Being a Father

Becoming a father makes me reflect on my life and my time growing up. I can’t help but be grateful for what my father did for me. My perspective about life has changed for the better having gone through everything I have. As a kid, I felt invincible and thought I knew by the 7th grade how to make “big boy” decisions. I didn’t realize how much stress there is in the real world. When I left on my mission, it hit me how grateful I was that through my stubborn years, my dad (and mom) were patient, loving, and supportive. I wasn’t the easiest kid, but I always made sure to tell my parents just how much I love them and how grateful I was for them.

my dad

Happy Father’s Day. I wish people knew how much you mean to me. I was asked the question while speaking at the Skyridge High School Basketball camp “Who is your hero and role model?” Without hesitation I immediately said, “my dad”. I began to explain to the campers that my dad was the one who showed up to every basketball game, listen to music with me when I was frustrated or sad, and talk with me about all the stupid things humans do in life and that “every experience in life is a lesson to become better”. One thing I am grateful for is that my dad allowed me to pursue my passion in sports and encouraged me to pursue whatever my dream was. Dad, you are my hero and I want to be like you in every way.

Some of my favorite memories in life are with my dad. Lake Powell, lengthy drives to basketball tournaments, going shooting, throwing a ball, overcoming hard times, my dads text message memes, and a lot more. My dad has been there every step of the way through the thick and thin. Those who know my dad know he has a very dry sense of humor. He is one of the funniest guys I have ever met. He always makes a serious/stressful situation into one where everyone is laughing. His perspective on life is something I always wanted to have but couldn’t seem to figure out until after my divorce. He treats everybody with love and respect. My dad is one of the hardest workers I know and provided me with so many opportunities to succeed.

My dad is amazing at the little things in life. He is always the first one to text or call someone on a special day. One thing I noticed that my dad did growing up was whenever I would leave the house or go to bed he would ALWAYS give me a hug and tell me that he loves me and that he is proud of me. I don’t know if he knows how much that meant to me. Through the good times, and the bad times growing up, him giving me a hug and telling me how much he loved me changed me. His genuine love and support was ALWAYS there even when I felt like I was letting him down. He taught me to “learn through experience and do better the next time”. Through my teenage and high school years, he believed in me and  that belief made me want to be better. 

Dad, thank you for being the person you are. Thank you for teaching me that the little things do matter and that we are all in this life together as a team. Thank you for the endless memories growing up and for being an example of one who overcomes hard times. You are my hero. You are my role model. I want to be exactly the father you were to me. I love you, dad.

Chase Richards

I have received text messages today wishing me a happy Father’s Day. Obviously, I am so grateful for the wishes but I can’t help to think about Jack’s father, Chase, and his life. It’s hard to put words with feelings right now but here goes nothing …

Chase,

I’ve never met you, but yet, why do I feel like we are close friends? Writing this makes me feel so empty but also fills me with so much gratitude. The more I learn about the life you lived here on earth the more I feel at peace that God’s plan is greater than what we humans want. I feel so lucky to be with your little guy, Jack, and will do my best to raise him as the person you would want your son to be.

Your life, your legacy, your kindness, your genuine love for others, your humor, still lives. I hear stories of your life and it fills me with so much hope.  I strongly believe in life that things happen for a reason but I can’t seem to wrap my head around why you had to leave this earth so early. There are so many things in life I don’t understand nor pretend to act like I understand, and I have to be okay with that.

Today is fathers day and I can’t help but think about you and your life. The stories about you and the life you lived here on earth help me and motivate me. I know you have been called home early but I want Jack to always know that you are his dad. I will do my best to be that father you would be to him so when our time is up, you will be together again.

Until then, much love brother!

Nick