My Dad, My Hero

My father passed away November 26th of 2022. This week’s post will not be about photography (although it does have a lot of photos), instead this week I am going to do some personal therapy and share about my dad. I have struggled with a lot of things since he passed, and a lot of things have fallen by the wayside. I am working through that loss a little bit more everyday. I am grateful for all of the love and support from family and friends as I have worked through this loss. Thank you to all who have continued to be supportive!

Just a heads up, I do not want this to be a sad post, but a way for me to share just how amazing my dad was during his life.

My dad (David Toher) was and is unlike any man I have ever met. Born in Connecticut to extremely brilliant parents (his dad was an engineer and built submarines, his mom was a human calculator, similar to Hidden Figures). I met him when I was 4 almost 5 years old. My brother, sister and I had already experienced enough difficulties for our young age to last a lifetime. My parents had been trying to have children, then trying to adopt children for years without any luck. One Saturday morning my parents phone rang, dad answered it, listened for a bit then said “We’ll take them” before hanging up. When my mom asked what that was about he said that the social worker called to see if they would be willing to take three young children who needed an immediate home. On their way to pick us up they called some good friends and asked them to go to the house and take down the nursery they had set up hoping to adopt a baby and set up beds instead. That was how dad was, all or nothing.

Dad was instantly ready to help any way possible. There were even times when things were more complicated and he always worked through the problem and found a solution. (He was really good with math haha)

Dad was incredibly adventurous, I’m pretty sure this is something he passed on to me 🙂 He loved the water, and was very good at all sports on the water; skiing, sailing, he even did crew in college. A lot of his life lessons or gospel object lessons had something to do with the water. In fact when he passed I bought my mom, three sisters, and myself a necklace that I then had my new logo modeled after so that I could feel like he and his life lessons are still part of all that I do even with my photography business.

He and mom loved taking us on all sorts of family trips, camping, national parks, amusement parks, and most importantly spending time as a family with family. Family always came first, and service for others was pretty high on the list.

Some of the lessons he taught:
*Every little bit counts, never give up! (He used the “Starfish Story”)
*Never put seasoning on food until after you have tasted it first. (you don’t want to insult the chef)
*Family Comes First!!!
*Communication is key for a happy marriage! (This was very apparent the day he didn’t tell my mom that he bought the ski boat she told him not to buy lol)
*You can’t say you don’t like a food until you’ve tried it.
*Getting an education is important.
*Fast and the Furious, James Bond, Bourne Identity, and any other form of adventure movies are perfect for Friday movie night, dates, really any time.
*Joy in adversity ( he looked for a positive spin on everything no matter how difficult things became, or what was happening)
*You are never to old to wear Mickey ears, or a Goofy shirt.
*Family projects and hard work are great character building opportunities.
*Sitting knee to knee and nose to nose is the best way to handle any conflict between siblings. (You can’t help but start to laugh being that close together)
*Allergies seemed to hit him only during emotional parts of movies.

I honestly could go on and on about all the things he would say or the lessons he would teach. He had an incredible testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and God and would model his life after the scriptures that teach us to love one another.

Yes, I am the one stepping away from the pole to see if they could hold it up haha. This was us putting together a swing set.

His love for my mom was incredible, he truly cherished her and set the bar pretty high for the type of man I would marry. He loved to dance, but was very addiment that rocking back and forth was not dancing.

He was terrible at planning ahead for specific holidays but would always bring things home to surprise mom. He was amazing at finding good deals. He would cook incredible meals (often leaving quite a mess in the kitchen) that would be for special occasions or just because he was craving it. It was both fun and dangerous to go shopping with him haha fun because you never knew what he would end up putting in the cart and dangerous because we never stuck to a list. Even my Uncle Chris would make fun of the fact that dad could never stick with a normal flavor of ice cream.

He was always fun, loved to tease and play tricks on us, and had a great laugh. Sometimes his teasing would be very frustrating but he truly never meant any offence. He made funny faces and was very good at making people laugh.

He loved kids, and adored babies. In fact, there is a part of me that wonders if the reason why my daughter came a week after her due date instead of early like the doctors predicted is because she was having to much fun with her grandpa.

He had a crazy knack for finding the most random, often really cool gifts or toys and would often have some kind of cool gadget. He was extremely hard working, and really good at fixing, designing, and building things.

I remember going to work with him at a laundry mat in California that he was building. It was fun, but oh my goodness it was hard work. He taught me how to frame a wall, hang drywall, and even install the machines. Working with him I always learned something new, came home 100% dirty, and got to eat at the yummiest places for lunch. He always had a knack for finding really good food places. If there was something he didn’t know how to fix he would find ways to learn and would figure it out!

My dad had an incredible life, I wish he could have been here longer but I am grateful for the time that I had with him. He did so much for me, taught me by word and example, and was my best friend. He helped me keep a good perspective when things got hard, he supported me, rooted for me, protected, me and loved me. He was my hero, my confidant, my teammate, my teacher, and a man I will truly miss. There is so much more I could say about my dad but it may be rambling at this point. What can I say, I truly love him (it is the reason I named my son after him). My memories and the memories of those who knew him will be treasured.

I love you, Dad!

February 23, 2024

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