Monday, June 14, 2010

My Dad

I never really thought my life was that remarkable. I grew up the oldest of four siblings--one brother and two sisters. My mom stayed home and my dad worked. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I understood how truly lucky I was. You see, I have the world’s greatest dad. And the more I see of the world, the more I realize it’s true.
Hyrum as a newborn

Many women have poor to nonexistent relationships with their dads—it began when they were kids and that strain continues still as adults. Not me. As a kid, I remember not only being told that I was loved, but he showed me every day. He always gave me hugs and kisses, always said, “I love you.” He came to my ball games and piano recitals and plays. He taught me to work hard—even though we were girls, we were required to shovel horse manure out of the corral to fertilize the lawns and garden. We raised sheep for 4-H, teaching the value of hard work and wise use of money.  We even mowed and trimmed the lawn--not a small job in rural Idaho. No chores were gender-specific except chopping wood, and that’s only because my brother loved to flex his muscles (and he could heft the axe). But I was required to stack it, moving it via wheelbarrow from the woodpile to a precise configuration on either side of the front door.  "And be careful not to hit the house with those logs, Sis."
Mom and Dad on their fortieth anniversary

He taught me to ride a shiny purple bike and tame a sweaty feisty horse. He taught me by example to love Christ and my family, to live the gospel and to live honestly. He required respect for himself but he demanded respect  for our mom. And there was never any doubt that he loves her.
Dad and Lily and Starbuck, his all-time favorite horse

My dad was born a century too late. He’s always wished he could live the life of a mountain hunter, packing his horse string to come to town for supplies occasionally, otherwise staying in his beloved mountains. I’ve spent many hours riding with him, enjoying his stories and memories, listening to his yodeling and singing echo through the canyons ("A-Way out on a sun-baked desert, where nature favors no man, a buffalo spied his brother, lyin' on the sun-baked sand"). I don’t get to the mountains very often, but I know when I get there that I will feel that same peace and appreciation that he taught me.

Dad is literally the most predictable person on the planet—his response at any given time can be limited to 2-3 phrases, and you’ll almost always be right. His family will always be “Heber” or “Tuc,” and his three girls will always be “Princess.” If you see a book or hear a song or see a painting, you can always tell if it is one he’d like.

All of the Tuckers, 2007

He loves his family more than his horses, and that’s saying something. All he ever wants is to be surrounded with as many of his kids and grandkids as possible. Even though his back aches and his body isn’t as young as it used to be, he can always be found wrestling the kids, giving wet willies or noogies or horse bites. If there’s a baby around, he snuggles right down with them, kissing and talking. And if a toddler needs a nap, he’s ever a willing companion.

Grandpa and Ben

His tastes are simple—meat and potatoes, tomatoes straight from the garden and a salt shaker, diet Pepsi, watermelon, meat pies, milkshakes, and banana cream pie. Little things make him truly happy--tin roofs in rainstorms, a great fishing hole, mountains any time of year, and America.

Tucker receiving his Eagle Scout and giving Grandpa the mentor pin

You always know where you stand with him, good or bad—but he isn’t unkind in disagreement. And he’d give his left arm to help one of his kids.

I’ve always known he loves me, always been secure knowing he supports me, always taken for granted that he was in my corner.  And that I'm his favorite.  Because of his example of fatherly love, I have an inkling of what my Heavenly Father must be like. And I can’t believe how lucky I am to be known as Reed Tucker’s daughter.

Thanks, Dad. I love you.  Happy Father’s Day.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oh, Jen...what a blessing AND heritage you have! Love hearing about your Dad. Lucky girl, you.
    (PS-deleted my previous comment due to a spelling error.)

  3. This is very touching. And yes, you are very lucky to have such a wonderful relationship with your father. Mine passed away when I was about 5, so I missed out on the blessing and privilege of having a father on this earth.
    Your father sounds like good people to me.

  4. what a beautiful and touching post. count your blessings for sure because fathers like that are hard to come by. Lucky for us though I suspect we both married these kind of men ;) i can't wait to see what my daughter writes about her daddy in forty years.

  5. You are lucky to have such an amazing father...and I'm lucky to have such a wonderful uncle. He really is all those things you mentioned - an exceptional man.

    He always knows my b-day since I share it and the same year with

  6. Well that was a VERY sweet post. Loved all the pics and stories. So interesting to learn more about you and your childhood as well.

  7. That was a really sweet post. I think dads are forgotten too often. That was a beautiful remembery. He will love reading it.

    PS I just may copy the idea, if you don't mind :)

  8. Your dad is going to love reading that post, Jen. What a neat family you have!

    I loved reading about your childhood and hadn't realized you grew up in rural Idaho. (So did my mom and aunts.)


  9. Beautiful post Jen.
    You are oh so very lucky...and so is your dad!
    Enjoy the day

  10. What a true blessing and a beautiful tribute.

  11. What an awesome tribute to your dad. And an awesome reminder of the legacy men leave to their kiddos. His commitment and consistency with his kids has obviously created one great lady in you for sure. Thanks for reminding us all to be thankful for great dads.

  12. What an incredible father..and grandfather.

  13. This post is a keeper - your children will want to read this to their children.
    The picture of the two scouts was particularly touching - I have a similar one of The Great Dane and our son.
    I think you'll be responsible for a number of special posts about dads this week.

  14. What wonderful things to say about your Dad. You won him over the minute you were born. He had told me that the first child needed to be a boy with lots of hair and you were a bald girl, but it didn't matter for even a second. Thanks for writing this. He won't see it until Thursday night. Where is he? In the mountains, of course.

  15. What a special tribute to your dad! And, what a blessing to have such a wonderful relationship.

  16. First: your parents look like they are in their 40s! What incredible genes you all have!!!

    Second: great tribute. I am compelled to be better. What a great father and a great daughter.

  17. Beautiful tribute! What a great Dad and Granddad! What a great daughter you are to honor him with this!

  18. You have a great family! Your dad is such a good man.

    The pictures are great. Look how much your kids have grown.

  19. Sweet. Made me love your dad, too.

  20. I was thinking last could really write a song. I've been taught by your musical talents and your many tributes prove you have a beautiful way with words!

  21. What lovely tribute to your Dad. He sounds like a truly special one... I just came in from leading my son around on his pony and smiled when I saw your pics. Thanks for sharing!

  22. What lovely tribute to your Dad. He sounds like a truly special one... I just came in from leading my son around on his pony and smiled when I saw your pics. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Your dad sounds like an incredible person and I'm happy that you have such a fantastic relationship with him.

    You really do have a large family! Your dad must feel like he's at the top of the world with so many family members and so much love to surround himself with.