Sunday, June 19, 2011

52 Blessings – A Real Diamond

Once, we gave Cali a pair of diamond earrings for Christmas.  She’d wanted a nice pair of earrings and diamonds are nice.  Real nice.  Cali seemed pleased with them and wore them often.  She assumed they were zirconium so she wasn’t too upset when she lost one of them a few months later.  That is until she saw my face.  Then she knew they weren’t zirconium.
She cried, “Why didn’t you tell me they were real?  If I’d known they were real I’d have been really careful with them.  You never do things like buy real diamonds, how was I to know you’d buy me real diamonds?  Oh . . .  why didn’t you tell me?”

I could hardly tell her they weren’t zirconium when I assumed she knew they were diamonds.  And therein lies the two-fold diamond-earring-lesson:  It’s really hard to value something that you don’t know is valuable; and if something is valuable, you had better let people know. 

Like fathers.  Good fathers are like diamonds.  Real valuable.  They must never be taken for granted, because they make the world a much stronger, safer, happier, easier place for e.v.e.r.y.b.o.d.y.  AND, they need to be told how valuable they are.  Calvin you’re a diamond.  We want you to know how valuable you are to each one of us . . .  


One of my favorite things about Dad is how incredibly caring, thoughtful, and giving he is. Here is an example to illustrate each of my points:

1. Caring--I've always known how much Dad cares about me and his other kids (which have recently doubled). Dad has a very healing touch and presence.  He brings you Sprite, ice cubes, and crackers when you are sick and hugs you and pats your cheek when you are sad. He makes you dinner when you're home alone with him. If he hears a noise outside when it's dark, he goes outside and checks it out. He cares about his family that much. He takes good, good care of whoever he is in charge of. He cares about all of us on a very deep and personal level and works hard to make sure you know how much he cares about you.

2. Thoughtful--When I was a senior in high school I got really sick of being social with my friends so I would sit at home with my parents most weekends. Dad came up with the idea of the three of us doing something fun each weekend. We either went out to dinner, rented movies, went out to the movies--sometimes even making a whole evening of it and going to Tri-Cities, just because we could. Or sometimes Dad would bring home good treats for dinner (like fresh shrimp, taco-truck tacos, or something new to try). I loved being home alone with just Mom and Dad because Dad was so thoughtful and took such good care of me.

3. Giving--Dad is very giving. Whether it is giving up his paycheck to take care of us, giving me $100 whenever he would drive me all the way to college in the fall, helping me with chores, working in the yard and garden to make our home nice, or sharing his Diet Pepsi with me, Dad gives everything he has to love and serve others.

I love you Dad. You really are the best dad in the world.  Ande


I appreciate that Calvin leads the family with an example of service. From cedar chests, picture frames, and cradles to cooking some mean BBQ, he shows his love through charitable giving of his time and talents. Elder Ballard said, "Priesthood offices are not status symbols but opportunities for service." This, he called, the greater priesthood and leads us to living celestial lives that prepare us for the celestial kingdom. Calvin is on that road and provides this example to the family. Thank you for your service and Happy Father's Day.   Joe


Of all of Dad's attributes, the one I admire most is the important role his family plays in his life.  I have never doubted that we are the most important thing to him.  It is easy to see this in the choices he makes (i.e. always being there at every wrestling match or other sporting event, finding things he can do with each of us kids that WE enjoy, or just spending time with our whole family) and in how he acts (he loves nothing more than talking with all of us or telling us about each other).  It is easy to see that our family is truly his most prized possession.  I hope I can always make family as high of a priority as he has his whole life.  I also love all of his little quirks (like shaving his head just because he wants to).  I love Dad.  He is a great man and I truly aspire to be like him in so many ways.  He is one of my best friends (only Michelle is higher).    Ty


