How do you put into words how your life changes when someone you love so much is gone? My goal this year was to become more like my dad. To continue his legacy of kindness , generosity, and optimism. In so many ways I felt like I failed. All those days that I spent laying in bed and crying. All those days that I did nothing. But then I realized one of the best things about my dad was his ability to move forward. He didn't dwell on things of the past. He didn't beat himself up if he wasn't perfect. (I am actually not sure where I got that trait from.) He never held a grudge and he never worried about the future. He just enjoyed life, one moment at a time. If he made a mistake he was quick to admit it. He wasn't afraid to show his weaknesses. He never tried to be someone he wasn't. Just the other day a good friend of mine reminded me of this. I just need to be myself.
Overall, I did the best I could this year. I had hard days and very hard days. There has not been a day gone by that I didn't think of my dad. I hope that never changes. I want to think about him every day. I want to think about the great person that he was and is. I want to think about how to make him proud. One thing I have learned is that I don't have to be perfect to make him proud. In fact, I am sure that when I focus on all of the things I am NOT doing, it just makes him sad. So, my goal for this year is to just be the best ME I can, with all of my weaknesses and imperfections. I think that would make my dad proud.
I am grateful for the example of my father. He showed me how to love others unconditionally. He showed me how to find the good in everyone. He showed me how to have faith in Heavenly Father even when we don't know all the answers. When I asked Emily what she remembered about Grandpa John, one of the things she said was, "that he loved Grandma Nise." That was one of the best examples- how he treated my mom. I still miss you, dad, and I always will. Thanks for being an amazing father. I love you.
I am also grateful to my friends and family who have been there for me this past year. I know I haven't always been myself, and I am grateful for the patience and love you have shown. Sarah left a sweet gift inside my house today and it meant so much to me. My other good friend, Kristie, brought us a meal and it is that kind of kindness that helps in these tough times. My husband has been such a strength for me. Thanks to all of you.
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