Monday, September 28, 2009



So I've got like two minutes till the clock strikes 12 and I turn into a well, you know...squinty-eyed, wrinkled, exhausted person and Big Daddy's day ends.  But really how can I not give even the lamest tribute to the man I love most.  (sorry Nick I'll love you best on your birthday).  

J ust about the funniest guy you'll ever meet.  Ask any past students, boyfriends, girlfriends, relations, co workers, church people etc. the humor is second to none! Second. To. None.  One time when "slime" just came out, he pretended to sneeze on my grandma and flicked the slimiest, greenest, hugest fake goober you've EVER seen on her forearm.  I will NEVER forget Gma with her wild-eyes, curly head darting away, spastic arm trying to shake itself from it's own body as she shreiked, "Ohhhh, John!! Ohhhhhh JOHN!!!!!  Get it off!"

O ne of a kind nicknames.  He's named everyone from Berhead to Stinklands 1-4, Kelsburg, Karnak and all the rest.  If he knows you you've pretty much got one.  They usually have absolutely no sentimental origin except for when he calls Mom, "May" perhaps.

H onesty is his middle name.  This was not just chosen cause I'm tired and desperate and have an H to work with.  He is so incredibly honest it makes me nuts.  BUT I will say, it's his voice in the back of my mind saying " DON'T DO IT DAUGHTER!" when I consider stealing things.

N icest guy in the world.  Sound cliche.  Not at all.  The guy IS the nicest man in the world.  He will help anyone, just last week at Mitch's wedding a good friend got choked up talking about the kindness my dad showed his brother.  I can't imagine anyone being lonely with my dad around.  He loves people and whoever he's with knows it.  He's such a softy that one time when our car (Vega) broke down in a bad part of town he felt so sad for it he went to great lengths to get it back before nightfall. Couldn't bear to have it have it's feelings hurt.  Wacky but true.

M r. Miller.  That's what about 50,000 "kids" know him as.  It's pretty much impossible to go anywhere in Vegas without hearing, "Hey Mr. Miller remember me?!"  This is always followed by a "yep, short fat kid from 7th grade?"  or something to that effect.  Nothing was cooler than having my dad at my junior high.  He'd come into our (his kids) classrooms and tip our desk over while we were in it, or kiss us a million times on our face to the horror of other kids that didn't know the relationship...that or come into our class smiling huge with chewed up chocolate and nuts or peaches or whatever completely covering his top row of teeth.  

I celander.  My dad is part Icelandic.  Therefore so am I.  A few years back he visited Iceland and came back so inspired he learned the language and was fluent within a month.  I don't think any of us thought him capable of such a task.  And he wasn't; that was all a lie.  I bet he could care less to visit Iceland.  But we love him just the same.

L over not a fighter. (borrowed that from Michael Jackson) This is absolutely true.  When we were young, we could get my dad riled up pretty easily...I especially had a talent for pushing his buttons.  But the sad part of that is, that is totally against who he is. Sorry pops you didn't deserve that! He is good natured through and through--unless he's fixing something. There's really no one with a shorter fuse when it comes to handy-man type jobs.  That or when he hurts one of his toes.

L ives to serve.  This can mean lots of things.  Usually however, it means something from the kitchen.  The guy makes a heckuva taco salad, incredibly fresh stroganoff and has coined more meals than Julia Child. From Meal Versaci to Scampi's of all sorts, there's not a limit to what he can create.  A few months back at breakfast he said "You know why those eggs taste different dontcha? It's taco meat from last night--not sausage." (Mom's face dropped) He makes Mom's lunch every morning to take to work (yams, peas, chicken something) and just last week I was told how much she loves tacos for breakfast, "No, Jennifer I'm serious she loves them in the morning!"  

E ntertainer.  That is he.  He has a tremendous singing voice.  And something that chokes me up even now is imagining him singing, "One of these mornings and it won't be long, you'll call my name and I'll be gone.  Fare thee well oh honey, fare thee well."  He can play the guitar, rock out with the best of him, and has a red checked gingham sport coat he reserves for just the right occasions.  If it wasn't 12:41 I could really elaborate here...but one of my favorite childhood memories is him sitting on our bed playing his guitar and singing the lonesome sounding "Wynken, Blynken and Nod." What a gift his voice has been.

R eally easy to talk into things.  Real easy. Dad will do anything we ask.  If Jek and I want to go to Q Mode (our favorite TPT clothing store in a ghetto Vegas strip mall) he'll watch the girls for hours (you could be in Q Mode for hours).  If I want to buy seven chandeliers and a 300 lb mirror while in Vegas, he'll agree to pack it up and send it (though he'll NEVER grant me this again).  When we were young we could get out of any batch of dishes if we agreed to scratch his back and/or rub his ears and head. Dad's just agreeable.  Even now, doesn't matter what we ask, he says, "OKAY." (as long as we rub his hand a minute).

