I have three fathers in my life who have influenced me greatly.
The first if my own father.
He has been my father for the past...well, if you know me you know how long... and for that I'm thankful. He has taught me many lessons probably without even knowing it.
Lesson one--Always work hard.
I have never known a man to physically work as hard as my father. When a job needed to be done he just rolled up his sleeves, put on his coveralls and did it. I remember many trips to the rental place getting hedge trimmers, tillers, and other big equipment and watching dad wrestle those things until the job was done. I remember starting to make a closet for my bedroom and dad coming in and helping me finish the job. Even today, the man doesn't quit. I want to check under the hood to see if there are batteries in there. I think he would die inside if he couldn't get up and go and do something.
Lesson two--Always dream.
My father was a dreamer. Every year we were going to be rich. I remember working for him stuffing envelopes, putting postage on them and walking to the neighborhood mailbox to deliver the next in the latest of his adventures. Not many paid off, but he never stopped believing that one day his ship would come in. Today I'm a dreamer and believe that tomorrow will be a better day.
The other father is my father-in-law. I've know him for the past 20 years, more than half my life now! The lessons I've learned from him mostly are shown in how my husband acts as a father, but I've also learned a few lessons from him.
Lesson one--Have integrity.
Integrity is defined as "moral excellence, honesty, wholesomeness, soundness." That fits my father--in-law like a glove. If there ever was a man of integrity it is Steve Blanding (the older one). In hearing stories about how he conducts business and his life it is always with integrity. As a businessman I can only imagine how many times it would have been easy to cheat, steal or do something that would give one gain and yet, my father-in-law never did so and probably never even thought about it.
Lesson two--Be selfless.
I don't recall one time being in my in-laws' home where after dinner his sleeves weren't pulled up and he was doing the dishes. I don't recall one time when he said, "no" to his wife when she asked him to help. I don't recall one time that he didn't help his children out when they asked for help.
The other father is my own husband. I've known him as a father for the least amount of time, but I think I know him the best. It has only be 17 1/2 years since he was a father. He is one great father! I've learned a lot from him.
Lesson one--Never compromise.
When he started his first real job after college he was with a company that you sold your soul to. He decided he wasn't going to. Of course that meant that he was often over looked when promotions and bonuses were handout out. BUT he was there when it mattered. He was there when a son needed to go to the hospital for surgery or stitches or whatever. He was there when his wife needed him because she was in an auto accident. He was always there. He lived the by the words,
"The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home."
David O. McKay
Lesson two--Respect and love always.
I have learned more about respect and love from watching my husband interact with my children and me than anyone else. It doesn't matter what silly thing you do, say or cause to happen, he will still respect you as a child of God. It doesn't matter how bad we hurt his heart, he will still love us. With six children there is bound to be problems inside the home, problems that cause all sorts of troubles for him either in his heart, his wallet or his time and yet, he shows respect and love to those how might at that moment think they deserve something less. I swear his tongue must bleed a lot of times when he talks with me as I'm not humble, not forgiving and very obstinate. But he still loves me.
I love all three of you!