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Kathy Dingus

My Dad's Birthday was last Month, August 14th, to be exact. I just could not let the date go unnoticed, as if he had never been. I thought of him often that day, although it being his birthday was never discussed. I thought of all the many things he had taught me, by just doing his job as a parent.

Don't lie and say I had not been in Mom's bright red lipstick, when it was all over my face . . . A lie will catch up with you every time!

Don't drive too fast when it first starts to rain, that*s when the road is the slickest. It never fails . . . I think of this when I am driving and it starts to sprinkle raindrops on the road in front of me.

Stand up straight and tall, and act like you're somebody in the face of adversity even when all the kids at school were laughing at me... I suffered a lot at school for the beliefs of "the church." At that time they were not my beliefs yet . . . now they are and I understand.

Do your duty, even when it hurts. Dad always tried to do the right thing, even when it wasn’t convenient for him or his family, whether it was service for his job, or church.

Be courageous in the face of disaster, and trust in God, everything will be okay . . . even if it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted or expected. Sometimes God takes us where we least expect, in answers to our prayers, and he always answers, one way or another.

Stand firm on what you believe. . even when everyone else believes something different . . . Dad stood against employer, family, and sometimes his kids for what he felt was right, especially when it came to spiritual matters. He took many blows to his pride and still trod on toward Gods kingdom the only way he knew how.

Love life, and live it to the fullest . . . Dad crammed more life in his 58 short years than I could ever hope to, and more than most people ever will.

Love and trust in God, and realize He is in charge . . . Many times Dad would not know where his next job would be, but he trusted God that there would be a ‘next job.'

Be brave . . . even in the face of death. Dad was the bravest man I knew, but he faced his death head-on, knowing God would be there for him and for us. He was ready and not afraid.

Think of others and their feelings . . . Dad tried to teach us that if we think of others first, we'd not go wrong.

Music is the balm to the soul . . . and everyone likes different kinds of music. My Dad loved music and instilled that love in me.

Laugh in the face of adversity for God is on our side. Many times Dad was out of work; and he knew God would provide, and He always did.

Be loyal. He was loyal to his employers even when they did not honor him. If your children make mistakes, forgive and love them. For I made many, many mistakes and my Dad loved me, and he showed he did.

Realize your mistakes and apologize for them. Dad apologized for mistakes he made during our childhood years--a time when child rearing did not reflect the love and mercy of Christ, but required complete obedience and the penalties were harsh.

Be adventurous--whatever you're afraid of, at least try once. Dad would take us and perch us out on the edge of cliffs, or the Breaks Overlook, (before they had fences or barricades) just so he could take a picture and capture the moment. We would be frozen in place, too afraid to move, and Dad would say, "Smile!" Now I look back on those pictures and remember the good times.

These were by no means all the lessons I learned, but I’m sure glad I can remember, cry a tear and smile . . . I only hope one day, my children will look back on their life with me, after I have died, and remember me with love and be sad I'm gone, but yet smile for the good times . . . and look forward to the good times yet to come!

What will that mean...that will mean I have done my job just as well as you did, Dad. I hope one day you too can say, "You did good, Kathy, come and see the wonders . . . "