Stephen R. Covey was buried today. His body lying in the casket was a shock because he was such an energetic man. And he was not there in the casket. His spirit had left him. I remember him coming over to our work party at ZAMM and he was so cheerful and funny. He hosted us for football games at Legacy. Sandra brought out a million pies for everyone to eat. They are generous and kind. I loved attending parties they hosted where they greeted every single person individually. I loved attending his funeral and hearing the stories from his children. What a great man. What a great dad.
Colleen was one of the youngest that was going to be left with a babysitter while the rest of the family took off in a rented motorhome. She was devastated and hid up to the moment of departure until she heard her dad calling for her. She promised to follow directions and not be a bother if she could just come on the trip. Stephen looked her in the eye and said, "I believe you. You can come." She lived up to her promise despite glares from other siblings when she stepped into the motorhome.
David was traveling with his dad on the way to the airport and the crawling pace of the traffic had him convinced they would miss their flight. Stephen instructed the cab driver to pick him up further down the freeway and stepped out of the car to direct traffic so they could make it to the airport on time. The driver protested, "You can't do that!" And Stephen walked away, "Watch me!"
Josh was on the ski lift with his dad at Sundance. He felt somewhat trapped and very embarrassed as his dad belted at the top of his lungs for all to hear his made up and dilapidated song, "I love my family! I love my family!"
Josh feared for his life when his dad took his goofy nonchalant attitude a little too far. Full conversations with strangers while wearing fake teeth were enough, but Stephen crossed the line when greeting the biker gang on the sidewalk, "How's it going, girls?"
Stephen demonstrated what really matters when Maria called him in frustration as a young mom with young children without lots of productivity. "Throw out your planner, Maria!"
Colleen had had a rough day at school and was sick and tired of a teacher that didn't understand her. She vented her frustrations to her dad only to get gentle reminders of her potential as a human being. "You are not an animal. You can choose your response." Colleen ran away in frustration, "I'm going to mom! She lets me be a victim!"
Someone had asked Sandra if she were nervous as Stephen enjoyed all the success that came with his work. She said that every morning she would see him on his knees, talking to his Father in Heaven so she wasn't worried one bit.
Jenny remembers being on a train with her dad on their way to a conference. There wasn't room to lay down on the benches, so Stephen simply found a spot and laid down in the middle of the aisle. She overheard some passengers, headed exactly towards the conference her dad was speaking at. But they had no idea their idol was already in such close proximity. One of them said, "I've heard he has such an air of intelligence around him."
Stephen would take the kids out for adventures on Saturdays. The kids only realized later that it was significant down time he was providing for their mother as much as together time with the children.
The stories went on and on. It was delightful to get to hear everyone talk about their father.