Getting to Know Dad

“Getting to Know Dad,” New Era, Mar. 2009, 22–23

Getting to Know Dad

Because of my dad’s illness, I’ve grown closer to him and my Heavenly Father.

When I was growing up, I had a fantastic life. I remember thinking that life was perfect and nothing could ever go wrong. We were a happy family, and we lived the teachings of the gospel. I never thought anything bad would happen.

But then when I was 11 years old, it felt like disaster had struck. My dad brought us all into his bedroom and announced that my mom was having another baby, the eighth. I was so excited! But then he proceeded to tell us that he had just been diagnosed with a terminal cancer that may someday end his life.

It was hard to understand, and I really didn’t know what to do. Since then my dad has gone through many painful treatments and is now in remission. Through these difficult times, the Lord has helped and comforted me and my family countless times.

I also became closer to my dad through notes, calls, and walks. I used to leave little notes for my dad in his lunch box and on his desk. These little pieces of paper helped me more than I could ever dream. Now I call my dad almost every day during lunch and just talk. We also go on walks and talk about our day and our likes and dislikes. I’ve gotten to know my dad a lot better now, and I love to talk to him. He’s always interested in what I have to say.

My dad is not cured, and he probably never will be. But the simple gestures like little notes, a quick call, or a walk around the block have helped me understand, at least in part, why my family is going through this. I know that I’ve become closer to my dad, and so has my entire family. I love my Heavenly Father, and I know that He knows what’s best. My family’s love for the Savior has made me understand that I can keep going and that my family will be together forever. I know that this Church is true with all my heart.

Illustration by Cary Henrie