My father was killed in a car accident when I was six and my brother was two. For many years I thought my mother raised us alone, but through the years I came to know she didn't. My father was always there to enjoy the good times with us and help us through our trials.
He came for the joyful occasions. I could feel his presence at my marriage in the temple, when our son left on his mission, when my husband was made bishop.
He also guided me through hard times when we had difficulties in our marriage. I could feel his presence when our last baby was born at one pound twelve ounces, and when some of our children had problems in their teen years.
He is still there for me today. Through the Spirit, my father leads me to scriptures I can rely on and guides me as I learn and study. Along with prayer and inspiration, he has always been there for me to share my troubles with. It's wonderful to have a confidant willing to listen and help me to solve situations to the best of my ability.
In the summers I walk in the forest near the homestead where he grew up, and I can feel his presence. The tops of lodge pole pines whisper to each other, sending blessings down from above. Sometimes I find a spindly tree with the top bent clear to the ground in a complete arch, and I know that heaven and earth are connected.
My mother was a widow for 65 years before she died, and I know I had the best rearing from both sides of the veil--a wise, hard-working mother on earth and a loving, spiritual father from heaven.