Sunday, June 19, 2016

Becoming My Dad

Wow. I haven't written here in nearly six months. That's probably due to writing for Mormon Geeks and finishing school and working full time (being an adult is busy, guys!). But anyways, no complaining about being an adult today (I actually kinda like it).

As today is Father's Day, I feel like it's the obligatory thing to say something about my dad today. So why not?

This is my dad, Rob Ficiur. He's a dork and we (his kids) like to make fun of him. He wears a fanny pack, he tells long stories that I don't always see the point of, and he has this bad habit of collecting audiobooks on CD and cassette tape (much to my mom's annoyance). As a result, I cringe a little when I look to buy audiobooks, realizing that I'm acting like my dad. In fact, when I was visiting my family last month, I mentioned to my sister-in-law that as I drove late at night, I put on an audiobook to help me stay alert, just like my dad. If I remember correctly, she told me that I'm becoming my dad. Part of me wants to cringe. At the same time, is that such a bad thing?

One of the blessings of having studied families in my undergrad is that I learned a lot about my parents. My parents are amazing. Most people know my mom is a convert to the church, but less people know that my dad is a convert. When my grandparents got married, my grandma was less active, so for the first decade of his life, my dad didn't go to church. If I'm remembering details correctly, it was when he was 12 his aunt started taking him to primary (which wasn't as bad as pre-teen Rob thought it would be). Fast forwarding, he started going to church, but his dad didn't let him get baptized until he was 15 (that was decades before my grandpa would eventually get baptized, but that's a story for another time). I say all this to say that I've been very impressed by my dad's testimony and faith. He took himself to early morning seminary since his dad wouldn't drive him. He served as a missionary for 18 months (missions were slightly shorter at that time). He followed the prompting to pursue a marriage with my mom, who he had every reason to NOT date.

Overall, my dad is one of the most Christ-like people I know. He has patience beyond what I can fathom, as he has taught a one-room classroom for decades covering seven or eight grades at one time. He is full of love, as he serves and has served so many people. He is an amazing friend, as I recently saw him interact with such love to a good friend of his. He is an amazing dad and grandpa, showing love to his kids that I want to emulate when I'm a father.

One of my favorite memories of my dad as a kid is when he'd tuck me in at night. For whatever reason, I had a cassette tape with the Goofy Movie soundtrack and we got into this routine of singing the song between Max and Goofy near the end of the movie: "Nobody Else But You". So whenever I think of Goofy and Max, I think of my dad.

In my teenage and adult years, my dad had become one of my closest friends. I have been able to grow close to him, opening up about the things that bother me or that I'm having a hard time with. He listens to my frustrations and he helps buoy me up when I struggle.

I know several people who have problems with Heavenly Father as a result of their experience with their earthly fathers. On the flip side, I'm grateful for a father who has given me an amazing example of what a father is like, which has helped in my relationship with Heavenly Father, bringing me closer to Him. 

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