Celebrating Fathers and So Many More

This was originally written back in 2014, but today it was a great reminder of all the great men and women in my life.


It's Father's Day. I have lots of thoughts and emotions on Father's Day. I love my father James dearly. I never doubted his love for me. He taught me many things. He gave me a love for learning, of books. He told me I was beautiful without makeup and not to let the world tell me otherwise. He took four kids to church on Sunday as a single dad and I got to see from BOTH of my parents that we go to church even when it's hard. He took me to movies and gave me my love for the big screen. He taught me piano and instilled a love for classical music. I love reflecting on the way he would laugh at me lovingly when I tried to negotiate for things. He told me he laughed because I impressed him with the way I thought about things (as a parent I totally get that now). He taught me "To be good is to be weird. To be weird is to be good." And laid the groundwork for confidence and not allowing labels and others determine my worth. This is just the beginning.

I love to think of him and yet, it pains me a little because he's not here for me to tell him in person. I've had 11 Father's Days now without him and it doesn't get any easier.

My parents divorced when I was 8 and even before he passed away, I had many great people who loved me and helped me when my father couldn't. Today also reminds me how it's not just dads.

I think of my mom Candy Salisbury on Father's Day and how she did a pretty darn good job being 2 parents. She made it look easy being a single mom and though I know it wasn't, I think of her on Father's Day.

I also think about other great men who reach out and care for the kids that land in their path. Home teachers, bishops and neighbors. Men like Paul Bouchard, Monty Magleby and Joe Merrill and President Cox, who gave me priesthood blessings and taught me how to ask God for help when I couldn't get the answers myself. They took my brothers on camp outs and helped them earn scout badges. They didn't have to, but boy, I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father for placing these men in my path. They have fathered me in many ways and I'm better because of them.

Sometimes it's easy to think of how my life was hard and how there were holes in my life that other people didn't have. If I let myself over think things, I can think about divorce and death into a depressive state. But with my eyes wide open and filled with tears there are no holes. There's a perfectly laid plan for all of my needs to be met, it just doesn't look as conventional. It's so much better.

So finally, and with deep gratitude I honor my Father in Heaven for giving me all I ever wanted, all I ever needed and filling my cup with wonderful men, a fabulous mother and a holiday to celebrate all of them!

Michelle McCullough