I think the ability to give without constraint or expectation is one of the greatest qualities we can attain in life.
And that explains both of my parents. My mom and dad are two of the hardest working people and the best examples I could ever ask for. Together they put themselves through vet school and built a successful veterinary practice in Layton. In addition to the financial support it provided our family, it was a place that served so many in our community and their loved animals.
My dad wasn’t very happy when I threw him a big retirement party and made this plaque for the clinic (he’s more of a “fade off into the sunset” kind of guy) but I’m glad we did.
Two months after his second liver transplant in 2015 we were in downtown Kaysville taking family pictures (celebrating him being HOME and looking great!) and I thought it was odd when my dad’s vet partner Alan came to sign some papers on the hood of his truck. We came back to their house to a beautiful lunch and he and my mom told us the news that he’d just signed on the sale of his clinic. It was such a blessing he was able to do that and focus on recovering and savoring time with his family.
As part of the sale, they told us, they’d set aside a chunk of money for each child. With the cutest smile on his face he told us “I want to give you this money so I can watch you enjoy it!” Nothing they have ever given has come with constraints or expectations attached. They viewed gifts as what they truly are, ways to express their love.
That extra money was just the boost Luke and I needed to finish our basement after saving for years. We talked to our kids about how grateful we are and how we wanted to remember Papa and his work and sacrifice together.
Together we built the “Papa Cal Library” under our basement stairs. A place we can always have, no matter where we go, to remember Papa’s example of always learning, always giving, and always being thankful.
Two great years we were given since that transplant. Even though his health has deteriorated and the incurable side affects are taking over his body, we are thankful.
On August 11, he was having a particularly good day. We made sure he came down again in our beautiful basement he’s loved enjoying with us. We watched Dallin’s play Little Mermaid, he stayed alert through the whole thing enjoying seeing his son so happy preforming on the big screen. Then we showed him the hand carved sign by Uniquely Jane we finally had made and installed in his library. We read stories to him, talked to our kids about how Papa always had a book in his pocket and his library checkout maxed. That brilliant mind may not be on this earth for long but I know that knowledge will go on to serve us on this earth and I believe in the next.
No matter where we go this sign and stacks of books will always come with us to remind us all that this man provided.