that was cute.