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Happy 60th Birthday, Dad

31 Aug

Today, is my father’s 60th birthday. He was born on August 31, 1947 in Salt Lake City. He died February 12, 2005 at the age of 57. But today, I’m celebrating his birthday — his life. And what a wonderful life it was. The son of Richard Alma and Mary Cox Lambert, Kent was the fourth of five children. He grew up in the Olympus Cove neighborhood of Salt Lake City and attended Skyline High School, graduating in 1966. He served an LDS mission to Argentina and Bolivia before returning to Brigham Young University to pursue a BA in Humanities and an MBA. Below is a picture of him taken just before he left on his mission. Isn’t he a good-looking guy? Good genes…

kent-lambert.jpg

Kent dedicated three decades of his life working for Northwestern Mutual Life, helping people prepare for the future — a job he considered almost a sacred mission. His greatest accomplishment, however, was his family. He married Vicki Wentz of Orem on December 18, 1970 in the Salt Lake Temple, and together they raised seven beautiful and brilliant children! 🙂

Anyway, for the last three years, I have met my mom at the cemetery on his birthday, and we have placed flowers on the grave and have reminisced about his life. This morning, my older brother Matt joined us at the cemetery and we shared some memories and prayed together.

My wife Robin doesn’t really understand our need to visit the grave on special occasions, since few in her family have passed on and it was never their tradition to go to burial sites. She suggests that for her, the place where he lived, not where he is currently lying dead, would be a more meaningful place to remember him. And she has a point.  However, I still feel the need to go there a few times a year (on his birthday, his death day and over Memorial Day weekend). Why?

When I am in the cemetery, my mind is able to shift from all the distractions of the world and I can focus on my beloved father, whose mortal remains are interred just below me. To some it may seem strange or somewhat macabre to find comfort standing on a plot of land filled with thousands of deceased people, but for me, it’s a great way to focus solely on my dad. As I stand in that quiet, sacred place with soft breeze blowing on my face, I gaze on his headstone, the trees and flowers and the majestic mountains to the east. Since I usually go there in the early morning, I ponder the great joy that will abound in that place on the morning of the first resurrection.

So happy birthday, Dad. Until we meet again on that perfect day…

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 31, 2007 in Family, Spirituality

 

6 responses to “Happy 60th Birthday, Dad

  1. Nate

    August 31, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    I have been thinking a lot about dad today and couldn’t help but shed a few tears. At this time in our nation’s history as a Mormon Republican has such a good chance to become the next president of the United States, I’m sure dad would have been enthralled and so excited to know every detail about the Mitt Romney campaign. As I become more involved in this campaign, I feel remorse that dad probably doesn’t care to much about the political situation here anymore. I just wish that we could talk about it and that I could see the excitement in his face at this time.

    Dad, I love you so much and I miss you so much.

     
  2. robinbl

    August 31, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    I don’t want anyone to think that I am against taking a special time to remember their loved ones! I can see why people could be drawn to a grave site on their own or with a few special loved ones to share some quiet, peaceful moments of memory and introspection. Most cemeteries are landscaped beautifully and maintained in such a way to promote that sort of experience, I think. Unfortunately for me, most of my experience with cemeteries is more distracting than meditative, as I am usually trying to prevent my small children from being disruptive and disrespectful. In the end, I don’t think that anyone who passes on cares where you go, as long as they are remembered lovingly by those who remain. Kent was a great man and I am glad that I had the opportunity to know him for several years before his illness. I wish he were here to see his new grandchildren and how his family has grown.

     
  3. Holly Davies

    August 31, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I, too, am so grateful for the amazing life of Kent Lambert. Can you just imagine him, smiling and chuckling to himself at the thought of us all singing praises to his name? He always liked to get love and admiration from his children, especially on his birthday.
    Happy Birthday, Dad! You will always be in our hearts and in our minds!

     
  4. Vicki

    September 6, 2007 at 2:51 am

    Andrew, I loved your tribute to your wonderful Dad!! What a blessing he was in all of our lives. Just yesterday I was looking for some light bulbs to replace some that had burned out in our family room ceiling. I looked up in a cupboard and there was a whole package of the right-size of flood lamps. I thought, “Thank you honey–you’re always taking care of me.” I think of Kent every day and miss him like crazy. He is truly the love of my life. Happy Birthday dear Kent.

     
  5. Emily Cain

    October 5, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Andrew.. I just happened to check my old email account and found your email reminding us to use the Hillcrest site. I did and then saw that you have a blog. I have been reading it..and was touched by your entry about your dad. So great! I actually saw you and your family from afar last week at the Intermountain Medical open house. Anyway..thanks for your great efforts on keeping up the Hillcrest website, and I love the blog. So interesting. Take care and I hope all goes well with the new babe.

    Thanks.. Emily Cain

     
  6. RJP3

    September 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    That is one of the nicest tributes – or nicest anything – that I have stumbled across on the world wide web.

    You Dad must have been a good man.

    …. and you may get a kick out of this.

    If go to Google and type in Good Looking Man – and then do an image search …. guess who comes up in the top couple of pages.

    Your Dad.
    He is famous on the internet for his good looks.
    🙂

     

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