Remembering My Dad on Father’s Day
Breaking News: I'm not a real softie or what you would consider the "sentimental type". Father's Day is an exception. I was one of those who was fortunate to have a great dad. He passed away shortly after Father's Day last year. In honor of him on this Father's Day, I am sharing the eulogy that I wrote for his funeral. It follows below...
My father was a kind and gentle man. He was not the kind of person to seek any kind of public recognition. But, to his family and many friends, he was a hero.
My mother told me early in my life that my father was a “rescuer”. She said he had a hard time seeing someone in trouble without trying to do something to help them. I didn’t understand that at the time, but as I watched him live his life, I knew the description fit. So many times, when a family member would be in the hospital, my dad was always one of the first to visit them. Even something as trivial as a friend needing a ride somewhere would cause my dad to worry about them and try to find a solution.
If you wonder about what my dad’s top priorities in his life were, you only need to look at his family. I have never known a person who loved his brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews more than my dad did. His love and concern for each of them was complete and constant.
Dad was also devoted to his friends and co-workers. He treasured the friendships with his fellow post office employees and in his retirement years, the folks at Walmart. In fact, the main reason he wanted to be a door greeter at Walmart was due to the fact he would get to talk to friends that he hadn’t seen in a while.
Dad was fiercely patriotic. He was a World War 2 veteran who flew an American flag in front of our house every day I can remember.
He was also a loving husband to my mom. He was never the kind of guy to use a lot of romantic words. He didn’t need to. He showed how he felt by the way he treated her.
As his son, I couldn’t ask for a better father. He never needed to tell me I was important to him, because he lived it. When I played baseball, he was a coach. When I became a Boy Scout, he was an assistant. When I played football, he rarely ever missed a game. And, when I told him at age 19 that I had to move away to pursue a career in radio, he helped move me to Nebraska even though I knew it killed him to leave me there.
After my kids were born, I watched him transform into a devoted grandfather who loved his grandkids more than they will ever know. I am so grateful to God that He allowed my father to survive his cancer long enough to see each of them born. Each of them carries a little part of dad with them by resemblance and in the best parts of their personalities. One of the final things my dad told me was how much he loves my kids. During his last days, he would tell me that over and over and I knew he meant it.
Many people will remember my dad as the guy at the front window at the post office. Others may think of him as the man who would talk to them as they walked in Walmart. I hope many in my family will remember him as someone who cared about them deeply. To me, he was the greatest man I ever knew. And, if I can be half the father to my kids that he was to me, I will have been a great man.