Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Dad

I have recently reconnected with a childhood friend.  She said something that has me thinking.  She said how lucky I am to have my amazing family around me.  I couldn’t agree more.  I’ve decided to tell a few things about each one, why I’m thankful for them, especially in regards to this last few months.  I’m going to do this in order of age, not importance.


My dad and Sawan had a very special relationship.  He called my mom and dad “Mom and Dad.”

When Sawan and I had our first conversation on the phone, it turned, as it inevitably would, to fishing.  He was SO into fly-fishing.  I could somewhat talk about it because my dad likes to fly-fish.  So he and I chatted about that a little bit.  I told him that my dad loved to go, but hardly ever caught fish.  Sawan told me that he’d have to fix that.  And he did.  I think Sawan would have loved it if I would have liked fishing with him, but he settled for the fact that I at least knew something about it.  One time, he was preparing for a trip to the San Juan river, and was telling me about a special fly he needed to tie for it, and I said, “Oh yeah, the Yong Special.”  His jaw dropped about a foot and then he was just like, “Wow, I love you.”  I knew what it was because my dad had talked about it so much, and the funny name had stuck in my head.

The first Christmas that Sawan and I were together, he bought my dad a little fly box and put in a few flies that he had tied.  My dad showed it to me the other day, and told me that it was one of his most prized possessions.  That same day, they went out to cast my dad’s fly rod in the back yard.  I watched them from the window.  I have always loved to watch men cast fly rods.  My dad is a big man.  He was a line backer in college (yeah, I didn’t date much in high school.  Boys were afraid of him.).  There are few things that he does that can be described as graceful, but watching him cast is a thing of beauty.  It looks like a dance.  I have no idea what they talked about out there, but I remember watching them, thinking that it was just so beautiful, watching two of the men that I loved the most in the whole world, together, talking and casting a fly-rod.

So that was the beginning.  They went on lots of fishing trips together.  My dad caught lots of fish.  Sawan ruined him for fishing, I think.  Sawan told me after what ended up being their last fishing trip together that he was always sneaking a look at my dad’s fly boxes and filling them up for him.  Sawan tied his own flies so he always had more than he could ever use.

My dad took care of me so well that first night of my widowhood.  He handled so much.  He came in early the next morning (after my first night alone) to check on me, and for us to try to figure out our plan for the day.  I remember my first words being, “I made it.”  And he said “Atta Girl.”  And that being so important to me.  Just so encouraging.

He has been my hero so many times in this last year that I can’t even count, from stuff with the car, to offering to come over and plunge the toilet, to talking me off a ledge when the dogs had killed a squirrel in the back yard, and it was just so gross (“It’s ok, just put a bucket over it and I’ll take care of it when I get there.”).  When there’s things that I feel I just can’t do, I can count on him to either give me a pep talk so that I can manage it, or he’ll handle it for me.  I’m sure I’m going to think of a million more things that I’m thankful for about my dad after I post this, so I’ll just say that these are some.

Thanks, Dad, for taking such good care of me.  Thank you for loving my husband like a son, and being like a father to him.  I love you so much.

Fishing together, March, 2009


  1. OK, that makes me cry. Your dad was such a great father to me our CoMission year. Sergei and I love him so much!

  2. First, I have to say that in the picture they look like they are holding hands. Just sayin'. Second, that is the sweetest tribute to your Dad and to Sawan and the place he had in our family. I LOVE your blog!

  3. @Grammy...Sawan's hand is on Dad's shoulder (it sortof looks like it is growing from there). Dad's hand is holding a water bottle. This was the only one I could find of them fishing together, and I had to crop out Scott S. There's lots that Dad took of Sawan, and Sawan took of Dad, but this was it of them together.

  4. You got my tears flowing. Love you, Becky

  5. Beautiful Noey! What amazing men we have in our lives. I'm honored to have been a sister of Sawan's and a daughter of Jerry.

  6. Uncle Jerry is at the top of my list of most favorite people in my life. I only wish that I could have met and gotten to know Sawan. Everyone tells me I would have loved him.

  7. Oh Noey. You're so good. And so is our dad. It's been an amazing thing to watch him care for you and grieve for Sawan. Thanks for reminding me how amazing.

  8. Jerry Hoggatt is one of my favorite people in the whole world, too. I really miss him...he's an example for me!