I used to hide my English homework from my dad when I was little.
It’s not because I didn’t do my homework, but I did not want my dad to check my 10 sentences for proper grammar.
In my 9-year-old eyes, my simple 10 sentences with my vocabulary words would go from perfect to completely rewritten.
Funny how things work out because I would love to have that experience again.
I wish that I could joke with my dad or occasionally complain about him like my friends can.
My dad passed away from glioblastoma multiforme stage four cancer in December 2004.
I was 9 years old and the oldest of five children.
As the oldest, I wondered what memories I would keep and remember as I got older; I wondered what my youngest sibling, 7 months old at the time, would remember or learn about our dad as well. I’ve always wondered how my mom was feeling without her eternal companion.
I have grown up to be a lot like him. I grew up in his hometown and went to his high school, not only figuring out who I was, but who he was.
He graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in communication, and I am doing the same thing here at BYU-Idaho.
My dad and I also have a strange love for copy editing.
He was the city editor of the newspaper in my hometown, and I have been on the Scroll copy editing staff for four semesters.
When I was little, I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and see the dining room lights on downstairs. Eventually, I came to know it was my dad.
I realized he was writing during those late nights. If he couldn’t sleep or just needed to clear his mind, he would write.
My dad was an avid journal keeper. There’s a whole box of his journals that I have yet to read.
Since I began college, I inherited his late-night writing habit. Maybe it’s just the writer in me, but there is just something special and uplifting about reflecting on life in the middle of the night.
I have his thick, stick-straight hair that won’t curl, even in the thickest humidity, and if I do curl it, it’s straight within two hours at most.
I have his eyes. I don’t mean the fact that we have the same brown eyes, but instead the fact that we are both incredibly nearsighted. My mom told me that his eyes hurt after sitting in front of the computer for hours at work, and I came to the conclusion that I’ll never get contacts for the same reason.
Even though I like to think of myself as an understanding and open person, I have to admit I inherited his “stubborn Skipper” gene on certain topics.
I remember my dad having a funny sense of humor, and I like to think that I have one, too. His birthday was Saturday, and I celebrated by eating my annual cup of Ramen noodles. (His name was Rommyn.)
As I look out around campus, I wonder how many other students are like me. Do they want the same experiences I do?
I’ll continue chasing my dad’s legacy throughout my life, and I can only hope to become half of who he was.
Happy birthday, Dad. I miss you.