Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Beautiful Courage

I got to do something wonderful on Sunday. I sat in the front row and watched my father speak in Sacrament meeting. It was an amazing, inspiring sight. No one in the congregation had any idea how difficult it was for him, how terrifying.

Some of you might remember me mentioning my Dad's special circumstances before. The man that raised me was an ultra-confident bomber pilot. He had positions in the church of responsibility. He was outgoing and friendly, with a bit of swagger to him. He was technical and precise, working as an engineer after he retired from the Air Force.

Then he hit some black ice one day and rolled his truck seven times, hitting his head each time.

His life is so different now. The swagger has given way to humility and tenderness. He needs a lot of help, and he's so gracious and thankful to receive it. He serves in the temple every week, sometimes more. He thrives on his 'grandpa hugs' and has a close relationship with each of my boys.
When my Dad took the pulpit, he was shaking. He smiled and mouthed to my mom sitting beside me, "I can't do this!" And he really couldn't. After hours of study, he wouldn't remember what his subject was. In the middle of a point, he would lose his train of thought. My mom worked with him for hours and hours. She made a booklet of notes for him, each page with a single enlarged word or two, stapled together so they wouldn't get mixed up.

When he began to speak, he set his notes aside, too scared to use them. But he spoke clearly, sweetly and humbly. He made all his points. He needed help remembering a word or two that eluded him, but the spirit of what he said was powerful.

Simply put, my Dad was blessed for his beautiful courage and his faith. He took a step into the dark, knowing he didn't have the ability to do what was asked of him. His capabilities were magnified, he was sustained. It was an amazing, humbling thing to witness.


Sleepless In St. George said...

thanks for that sweet reminder of how amazing the spirit is....what a great example your dad is!

The Bloxham Bunch said...

Thanks for sharing that. What a truley wonderful person--- It's been one of those days and this is just what I needed to hear. Thanks

Allison said...

Wow, that is really amazing! How wonderful that you were able to be there. Those are the moments life is really all about.

Jodi said...

That is an inspiring story. He looks like such a sweet man. You are very lucky to have such an amazing father.

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

I love too that he knew he did well. I love that he can have that shot of confidence.

Anonymous said...

I have chills after reading that. I wish I had something profound to say but all I can think of is that your dad rocks!

Michelle Stott said...

Wow! It was fun to learn more about your dad. That is a pretty cool story about his talk. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This post made me cry.
You have wonderful parents.

I had no idea about your dad until you explained it at Suzi & Matt's house.

I always saw your parents at the Temple and often chatted with your mom and I just love her spirit, and whenever I have seen your parents at Church I shook your dad's hand and could tell his spirit was strong, but I didn't know the full story, it is truly amazing and you are truly blessed.



Jenn said...

I would have loved to be there! I'm so glad you can be there since I can't.