Prov. 31:25

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

Hi! My name is Jenny. I have been married to my best friend for 32 years, I have two wonderful children and on June 30, 2015 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am determined to get well and I know that with the strength my Lord provides and the love and support of my family and friends, that will happen. The road to healing is a difficult one… however I strive to be thankful for the blessings I have, to find joy in every day and maybe in some small way be a blessing to those I come in contact with. The support and encouragement that I find on this blog makes my heart smile and helps me to realize that I am not alone. All of you are so much appreciated and help me more than you will ever know. So thanks for stopping by....if you would like please leave a comment after my post....I would love to hear from you.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Man, A Veteran and….Just My Dad

Hello Dear Friends and Welcome to my blog. I am so glad that you dropped in to share a quiet moment with me. I so appreciate the comments and emails I receive letting me know how much you like my posts!











Today is November 11th, 2016 and it is Veterans Day here in America. It is a day that we celebrate, honor and thank those brave men and women who have given so much of themselves to serve our country in our Armed Forces. I am so very thankful for the job these men and women perform on a daily basis, for the sacrifices not only they make but their families as well, for the assurance that they are there both night and day keeping me and my family safe. Over the years I have been privileged to know many who have served and I have been even more privileged to call them friends. Today however I am writing about one man who has served in the United States Air Force. A man who served during the Korean War. This man loves his Lord, his country and his family and shows it every day. This is a man I am so very proud of and love so very much. This man is my father but I am proud because I can call him Dad!

Leslie Thomas Haar was born on August 28th 1930 in Fresno, California. One of my very favorite stories about my dad is that he was born an identical twin. He and his brother, my Uncle Stan, are so identical that the only difference between the two are their thumb prints. All the lines in their thumb prints are the very same, except for one….on one the line goes up and on the other down. It is truly amazing to see these two men together and when I was a little girl and our families would get together I had to be very careful which one I called Dad! I always would remember what clothes my Dad would be wearing on that day so I would get it right…..but even then I know I called my Uncle Stan “ Dad”  at least a few times. If you think it was difficult for me as a little girl to tell these two guys apart imagine my mom….who dated and married my dad and had to tell them apart! My dad is a wonderful musician and he played in his school bands while growing up. He marched in the Rose Bowl parade one year and also performed in some Hollywood productions. Every Christmas Eve my family and I sit and watch It’s A Wonderful Life. I love that movie and l love watching it with my family and the memories that we make every year. I so enjoyed the year when my children were old enough to really understand because when we got to the scene when Jimmie Stewart and Donna Reed were dancing in the gymnasium and the floor was separating and the pool was revealed my dad was actually playing in the orchestra. Oh yeah that was a fun moment!

My Dad served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He served in the 18th Fighter Bombing Wing and the 12th Fighter Bombing Squadron. He was an Airman First Class. My Dad shared stories about his service over in Korea and I have many memories of him sharing many of his memories with us. I treasure those times. My favorite story though is one he started telling me when I was a little girl.  He told me how when he was over in Korea my Grandfather would send him care packages from home. There would be lots of things in the package but the one thing that was so important was the can of Spam! Never underestimate the power of Spam! My dad would open his package and there would be the Spam all nestled snug and secure in the box. My Dad however didn’t keep that Spam to himself….he opened it and shared it with his “buddies” or the guys he was serving with! They would heat it up over their little stove and share this special time together! I have always treasured this story and every time I hear this story I picture my Dad sitting there enjoying his Spam and the laughter and companionship that he shared with these men. It was only after I was grown that the true meaning of this story hit me. For you see that is exactly who my Dad is…..he is a gentle man who shares what he has with the people that he loves and cares about. No matter who he is talking too or spending time with he always makes that person feel special, valued and important to the conversation. This is one of the many gifts that my Dad has and one I so deeply admire!

My Dad married my Mom on October 8th, 1961 and they have now been married for 55 years. Do you know that when they go out together they still hold hands? I love that about my parents. One afternoon when they went to see a movie a woman commented that she thought it was so sweet that they were holding hands. My Dad chuckled and responded with a smile “ we do it because we have to hold each other up so we don’t trip and fall.” Of course that brought a laugh to the people in the theater but I know the real reason they still do it. Love and commitment and the real caring about each other….these are the values that my Dad and Mom both have and I am so proud of that!

On August 11th, 1962 I was born. I have so many treasured memories of my Dad growing up, memories that I cherish and that make me cry in a heartbeat. My Dad worked for Pacific Telephone when I was growing up and for a while he worked the four to midnight shift! He would come home long after my homework was done and I was tucked into bed but every night I would wake up and see the glow of the TV in our living room. That was my signal that my Dad was safe at home and I would quietly get out of bed and go and see him for just a minute. I would come into our living room and there he would be watching a little something on TV and eating out of his half gallon of ice cream container. I would snuggle up to him, get a little bite of ice cream and then he would carry me back to bed and tuck me in. My Dad never turned out my light when I was a little girl…. I always blew it out….LOL. My Dad was always there when I was growing up. He taught me how to shoot a basketball and throw a baseball. He put a window box under my bedroom window and then watered my pansies for me because he knew how much I loved to see their happy faces! He spent long hours helping me with algebra so I wouldn’t fail that math class. He was there when I broke my arm and took care of me when I had the flu. He shared his love of old movies with me as well as his love of books. He taught me how to drive in the parking lot of the Junior College near our house and was VERY understanding when I wrecked the car…grins…He made me feel special and beautiful when I was feeling awkward and ugly and most important of all he always reminded me that he loved me…even when I was angry, or embarrassed or felt like I didn’t have a friend in the world. He would make pancakes or French toast on Saturday mornings and let me sleep in or curl up with a book while he made them! More importantly however he showed me by example how to treat others, how important it is to be kind and caring and honest…to be loyal to our country and to respect its leaders. He showed me what being a Christian meant…not just in words or making sure I was in church on Sunday mornings but by example because that is how he lived his life! He gave me away at my wedding and accepted Scott as his own son. He was so very proud to become a Grandpa not only to my Andrew and Emily but to Jon’s boys as well. Family is all important to him and he has been there for all the good memories as well as the tough times, always reminding us how much he loves us! Andrew and Emily treasure the time they spend with both their grandparents and there are many memories there, from trips to Disneyland to outings at the park, a game of Monopoly, or Chicken Feet, Cribbage or Clue! Andrew has taught my Dad how to use his IPhone and to wear his baseball hat backward and my Dad has taught him about airplanes, the military and how to be the best man possible.

So Dad when you read this I just want to say how much I love you! Yes today is Veterans Day and I am so proud of the service you gave to our country, but there is so much more…I am proud of the man you are, the Veteran you are but most important of all I am proud of the Dad you are because I would not be the person I am today without your love, guidance and constant support of who I am. You have loved me no matter what….without cancer and with cancer…feeling good or not feeling well at all. You have made me laugh when I want to cry and understand when I need to read just one more classic off your bookshelf! So today I just want to say “ Thank you” not only for your service to our country but for your service to our family….because none of us could have done it without you! I love you Dad! Happy Veterans Day!