One reason I love and admire Calvin is that it is very apparent how important family is to him and how much he loves each member.  I have so much appreciated how welcoming he has been to me and how much he builds me up.  He makes sure I know that I'm loved, appreciated, and taken care of.  I've also enjoyed watching him in the relationships he has with each of his kids and their spouses.  I've loved seeing how much he enjoys spending time with each of us, how much he cares about the things that are going on in our lives and what matters to us, and teaching us a thing or two about life.  He still finds opportune teaching moments even with his grown children.  Calvin is a great example to me of how to put family first and to make everyone feel loved and appreciated.   Michelle


Dad is a great father for many reasons.  I couldn’t begin to list all the reasons that he’s an amazing father.  But one of my favorite things that makes him great is his support for us kids.  I always knew that he would back me up in the decisions I made.  He supported me in any activities I pursued.  I loved knowing that he would always be at my football games, and he always cheered me on when I was discouraged with how things were going on the team.  He stayed involved with West Point while I was there.  I have always known that whatever I did, he would make it important in his life and he would be supportive and involved.  He has also sacrificed so much to support our family.  He was willing to work several jobs to make sure we were taken care of.  I couldn’t have asked for a better father.  I love you, Dad.  Abe


There are so many things I love and appreciate about Dad.  Immediately he made me feel so welcome to the family.  He calls me occasionally to let me know he’s thinking of me.  We both love gas station hot dogs, and just yesterday he called me up to let me know he found a really good one, and to let me know he was thinking of me.  It was something so simple, but made me feel so good.  Living in Moses Lake for a year, I was able to see what a hard worker Dad is.  Even when he gets home from work, he jumps on the lawn mower and mows the lawn ‘til dark.  He never stops until everything around the house or at work is done.  He is an excellent worker and provider.  The thing that really stands out to me though, are the road trips Dad and I have been on together.  When Abe asked Dad to drive me back to Georgia and then later to Colorado with all our stuff, he didn't hesitate at all to say yes.  He loves to help his kids in any way possible.  Those road trips mean a lot to me, and I will always be grateful for the time I was able to spend with Dad and the bonds that we made.  Thank you for all you do, Dad!  I love you!  Grace


Cactus Cal-
Happy Father's Day. You are a great father-in-law, friend, grill buddy, shop mentor, wood master, gun sensei, coyote predator pal, garden guru, and partner in crime. You and Jayney Payney are one of the biggest perks to being married to Cali. I've learned alot from you and have always appreciated how you treat Cali and how good you are to both of us. This weekend I am grateful for the time you spent helping me get ready to be a dad, specifically that we could work together on handcrafting our baby cradle - another Follett family heirloom. They just keep getting better! Here's to another great year and being a great grandfather.   Ray


            I want you to know a few things this Father’s Day.  First, I have always appreciated that you put your family first.  I have NO idea what it feels like to not feel safe, loved, and accepted by a father.  That is not even something I can comprehend because it is so deeply a part of how you care for me.  I’ve ALWAYS known that my dad would protect me, care for me, and do everything in his power to help me succeed.  I’ve seen this exemplified by you selling possessions in order to get the money someone in our family needed.  I've watched you drop everything in order to come to one of our rescue.  I’ve been told by you, usually on a daily basis, that you’re proud of me and that you love me and that you know I can do anything.  Every challenge I’ve taken in life has been done with the assurance that you were right there behind me . . . I’ve never felt alone.
            Second, you taught me how to say I’m sorry.  That may seem like a small thing, but I’ve realized that it is often a VERY hard thing for people to say.  You taught me how to say it and when to say it and that it’s important to do so.  I’ve learned it through your teaching as well as by your example.  I’m so grateful for you and that you had the wisdom and humility to teach this; especially because I’m often wrong and seem to need it frequently.  Do you remember me sobbing the morning of my wedding?  It was because I was so scared to give you up as my primary protector and provider.  I worried that there was NO way Ray could fill your shoes adequately.  Thank you for setting my standards so high.  Thank you for being my father, in every sense of the word.
            I love you very, very much.


