I had grand plans to wax eloquent about fathers. Now the day is nearly over, and I'm just getting to it. Why? 'Cuz I've been dang busy spoiling the father in this home. But I figure he deserves it, so it's all good.
On this day, I feel the need to thank four Fathers.
First, thanks to my own father, Arlon Hibbert, for the loving guidance given to me throughout my life. My dad has always been a wonderful example of optimism, hard work, generosity and integrity, and did his best to pass those virtues on to me.
I have many memories of time spent with him during my childhood; certainly too many to list here. A few of my favorites: sitting next to him on the bench seat of his pickup, shifting the gearshift when he pressed on the clutch, and once we'd reached high gear, leaning over to steer the wheel while we drove on the rural backroads; playing chess with him (and losing) over and over and over; seeing (and hearing) him in the stands during my high school basketball games.
I remember one conversation that I believe has had a profound impact on my life. I was young... 10 at most. I don't remember what he was trying to teach me to do, but I wasn't picking it up as fast as I thought I should. I grumbled, "I'm just too dumb!" Dad took me by the shoulders, forcing me to look at him. He shook me gently to accent his words. "You are NOT dumb! Don't EVER say that about yourself!" I am confident there were many other such experiences where he tried, by example and words, to teach me to be confident in my abilities and to have a positive outlook, but that one in particular was seared into my memory.
To the father of my husband, Norm, for his part in raising the man I would one day marry, and for exemplifying to him what it means to be a good father and husband. When I met Tom at BYU, he often spoke of his dad and how much he admired and loved him. By the time I met Norm, I subconsciously expected him to be 10 feet tall, based on his son's glowing account. He wasn't, but his gentleness and unfailing kindness was apparent from the moment we shook hands. My respect and love for him has only grown in the intervening years.
Thanks, Norm, for teaching your son what a real man is.
To the father of my children and my very best friend, for leading our family so well. Tom sacrifices so much of himself for the kids and me, working long hours on top of a long commute to provide for our temporal needs, and somehow finding time to spend time with each of us. His gentle influence has touched us all and made us want to be better people. My favorite things about him have never changed in the nearly 21 years I've known him: kindness, gentleness, patience, and a rare wit that still manages to surprise me after all this time.
Thanks Tom, for all you do and are for us.
And finally, to my Father in Heaven, for the abundant life he has given me. I know that I don't deserve it, nor can I ever hope to. When I think upon the many blessings I have, indeed there is no room to hold them all.
Happy Father's Day, everyone.