Monday, December 19, 2011

a living eulogy for Dad

SHEEESH! I got busy with life and forgot my living eulogy for my Dad. SO here it is....
Frank Calvert Davis Jr. hhhhhmmmmmm. He got lots of names too. Perhaps my parents didn't give me a middle name because they had so many of their own -they must have thought I would be happy with two. (one eyebrow moment)

My Dad was a 99 and 9/10% happy all the time kind of guy. At least that is how I saw him when I was little. Dad was the jokester around our house. One of my very favorite memories was the game of "touched you last." Mom would decide it was bed time (probably because she had had enough of us) but I am thinking Dad wasn't in agreement. So while brushing my teeth, Dad would stand next to me with the pretense of making sure I got every last tooth, and then calmly tap me on the back and say touched you last, then he would streak out of the bathroom. Game on! I would run after him, come to a corner, smack him and yell touched YOU last. This went on for about 10 minutes, with us running like nuts all over the house screaming and laughing until Mom would say "Frank!" in that Mom voice which meant enough! So Dad would say ok truce and haul me off to bed. Sometimes my brothers got into the frenzy too and that was complete bedlam. He would put me in bed, lean down for a goodnight kiss and whisper "touched you last" GAHHHH! The entire shenanigans started all over again. We'd get away with it for about another 5 minutes and then the "FRANK" was real and we knew we couldn't push Mom much more- not that we didn't try, but it was a hoot.

My Dad made Christmas a time of magic- mostly because he could make you wait for everything- the tree, a picture taken, presents, candy parties, about any part of Christmas he could drag out and make into a waiting game for ever, until you were so whipped up into a frenzy you couldn't see straight, it was pretty heady stuff. He also took us on summer vacations that were so fun. I remember waiting for him to bring a trailer home that he had rented, and then we would pack it with food and clothes and mostly fishing tackle and at 4 am we would head out for parts unknown...wait... we always knew where we were going- Bear Lake and Yellowstone. But he did take us to California and Disneyland Colorado and Arizona and Canada and the entire west coast and many other great places. Sometimes he would make up songs while we were driving, and play games with us to keep us from killing each other on long drives.
I had a wonderful childhood!
My Dad was not around on Sundays a lot because he was always attending to one church calling or another, either in the stake or our ward. I remember him in bishoprics, as a stake or ward clerk and I remember that I knew that serving in the church was important because my Dad made it important. He was organized and meticulous and I learned that you don't say no and you do your best.
He worked at the Deseret News and I loved going and visiting him while he was at work. I remember the red grease pencils he used to edit the paper, and the metal plates that ran on a track on the floor to the different rooms and the huge rolls of paper whizzing past your head for miles. Dad took us to all kinds of events and he always had his "press pass" which he used to procure good parking spots and it always worked for some reason. Dad even introduced me to the love of my life...Ice hockey"
I think Dad spoiled us, but we didn't know it at the time. Only looking back now do I see that he gave us every wonderful childhood memory that a child could want.
He honored his parents. I did not know my Grandma or Grandpa Davis, but I was given a love of them through my Dad. He also honored my Mothers parents, and made sure they were a large part of our lives.
Dad was also a photographer. This brings back some not so fond memories as he took FOREVER to take a picture and wiggly kids aren't too fond of standing still, but he was good at it and I loved being in his darkroom "helping" him develop his film.
Dad was always fun and happy- except when we did something wrong and then he was just sad with us. I don't remember too many really angry times- but he really hated it if you left your shoes in the family room by the couch..Then you would hear your name and then 2 bangs as he threw them up the stairs. I hated that!
Dad was patient with us, and kind, but he didn't let us get away with things that weren't right. He taught us the gospel simply by his example. He taught us to work and to do a good job, and he taught us to have fun and joy in life. He took me fishing and to hockey games and sledding and we played tennis and racquetball and went snowmobiling and he didn't care if I was a girl. And when I got older and set him aside for other males, he waited patiently for any time I could give him, and he didn't complain about it.
He treated my mom, LJ he called her, with love and humor and respect, and he did NOT let us treat her any differently- If you want to see him mad, just disrespect my mother.
He loved animals and he let us have dogs. I thank him for that.
Words I would use to describe my Dad are honest, fun, hardworking, conscientious, intelligent,
a tad on the obsessive compulsive side, loyal, spiritual, thrifty, generous, and humble.
I have watched my Dad serve 3 church missions and countless hours on genealogy and temple work.
He was an avid fisherman, played many sports and loved airplanes. One of my favorite things to do with Dad was go out to the airport and watch the airplanes land and take off.
As Dad got older, he was plagued with health problems but this didn't stop him form church service. The saddest part of watching my parents age is that they are not the same people I grew up with, who made my youth so wonderful, but they are independent and they don't seem to want to be a burden, which might not be a bad thing. I think we morn our parent death twice. When they aren't who we grew up with and when they pass to the other side of the veil.
I love you Dad, and hope for you a joyous reunion with your parents and brothers and sister some day. In know that the Lord will be able to say well done, thou good and faithful servant.