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Like Chuck Norris…

Randy in Korea 1973

 

This wasn’t quite the pic I was looking for, but I couldn’t find the one I had in mind.

 I clearly see a Kevlar helmet sitting on the dining room table – eye level, Dad’s home!  I used to wait for my dad by the door to have him sweep me off my feet, and twirl me around in the biggest hug.  I would beg him every morning to put me in his pocket and take me with him.  My 4 year old self brimming with joy learned that my Dad took time to be with me.   The wall of cinder block collapses on my 2 year old sister.  I see the blocks resting heavily on her head as my dad pulls her from the debris.  My 6 year old self learns the power of faith and a priesthood blessing.  Sitting on a 5 gallon bucket outside a tent with a rainbow trout in one hand and my dad’s pocketknife in the other…my 7 year old self learns to gut a fish and the importance of self reliance.  Standing in the kitchen, my dad wraps his arms around my mom and kisses her while we all fake gag.  My 8 year old self thinks kissing is gross, but learns my Dad loves my mom.  He then sweeps me into the hug and I know he loves me too.  Desert storm breaks out, my dad leaves to train others. So many troops deploy every week.  Not all of them return.  My 10 year old self realizes just how lucky I am to still have my dad.  Freedom bears a heavy price. Digging through the basement I discover a photograph from the 70s of my dad flying through the air, “Chuck Norris style” cleanly breaking some boards.  My 13 year old self learns don’t mess with Dad!  Oh and Dad will always keep me safe.  Spending hours at church setting up and taking down chairs, storing pipe for the raingutter regatta, late hours spent at church. My 14 year old self learns that charity is the pure love of Christ.  My dad retires so I can spend all 4 years at the same high school instead of living in Italy.  My 16 year old self learns the significance of sacrifice.  My dad taught me that knowledge is power, he taught me that I could do or be anything. He gave me the opportunity to thrive. My dad, was and still is 10 feet tall in my eyes. I look back on my childhood with fondness, admiration, love and the upmost respect for my father.  My father was vital in shaping who I have become.

~excerpt from my Father’s Day talk today at church today 

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4 Responses to “Like Chuck Norris…”

  1. Melanie says:

    It was a great talk Jessica! What a blessing to have such a wonderful father.

  2. Roger says:

    Ditto what Melanie posted. Also, you and your family will be missed deeply by the ward;(

  3. Jessica says:

    Thanks, Melanie and Roger!

  4. Rachel says:

    Was a great talk!