Today, I would like to talk about my father. We lost him earlier this year (March 8th) to Signet Ring Adenocarcinoma. It was an extremely difficult way to see my father finish his mortal sojourn.
Dad was born in Amsterdam, Holland and remembers the day his city was invaded by Hitler's armies. Later in his life, he began telling us what happened during those years. The atrocities (illness, starvation, betrayal, horror, attempted murder, concentration camps and more) he and his family suffered, how they survived through those horrific years. He told us of his unmitigated joy in finding the gospel and emigrating to the United States of America.
I've included a link to his eulogy so that you may learn more about this truly incredible man.
But the real purpose of this post today is talk about the power of a good father. You see, I've had both kinds.
My biological father could not control his demons; pornography, infidelity and booze. He was an absent father who took no part in the raising of his children, even when he lived with us. He did not nurture and love his wife as she deserved to be loved. I have no good memories of Leighton Freeman Case. Which is the saddest thing any child can say about a parent.
But when I was sixteen years old Mom and Dad (Fritz Sluyter) began dating. You've really not lived as a teenager until the phone is ALWAYS tied up by your mother! Oh yeah, this was long before the age of cellphones.
A father is not the one that can provided the latest in clothes, jewelery, iPhones, trips and more.
A true father is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
A true father is loving, kind and yet patiently firm.
A true father is generous with his priesthood, feeling willing and privileged to give a blessing of healing, comfort or strength at any given time.
A true father is there through thick and thin, regardless of how tough the times get.
My father was such a man. I love and miss him so much. For his strength, his honor, his patriotism, his fierce defense and testimony of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, his unending love for his fellow man and most of all for the way he loved us.
My father gave me strength. He aided in the building of my testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. He gave me priesthood blessings whenever I asked or he felt I needed one. He hugged me and loved me every day he saw me. And the last words my father ever spoke to me were "You are a super daughter." He never spoke again except to painfully whisper to my mother that he loved her. He slipped into unconsciousness that morning, laboring to breathe and at 5:45 p.m. on March 8, 2007 my father shuffled off this mortal coil and soared into the heavens.
I miss his corny jokes. I miss his love. I miss his testimony. I miss his strength. I miss his ability to survive. I miss the way he loved my mother. I simply miss him.
This is the true measure of a father. My father, Fritz Hendrik Sluyter.