I was asked to speak in church on Father’s Day. I’ve written much about my father so I decided to share how another father has influence my life.
In the summer of 2005 I accepted a job in Seattle while our family was living in St. George, Utah. The job started immediately which meant Kim and our three young children would remain in our home for over a month while I got settled into my new job and searched for a place to live during the crazy run-up in home prices.
Although I was able to fly back to Utah a few times, it was a stressful time for us, especially Kim who was on her own to pack our belongings and clean our home on top of raising our children. It was August when temperatures in Southern Utah can soar to well over 110 degrees. I lost track of the number of times I scorched my hand that summer while grabbing the car door handle.
We owned one car at the time which remained in Utah. I got around Seattle by bus which gave me a lot of time to reflect on my decision to uproot our family. I wondered if I was making the right decision to move our children away from their grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. I wondered if I’d accepted the right job at the right company? Was the timing right? As the primary financial provider for my family, I wondered if making the move would eventually result in a wider selection of career choices. Given the ebb and flow of the technology sector, there were no guarantees.
I called Kim each evening to hear how things were going back in St. George. We’d chat for a while. I wanted to be there to help but couldn’t. But what I didn’t realize until later was that my family was watched over by another father, my father-in-law who lived a few blocks away.
Without waiting to be asked, he stopped by our home each day. One afternoon he replaced a burned out light bulb on our porch. Another time he brought over a phone when the battery ran out on our cordless model. And when I reminded Kim that the next morning was trash pickup she went outside to find that her father had come by, taken the cans to the curb, and returned home without saying a word.
My father-in-law stepped in to provide assistance when I wasn’t able to. This is an example of one father who understood that fatherhood requires leadership and offered it unconditionally to his extended family.