I love you Dad!  You are the epitome of a 
husband, dad, grandfather and friend.  
You are cherished by us all.

-Little Yenni


partii said...

Hear hear! or is it here here?! Anyways I wish you a very happy birthday and many many more to come.

JENNIFRO said...

Oh's soooo late. That's why you're gettin up with the boy in the morning!!

VEGAS VIC said...

What a nice tribute to dad. I was all true.

VEGAS VIC said...

Vegas Vic meant to say "It" was all true.

jill said...

What a fabulous birthday tribute to the GREATEST guy around!!! I seriously laughed hard remembering grandma's horror. I also know now where I get my "toes in pain" thing, I don't handle that well at all! It will be what keeps me out of the Celestial Kingdom.
Dad is DEFINITELY honest! I remember him telling me he'd rather pay the whole tuition at UVSC than lie about my address. That's always stuck with me. I always remember him telling us all the time "kids, you know why we're making it? Tithing!" I think we have so many great memories of dad because he was around so much. And I'm SOOOOOOOOO grateful. He kept things interesting. I remember "riding the door," hands in his armpits because we tried to tickle him, "maurice" and I remember all the people that he tried to help along his way (William Wharton, Joe Jannie, Betty Ross and the list goes on and on...). Rather recently I was in Target with he and mom and this cute little 7th grader came up to him, dad gave him a side hug, said great things about him to us and sent him on his way beaming. My dad then told us how this kid has a hard home life and hardly makes it to school. That's my dad! He's a better person than I am. I Love you dad! Thanks for posting this Jenn!

SaraBerry said...

I love telling my kids stories about Uncle John! He truly is the GREATEST. Happy Birthday! We're thinking about you! Love you tons!

Jayne Layne said...

Great post! I will say that I WAS THE ONE that was eating the eggs with ground TURKEY! After he told me, I pretty much didn't want another bite. He will mix anything together, even apple jacks with Cheerios, to save on space. Not a kids favorite mix though...

Also, I will agree with every last word you said, and then some. He serves like no other (MOM IS THE SAME). The two of them AMAZE me, they will help absolutely anyone and everyone, their needs come second, always.

He was also my favorite teacher, I will never forget the time he chased me around the whole classroom trying to kiss me. I am sure he was probably doing "pervert walk" (the walk that scared Ashley Gardner to death). He also connected scotch tape from my nose to my forhead giving me MASSIVE pig nose, and then made me go show the classroom next door.

He is all around an amazing dad and friend.


Ann Marie said...

What a sweet tribute Jen!
I don't even know your Father..but I was teary-eyed through your whole post. I'm a Daddy's girl.. and I can totally relate to many things you have said...:)

I am absolutely sure that you have the most incredible parents... As I was sitting with all of you girls around the table.. I kept thinking how amazing it is that you all are so talented and good.. and sweet. Not many families have the bond you all have.. and the goodness you all have. You must have some AWESOME parents.

Ann Marie said...

PS: Did I read you may have gotten some chandeliers??? oooh yaaaaa!

Suzanne said...

Great post Jennifer! Your dad is so cool, I miss his posts! I agree with what Ann said that you must have incredible parents because you girls are simply AMAZING!! Happy Birthday to your Padre! -Suzanne

Mitch said...

Hahaha that was a great post and tribute. I agree with all the comments that have been said. I'm still paying off his "honesty" regarding the full tuition at uvsc jill. I'm still wondering if he gave me good guidance there. Ha jk pops. Hope you had a fabulous birthday. Love ya pappy!

P.S. Little Yenni #2 loves you too

Jennifer Mella said...

Yes little Yenni #2 loves Big John mucho mucho. And loves Yenni #1 for this awesome post. So blessed to be a Miller! woo woo

Jek said...

i am so sorry that i didn't post yet, i am in bed typing and the lights are off and i can't see much so i will make this quick. dad like i said, you are the bomb and i love you so much, and i really miss one of my BEST FRIENDS!

Up in Bubbles said...

i guess i am the only child left to comment. I just have to say that we are the luckiest 6 kids to have such awesome parents. If I can be as successful a parent to my kids as my parents were to me then how fortunate for my children. Mom and Dad you are both great examples all around and I try to emulate your ways everyday. Dad, you are my hero and always have been. Your not that good at golf any more but there are so many things you are good at that are way more important. Thanks for being you and i hope you had a great birthday. Love You!


Anonymous said...

I also feel lucky to be a Miller and have such great in-laws. Big John you are so great and I hope you had a wonderful Birthday you definitely deserve it. Loves Kel

careymc said...

Great post! We love your dad, too! Ty is always telling Uncle John stories. :)

Anonymous said...

I am way late on this posting; but there isn't a better male person than John Miller. He is pretty much one of a kind and it is a privilege to share a little DNA with him. Love from your big sister, Nancy

P.S. For those of you who don't know; and for those of you who don't care, I used to beat him at leg wrestling on the living room floor at 246 Brookside Drive. Just ask Mom and Dad.