It's been a little over a week since my fiance's father passed away. I've been reflecting a little bit today on some of the many things I learned from him in the too-short time that I knew him here on earth.
I met him on New Years Eve (the same night that Brent and I became an official couple). That night, despite the toll that cancer had taken on his energy, I met a man who knew how to laugh and enjoy time with him family. I was very blessed with the opportunity to closely observe his subtle, yet magnificent example for the next 7 months.
While cancer was forcing his body to digress, I watched him progress unwaveringly in spirit and love. For his funeral, his wife wisely asked the man speaking to focus on the Plan of Salvation and specifically on the principle of progression.
I'll never forget a small and simple yet profound lesson he taught me on progression one evening.
I was over at their house one night, sitting with Brent's family in their living room. They asked me about my new job. I had just started a second job where I worked with and taught children ages 0-4 who come from difficult circumstances. They asked about details of my first day. I joked about how I was going to get really good at singing colors in Spanish, counting to 10, knowing the alphabet, and by the end of working there I'd probably even be able to draw a perfect circle.
Brent's dad chimed in at that comment and added, "well, after that you could always learn to draw a perfect circle with your left hand".
He was teasing, but that witty remark taught me a lot about his character. He was someone who was constantly searching for ways to improve and enhance life. And he was right. I had the ability to utilize my circumstances to gain so much more than I had originally thought of. Why settle for less when I could do greater things with such small means? I could have gone my whole life getting board of drawing circles, but instead I get to enjoy an occasional attempt at being ambidextrous. Simple, but it taught me a lot about living life to it's fullest.
I am grateful for the example he set of finding ways to endure well: to progress and enjoy the journey now. I was blessed to watch as he found ways to tighten bonds with his family (including me), and to utilize every last moment he had to grow closer to God. The progress he made in his life truely attests to the fact that endured to the end.
Right now, my left handed circle looks a lot more like an abstract hexagon. I hope by the time I see him again after this life, I'll be able to draw a perfect circle for him with my right hand, with my left hand and maybe even with my toes too.