A few weeks ago I mentioned to Lynn that my birth father had been on my mind a lot and that I was thinking about contacting him. He and my mother were divorced when I was just a toddler, so I don't remember him. We did meet once when I was in high school, but the circumstances were awkward because so many people were involved.
My brother Mike, who lives in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, called a few days before Christmas to wish us happy holidays and get caught up on life. We don't talk often, so it was a very unexpected and pleasant surprise. It was good to hear his voice. He does a lot of service work with the youth and disabled veterans. I'm proud of him. During our conversation I asked him if he had our birth father's contact information, which he did. I wrote it down and put it in a safe place.
Over the next day or two I kept thinking more about my birth father and contacting him. On Christmas Eve I decided I'd call the next day or even the next week when things settled down. As I finished wrapping the last of the gifts, I had a very strong impression to call that night. What do you say to someone you haven't spoken to in 30 years? How do you even start a conversation like that? I wasn't even sure what my reception would be, but inspiration is inspiration and I've learned to move forward when impressions come.
I dialed the number and when someone answered I asked for my father by name. It was him I was speaking to. All I could think to say is "Hi, this is Kim...your daughter." I was so relieved to hear the excitement and joy in his voice. He just kept saying, "Wow! Are you kidding? This is wonderful! This is great!" He told me as a child I was his pride and joy and that I was a very happy and laughed all the time. He said we were always together, playing and going places. And that when my mother took us away, it broke his heart. He mentioned he still has a photo of the two of us together on his fireplace mantle. We talked for quite awhile and then he cried as he told me no one had ever given him a better Christmas gift in his life. And you know I cried. In fact, I continued to cry after I hung up because I had longed for so many years to hear how much I was loved. Lynn gave me a priesthood blessing that night and I'll never forget the words the Spirit spoke so truthfully through him, "There is no more appropriate time to begin the healing of two hearts than on the eve of the Savior's birth whose atonement makes it possible."
A few days later this beautiful arrangement--a dozen red roses and two white lilies--was delivered from The Garden Path. There's no way my dad could have known how much I love that flower shop. In fact, it's quite a distance from our home. And the message--so sweet and simple--touched my heart.