It wasn’t until I got older that I realized how much I had learned from my dad.
The best lesson I ever got from Dad was after I returned from my mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While I was gone, my mom’s back problems got worse and worse. They never told me because they did not want me to worry. By the time I got home, there were not a lot of choices left.
One evening, Dad called all five of us kids into the living room so he could talk to us. He made it very simple. The lecture was one I have never forgotten. “Your mom is the most important member of this family. I will sacrifice everything, including you kids, for her.”
From that point on, even more than when we were growing up, Dad took care of Mom. She would travel long distances on business trips with him in the car by alternating between sitting in the front and lying down in the back. He would take her to Disneyland so she could just walk around, shop and see the sights since she could not ride the rides.
Mom had not been involved much in the church since I was a boy. Dad was teaching Sunday School in a retirement branch later in life. One Sunday, as he was ready to leave, Mom asked if she could go with him. He told her he would wait. She attended that branch with him until just before she passed away.
On the day before Christmas, Dad would go out and buy one more gift for Mom. Often, I would join him. Today, my son and grandson join me as we go out to buy this "last gift" for my bride every year.
Dad did not spend a lot of time talking to me about things. I learned by watching. His example stands before me even today. I just hope I can do the same.
Steve Asay was taught by his dad, Dick Asay.
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