Now that I am older I can reflect back on all the life lessons and important things you have taught me. You have built me, and shaped me to be the person that I am. I appreciate all that you have done for me.
Thank you for loving my mother. Your commitment to your marriage has allowed me see to what loyalty means. Your devotion to one another makes an inspiring marriage many look up to. I know how sacred the vows of marriage are and the value of finding a true partner in this life because of you. You have made her laugh every single day, which brings joy to our whole home. I recognize that a good sense of humor is more important than looks or money. Those will not get a marriage through hard times, but sharing a laugh will.
Thank you for showing me how say “I love you” without necessarily saying the words. It’s getting up before everyone else is awake to put wood on the fire so mom is cozy while she drinks her coffee and does her morning crossword puzzle. It’s checking the oil in the car before I go on a trip then giving me a tutorial on what to do if I get a flat tire. You say “I love you” by attending all of mom’s church events because you know it makes he heart happy. It’s always making sure the fridge is full of mom’s favorite yogurt. You say “I love you” by bringing her a bowl of ice cream without her even asking. It’s in the way you fix a hearty “substantial” breakfast to make sure we start our days off right. Love is said in the little things that show you pay attention, care for everyone’s well-being and want your wife to be happy every day of this life. Today too many women put value on superficial things to determine if their men love them. But thanks to you, I know sometimes love isn’t shown through dozens of roses, expensive jewelry, and extravagant gestures. Love can be shown everyday in the simplest forms.
Thank you for making me work hard. The weekend afternoons spent raking leaves, mowing lawns, hauling brush, gathering wood and gardening seemed like the worst way to spend a day but now I realize sometimes there are tasks in life that simply just need to be done. They aren’t fun, and that’s okay. We need to roll up our sleeves and do it anyway. The early mornings I spent working with my show steers along with the daily chore of feeding/watering livestock taught me responsibility and commitment. A living form depending on me for their health and sustenance is the best lesson on how to be reliable. Not accepting any grade below a ‘A’ in school taught me to set high standards for myself. At the time I thought you were unreasonable but when it came time to apply for scholarships, I couldn’t be more appreciative for teaching me to persevere towards my goals. My investment in my education throughout my life was rewarded by the opportunity to spend four years at my dream college (Go Cougs!)
Thank you for trying with all of your might to pass on your common sense. And thank you for letting me know when I show a lack of it.
Thank you for being a strict parent. While I was in high school I thought it was ridiculous that I couldn’t date, or have a phone until I was 16. But I was able to mature and grow with positive influences instead of the most vulnerable time in my life being influenced by boys. Also, thank you for always putting a shotgun on the front porch whenever I bring a guy to meet you. The fear of God demands respect.
Thank you for making me be accountable for my own mistakes. My bad grade, my lost assignment, my poor decisions, my misspoken words are just that, MINE. It is my responsibility to make the situation right, suffer the consequences, serve my punishment humbly and find a way to apologize. Not being a helicopter parent swooping in to make excuses was one of the best things you could have ever done for me. Some of the greatest lessons in my life have come from dealing with the consequences of my own actions.
Thank you for being the best father, husband, and hard-working man that you are!