I had a rough time my senior year in high school, with jerk guys in the halls and an administration that was clueless. My dad doesn’t know this, but just by being aÂ caring and strongÂ father and a wonderful husband to my mom he helped me in ways even I didn’t know until later in life.
As a woman growing up in an age when it is okay to hate men,Â when some really are jerks, to have a father who is good man, a real man, is important. Because of him, I didn’t grow up hating men. It could have been easy for me to do that.
He is also the one that introduced me to science and science fiction. Where would the world be if Ami Chopine hadn’t fallen in love with Isaac Asimov?Â AndÂ Orson Scott Card, who ended up being a real life mentor to me. Well, I guess the world would still be exactly where it is now, but I wouldn’t be enjoying it nearly as much.
I remember being small enough that he could carry me. I always felt veryÂ protected in his arms.Â
He used to be a deep sea diver, and would be gone for weeksÂ at a time. One nightÂ his coming home woke me up.Â Instead of sending us straight to bed, he played with my sister and I,Â crawling around on his hands and knees with us on his back.Â
When I was a teenager he was my Sunday School teacher, and he was one of the best I had. He taught me about the Atonement and repentance, and what a blessing that is as we strive to continually improve ourselves.
I remember him growing his hair out long and a mustache in order to take the pressure off a young manÂ at church.Â He kind of looked like John Lennon.Â Â
He always cared about the feelings of others. He liked to tease, but would make sure the person knew it was out of friendship and love.
He calls me Frank. It’s about my middle name, andÂ maybe my silly behavior as a kid. I just wasn’t a very delicate little girl, even though I was always small.
IÂ had to laugh at the reaction of any boys who came calling toÂ me at homeÂ when they first saw Dad, who is not a skinny 6’4″. But yes, I felt protected then too.
His meticulous attention to detail in his work – he is a carpenter -Â is an inspiration to me.Â Â If ever I succeed in my career as a writer,Â one of the biggest reasons will be because of that work ethic that he taught me. Talent is nothing, in fact it is hubris,Â without humble care to even the small things.
Thanks, Dad. I love you.