Dear Dad,

      From the time I was knee high to a grasshopper, I wanted to be stuck to your coat tail and just do everything you did.
      Be just like you !!!!
      I will never forget running down that dirt road, crying, chasing that feed truck down because you snuck out early.  
      My time spent with you has been too few and too far between.
      On this Fathers day, I want you to know that you have always been, and will always be my HERO!!!!
      Thank you for all you've done, and taught me over the years.
      I love you,



Calvin is such a loving and caring father to his children.  I appreciate the way he stays in contact with Trevor.  They exchange several phone calls each day.  These phone calls are not only good for Trevor, but they also keep us in touch and updated with the rest of the family.  Calvin always ends his phone calls with “tell Michelle and the girls hello”, we have always felt so welcomed and a part of your great family.
We have certainly enjoyed the times when Calvin has come to stay with us while on hunting trips, he is always so gracious and a joy to have around the house, except when he tries to barbeque the goats!  We love and appreciate all you do for us!  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!  Michelle

Calvin playing charades

In  The Family:  a Proclamation to the World  it states that “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”

Calvin is a great preside-r.  In family matters, every vote and voice counts. Family prayer has always been important to him and he has made sure we pray together regularly.  Often I wanted to read other books of scripture as a family, but each time we finished The Book of Mormon, Calvin would say, “Let’s start it again.  The prophet said to read it daily and that’s what we’ll do.”

Calvin is a great provider.  The kids have mentioned that he often held several jobs at a time or has sold things important to him to provide what we need.  He has never acted like providing for a family was a burden.

Calvin is a fierce protector.  I pity the man or beast that threatens the safety or well-being of Calvin’s family.  (Truly.  More than once I've said, "Now don't shoot it Calvin.")

One of the things I love about Calvin is that he enjoys the kids.  He prefers their company over any other, and often says, “I wish ______ were here.  He/She would love this.  We’re going to do this with them sometime.”

I don’t take it for granted that Calvin takes his role as a father seriously; a good father, one who tries to parent like our Heavenly Father does, is one of the greatest blessings a person can have.  I’m really grateful our kids got that blessing.  I love Calvin.  Jane


Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

What a wonderful post!

We are so glad that we have been able to spend time with Calvin. He really is a man of honor. I hope he knows what a diamond he is!

The Derek West Family

Cali said...

For The Record: I had those earrings for more than a year before I lost one.

I love you dad. I can "amen" to everything that everyone said. You are an incredible man. Thank you for picking me to be in your family.


Rachel said...

Just so it's cleared once and for all- I claim Calvin as MY DAD TOO! I love him with all my heart. He's been everything to me I've never had... (even if I still only own one moccasin. -Good thing the picture frame paid the debt 10 fold.)
I think you're the greatest Calvin. I'm right behind Trevor in the Hero worship - or, you're right behind Grant. Take your pick. :)

Bert said...

I'm thankful for the example Calvin has been in my life as a great Dad. I have always been a little jealous of Calvin because my wife has always adored him and my kids have all thought he was the greatest guy ever. But you can't help but like the guy even when your jealous of him because you know exactly how that wife and kids feel. Calvin thanks for everything, thanks for being human but being able to show us how to overcome all obstacles. I've appreciated being able to call you "Brother".


Ande Payne said...

I loved reading this post and seeing how everyone loves Dad and was able to say things I wanted, but couldn't say. Happy Father's Day Dad. I love you.

Anonymous said...


I just wanted to tell you again how much you mean to me. I couldn't have asked for a better dad. You've been a great example to me, and I've always looked up to you as my greatest hero. I love you.


tina said...

Awe . . . can Calvin adopt me because I never knew my dad, so I have an opening. :) I do have a good step-father and great father-in-law, so there's a little competition for Calvin there!

Clark said...

we your bigger is good form you
we love it your picuter

Becky said...

I should learn to have a box of Kleenex handy when I read your posts, Jane!