Some of my favorite childhood memories with my Dad involve water and swimming. My Dad is the best back floater I've ever seen. Get him in water and he'll just lay back and chill there forever. As kids this always turned into a little game for us. When he would lay on his back his stomach would stick out of the water and we'd try to sit on top of it like it was a hill or something. But then every time once we'd start to get up he would roll and roll and roll in the water like a log. And just like that it became a very challenging game that would occupy us in the water for a long time.
Some other favorite water memories happened at the beach. Another skill my Dad has is body surfing. This has led to a lot of times playing in the waves in the ocean. I love diving through the waves and just hanging out in the water waiting for a good wave to ride. I also love swimming really far out in the water with my Dad. We swim really far out and then catch waves back in. Whether we are diving through, ducking under, or waiting to catch a wave it's always a great time with my Dad!
When I was a kid my Dad commuted back and forth to California for work. One week during the summer I got to go with him and stay at my grandma's house in LA while he was working. I remember feeling so special being able to go with him. During the day I played with my grandma, usually Blackjack, and then each day we'd make a special dinner or treat that my Dad liked and have it ready for when he got back from working. That trip meant so much to me and I really cherish these memories.
Regardless of anything else, I think I could win this whole argument of having the best dad just by talking about all he's done with me and my car. Not only has he always been there to check my oil and my tires, but if there is any issues with radiators or fan belts he's my go to guy. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. After a plethora of car problems we thought we finally had my Neon fixed and good to go. After spending a weekend in St. George it was time to head back up to Provo and spend the summer working before my sophomore year of college. I had only made it close to Beaver, Utah before my car overheated and died on me. After freaking out and trying to figure out how I was going to get back up to Provo, move into my new apartment, and get to and from work everyday I called my Dad who quickly came to my rescue. Not only did he come meet me on the side of the freeway, but he moved all my bags from my car to his, tossed me his keys, and sent me on my way. Then he spent the rest of the day sitting with my car on the side of the road waiting until my brother-in-law was able to get a trailer and drive up and pick him and my car up much later in the afternoon. And while he worked on my car for the following few months I drove around the truck he had recently bought himself and never heard any frustrations or complaints from him. But of course it doesn't stop there. After my internship in LA I was driving back to Utah with a completely packed full car when my tire popped and I flew off the freeway and landed 30 feet into the desert sand near Barstow, CA. After I tried to compose myself, I called my Dad and once he made sure I was ok, he tried to calm me down and walk me through the next steps. After our phone call, in classic hero fashion, my Dad (and Mom) hopped in their car and drove the 4 hours to where I was and picked me up. While he never said anything about the inconvenience it was to rescue me all those times I still get a phone call whenever he drives past the areas and he gives me a little friendly reminder of how much I owe him.
In addition to all the great memories I have of my Dad, it is his character that makes him so amazing. My Dad is one of the most hardworking people I know. No matter how hard life is on him or how many great opportunities don't work out he never quits. He wakes up every day and continues on. It also amazes me how much he sacrifices not just for me, but for my entire family. He'll give up anything in order to help his family or get them where they want to be. It's always funny when I hear my friends talk about their loud and strong-willed dads because mine couldn't be any more the opposite. He is so quiet and gentle and kind. Definitely the strong, silent type. I can hardly think of more than a handful of times where he's gotten mad or complained.
Another quality I've admired in him is his constant faith and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without any questions or hesitation he goes to church on Sundays, fulfills his calling no matter how big or how small, magnifies his Priesthood, and taught me that as long as you're doing what's right it doesn't matter what else happens. Do what's right and it will all work out in the end.
On a lighter note, my Dad always makes me laugh when he tells stories or jokes. They tend to be long and delivered a bit slowly but you can always see how much enjoyment he gets from sharing them. I love when I'm at home visiting and I get the chance to just hop in the car with my Dad when he runs to put gas in the car or grab something from the grocery store. It's so nice to get those few one-on-one moments with my Dad.