Ode to my father

 Reasons I love my dad:
1. He’s the smartest man I’ve ever met. Learning is really important in the Earnshaw family. My dad’s a lawyer and he reads books on neurobiology for fun. He is always excited to hear about what I’m learning and always has something interesting he’s studying to share. Growing up people would call him the walking dictionary – because seriously, he knows everything.
2. He loves my mom. In my marriage and family class this semester there was a quote that said “the best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother.” I love this. I still remember the tragic day I found out my dad loved my mom more than he loved me (I was about 4 and under the notion that he wasn’t supposed to love anybody more than me, ever). Now, 16 years later, I am so grateful for that love. Whenever she calls he answers, “hey beautiful,” and whenever he leaves he kisses her goodbye. One of my favorite memories with my dad is the night we went to Boston the week before I flew out to Utah for school. My mom had been gone visiting her family in UT with my little sisters the two weeks before and was going to be gone for another two weeks to get me settled. While sitting by the water in the North End after a fine Italian dinner, he read me poetry he had written about her. I loved that. I could tell how much he missed her and I could tell how much he loved her.
Graduation 2009

3. I love the things that he loves. The first three that come to mind are poetry, ice cream, and talking. My dad has hours of poetry memorized. One night we spent the entirety of the two hour drive back from my cousins in Maine listening to my dad recite poetry and scriptures. In Japan, when I was little, my dad used to stand in the hall between me and Caleb’s rooms and recite scriptures (and sing hymns) till we fell asleep. When I was even younger than that – just weeks and months old – my dad would get up with me in the night. He paces (I take after him on that) and as he would pace he would recite things. I would listen for awhile, and when I’d had enough, I’d stick my tiny fingers in his mouth to tell him he was done šŸ™‚ We also both love ice cream. I’m excited to go home and get ice cream and just talk with him. When the two of us talk its kind of funny. He can talk as much as I can and sometimes we both just want to talk. Speaking of talking, my favorite conversation I’ve ever had with my dad was a few months ago right after the love of my life had asked if he could marry me. My dad called, excited, to tell me about that conversation. Tears streamed down my face as the man I had loved the longest told me about how he and Ben talked about why they love me most.
4. My dad loves me. My dad is pretty big on achievement. He expects us to work hard and excel. I liked the praise and the feeling of accomplishment when I met those expectations. But, my dad is also very clear: “You are more wonderful than I could have anticipated, but don’t think for a moment that my love for you is in anyway tied to your surprising abilities or innate goodness. No, I loves you simply because you are Elisabeth, the daughter I held so often in my arms.” I love that. I love how he teaches me a little about God loves for me just by the way he loves me. I love how it isn’t conditional. I love how just being me is enough – but still somehow I always want to be better for him. 
We’re funny šŸ™‚

5. He holds the priesthood and he loves the Lord. My dad knows God. I can tell by the way he talks about Him, the way he teaches about Him, and the way he prays to Him. I love that my dad has lived his life the way He wants him to. I love that my father has a testimony of the restored gospel, the importance of family, the miracles in prayer, the saving power of the atonement, and that he shares it with me. I love that he taught me to know my Savior, Jesus Christ, from when I was little.
6. I get to be with him forever.
I have a family here on earth. 
They are so good to me. 
I want to share my life with them through all eternity. 
Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father’s plan; 
I always want to be with my own family and the Lord has shown me how I can. 
While I am in my early years, 
I’ll prepare most carefully 
so I can marry in God’s temple for eternity. 
Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father’s plan;
I always want to be with my own family and the Lord has shown me how I can. 
The Lord, has shown me how I can.

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