Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Dad

Once again, I'm a little slow, but a couple weeks ago it was homecoming. Since I've graduated from high school, it's been interesting to be around every once in a while for homecoming to see all of the things we used to do when we were in high school!! Although, I know we didn't look as silly as the kids do now-a-days!:) Anyway, this was a special homecoming for the Nate fam--my dad was recognized as a coach. He is going to be getting a Gold Card. What that entails and all of the details behind it, I'm not sure. It was a really touching program. We felt like we were at a funeral. All of us (including Brian & Kevin) had red, puffy eyes by the time it was over. If you know my dad at all, you know that he was really uncomfortable with the spotlight being on him. It really meant a lot to all of us that the coaches put as much thought and time into the recognition as they did.

My dad's MS hasn't been doing so well lately, so it has been really hard on all of us to see him deteriorate. He seems to be deteriorating at a much faster rate now. He has to drag his left leg around by the end of the day. It's hard to watch him try to walk to the locker room at half time or walk over to shake hands with the coaches after a football game. The other coaches are so good to him. He's never left to stumble off the field alone. I've thought a lot about it since homecoming and I'm so thankful he has good friends that care about him. He's been coaching with Coach Dayton and Coach Teichert for so many years now. They are his best friends and it's so touching now to see how their friendship has grown over the years. Not all of us have the privilege of living around and coaching with our best friends, but I'm thankful my dad has been able to.

I don't know how long we'll live here--maybe forever--but I'm so thankful we have had the opportunity to live here and spend so much time together as a family. For about two years all of us lived here except Lori, and it has been such a neat experience. I have become very best friends with all of my siblings and sisters-in-law. I'm pretty fond of my brothers-in-law too, but ya know. We're not really "best friends.":) We have made so many memories over the last couple years and I know it's a time in our lives that we will never forget, and hopefully never take for granted. Some of my favorite memories and more that I hope to make are of going on the ranch with my dad. I have always loved to be on the ranch and my girls are starting to love it as well. I could spend every day on the ranch if I didn't have so much to do at home.:) I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that I get to spend so much time with my dad. He really is my hero. I'm so thankful for him and his influence in my life and I'm thankful my kids get to have that influence in their lives as well. I know that he's not perfect, but he is such a good man and I know that he touches a lot of lives for good.

Grandma & Grandpa Nate, Aunt Colleen and Uncle Kent were all there to surprise my dad in support of him.

All of the family was able to make it to the program except for Martin. He was working. Kevin and Zoe were late, so they didn't make the pictures, but the rest of everybody is "kind of" in the pictures!!:)

Mireya was just thankful that my grandma Nate had a wonderful lunch ready for us after the program.:) She had a hard time waiting patiently while her plate got dished.

It was fun to have us all together again, so we decided we'd better get a picture of all us siblings. We would've done one with the spouses, but with Martin gone, it would've been a little wierd.:)

Lori's gonna love me when she sees this picture. I just took some shots of everyone during lunch, so some of them are of people with their mouths full!! Sorry, Lori.

My grandma's favorite place to be is the kitchen. She's an amazing cook!!

It was such a neat day for our family. Not only was the program good, but the football and volleyball games were great as well. Go Panthers!!


Bobbi said...

I loved reading this. . . that is so awesome. Is so fun that you get to live by your mom and dad--I am jealous! Dad's are the best!

Ashlie said...

Your dad is great! How cool that he was honored. I'm really sad to hear his MS is getting worse. It makes me tear up imaging him have to drag his leg. How great though that he has so much family there to support him.

Shari Davis said...

You're dad was always my favorite coach. Like Ash, I teared up imagining him having to drag his leg. You're dad was a fun coach and I have a lot of fun (And not so fun) memories of him. :) I'm glad he has all of you there to be there for him and it was a joy to see him honored (I was able to watch the assembly via the internet webcast)!

Shari Davis said...

Let me clarify the not so fun memories.........getting yelled at me because he thought I was ignoring him when he was saying my name. In all honesty I thought he was yelling for Jody. I laugh at those memories now, but at the time........... :) LOL

Taffy and Tony said...

Your dad has always been one of my heroes. My other hero is your mom. It makes me sad that they are having some tough trials to deal with. I'm so greateful for all those who to the initiative to give your dad, who always did his job quietly, but SO WELL, the recognition he deserves.

Mike, Katie and Annali said...

Your dad is an amazing man and I have always thought of him as a wonderful man. All those long talks we had on the bench while I was warming the seat right beside him! Ohh the memories and the foul trouble, but I remember those times when he always knew just the right things to say to you to keep you going and to make you realize that you were a good person. If anybody deserves the award it is Coach Nate for all his quiet behind the scene things he did for us.

Lisa said...

That was a Wonderful Post! I especially loved getting to see all the pictures of your family - most of whom I've met, and the others I've always heard so much about. Thanks for sharing that KT! Love ya!

The Websters said...

Sorry this has taken me awhile, but I am so glad that they honored your dad and that everybody could be with him. What an awesome opportunity for all of you! It is well deserved! One thing I do know is your dad is strong in more ways than physical! Great Post!

Lori Conger, said...

I hate to say I teared up all over again just reading your post. My eyes have barely recovered from the Homecoming program two weeks ago. Dad truly is an amazing man, and I couldn't help but think that day how awesome it is that all five of his children consider him one of their greatest heroes. (By the way, wait until I get my camera out and catch you in a less-than-fabulous shot!) Love ya!