Love You, Dad

The headstone reads: We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction. That we may all sit down in heaven together.
~Lucy Mack Smith.

Today is a special day where we remember those who've passed before us.
Especially those who have died while protecting our freedoms.
I'm so grateful for the unselfish service of those men and women who have given me the abundant life that I have today. And for their families who've supported and loved them. My heart goes out to you.

I've lost a few close family members, but the closest is my Dad. He died at the young age of 54 when I was just 19 years old and my younger brothers were 15, 13 and 8. We were the only ones left at home when he passed away. My 6 older siblings were off and married.

A few favorite memories of my dad are:

 He was an amazing accomplished pianist. While growing up he would practice for 4 hours each day! His piano teacher was the famous Reid N. Nibley (brother of Hugh Nibley), who wrote the LDS song, "I Know My Father Lives." I loved hearing my dad play the piano each morning before he left for work. He would start with his scales and move onto several different pieces he was working on at the time. My mom was an accomplished vocalist and together my parents would create beautiful music, sometimes even holding their own concerts in our home. My parents taught us to love music. And I did. My dad would play piano pieces from Rogers and Hammerstein while I stood next to him singing tunes from The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, Cinderella, etc... My parents always encouraged me to try out for musicals, but I was always too shy. They were in several of them.

 My dad was a very knowledgeable man. He was always devouring books. He also loved going on long drives, usually up in the canyon to the Uintah's or Park City or the Alpine Loop. I had a few nice long drives alone with my dad. I'll never forget the time just he and I drove to California from SLC without any air conditioner, in the SUMMER in my brother's little Honda Civic. THE WORST!!! But those times were also the best. It was a chance for my dad and I to really talk. And oh boy did he have some pretty deep thoughts. For example, did people really live longer way back when (you know, people who lived to be 400+ years old), or was it that the earth was rotating faster, causing the days to be much shorter?
Deep thoughts.

My dad wasn't a very warm and fuzzy guy. I did see him kiss and hug my mom on occasion, and he would give us hugs after family prayer. But he wasn't one to go out of his way to be affectionate. He liked to tease occasionally. Some of our friends growing up were even afraid of him. He just wasn't a very approachable guy, even as talented and smart as he was. Something I find peculiar is that he was raised as an only child and then he later ended up having 10 kids!!! With that, I was blessed to have a very special experience with my dad in his last days.
I'll try to be brief:

My Mom had been in the hospital (1st time ever, except for childbirth) for about a week with fluid around her heart. On the evening he brought her back home he pulled me into their bedroom and we had a heart to heart. Just my dad and I. He shared with me how much he loved my mom and how grateful he was that they were sealed in the temple so they could be together for eternity. He told me how much he loved me and everyone in our family. I felt very touched by his kind words. Little did I know that I would be checking my mom back into the hospital the very next day with blood clots in her legs, and then later that evening my dad would come straight to the hospital from work after we phoned him that my mom was back in. And somewhere along his journey down he would suffer a stroke, but would still be able to walk all the way up to my mom's hospital room, dip his finger into my mom's cream pie and smear it onto his cheek, almost making it into his mouth. He would then slouch into the chair next to my mom's hospital bed. I would then call the nurses in and follow them down to the ER with my dad strapped into a wheelchair. I would then check my dad into the hospital.
And he would end up dying the next day in the ICU. 

I'm so grateful for my dad and the lessons that he taught me. For loving music. For keeping my mind constantly learning. But most of all, for his testimony of eternal families. I look forward to the time when I will get to wrap my arms around him again.

This is an actual signature from my dad. He always signed his letters to my mom like this. Je t'aime means I love you in French. And yes, that is where he served his mission:

Here are a few fun pictures from way back when:

The whole Fyffe fam minus Duncan who was still up in heaven:

Dad holding David. Memo (grandma) holding the twins Dolly and Dorie. Donnie and Debbie.

Dad with everyone from above, minus Memo. Just thought this was a cute one:

Dad with the three oldest, Donnie, Debbie and David:

Amazing pic of my folks with the three oldest. Unfortunately it's a little damaged. You get the picture:

My parents with the five oldest. The two dark haired girls are cousins:

Dad starting David at a young age:

The whole Fyffe fam. And yes, sportin' some sweet pastels. It was the '80's. We were IN!

If you're interested, here's a video I made a while back of some old family photos. But more importantly, the background music is a piano piece played by my dad at my grandma's funeral.
It was her favorite piece he used to play.
Etude in E Major.
It starts out slow, then picks up about halfway through.

1 Response
  1. Such great memories and photos of your dad! I LOVE that slideshow you put together! Wish I could have met the fella!!