personal, Uncategorized

Eulogy for my Dad

My Dad. He was your co-worker.

He always worked hard. I remember the different jobs he had. Anytime I visited him, folks were so nice to me and my family. They respected how hard he worked, setting the example for the team. He never shied away from a challenge, he was the first to step in when a challenge or emergency arrived. When he got to management, he was able to have empathy and understanding for the team because he had been one of them. He knew how each area worked so he could help his team. When he was in sales for Kraft Foods, he still knew everyone and those relationships were built the right way, based on shared interests and reliability and delivering on commitments. At his most recent job, everyone loved his positive attitude, his work ethic, his desire to train those around him.

My dad was your co-worker. Literally worked until the day he died. And the dairy case was perfect when he left. No other way he would want it.

My Dad. He was your friend.

They started at 6 am the day after he passed. Coming to my mom’s house to say hi, give her a hug, echo Mom’s sentiment that they don’t know what they will do without him. Call her on the phone, same messages. And it’s true, because he did everything for them. Helped them around the house, fixed things, watched their house when they were gone. Made them laugh with his subtle one-liners. Dad was a good friend to have. I remember when he quit drinking after my Mom had to, I wondered if he would still be fun. He was. He enjoyed life, always looked for the positive in people and making them feel good. His co-workers thought of him as friend AND family, they took great joy in his work and in the long conversations they would have about recent vacations or family or life in general.

My Dad was your friend. He literally enjoyed being around you to the day he died. Heaven will be a kinder place, with less dings on the baseboards and fresh coats of paint everywhere, and all the pictures will be perfectly straight on the walls.

My Dad. He was your husband.

60 years. I haven’t been able to stay with someone 10. He was loyal, loving, doting. In his own quiet way. He loved to write little love notes, he was a closet poet, which I now know is where I got the desire to write. You guys loved to quibble but he never treated you anything but perfectly. He was a gentleman, he was earnest about providing for you and the family. As hard as he worked, he always appreciated how hard you worked and the greater effort you had to put in to raise the kids. He enjoyed vacation time too, always looking for us to find good quality time away, not worrying about how fancy the vehicle or the lodging was. He was romantic, especially later in life when he would always cook you special dinners on holidays, and keep writing those little love notes. He never ran out of ways to say the most important words in his life to you and you alone – I love you.

My dad was your husband. Literally loved you to the day he died. And he always will.

My Dad. He was your Dad.

He had less time for you. He was at work more, life was harder since you were the first and they hadn’t established a life yet. He was tired a lot – I remember some of that too. He gave more of his physical self at work. He was also quiet; he always wanted to say he loved us, but the words got stuck between his head and mouth sometimes. I noticed later in life he said it more, since he wasn’t expending all his energy at work and he realized how good it made him feel to say. He always wanted the best for you, it was hard for him to figure out what to do with your energy (I still can’t figure it out, and every time I think, “Now I know how everyone around me feels”). He loved seeing you raise your own family, he is so proud of what a husband and dad you became – I am sure you learned a lot of what to do AND not what to do by how he raised you. He hopes you never change.

My Dad was your dad. Literally proud of you to the day he died. Saw himself in you. And it makes him smile.

My Dad. He was my Dad.

He supported me through a lot. I tested his loyalty and his patience and his love. He never waivered. He taught me lots of practical stuff like how to play baseball, ow to play tennis, how to bowl (that one paid off nice). He and my mom say they never taught me anything about school because I was too smart, but he loved playing Jeopardy with me. I always won, so I guess he taught me about patience, empowerment, and humility (I know, I could’ve used some more of his humility). He has always been the one to tell me things I didn’t want to hear but needed to. His hugs always felt so good. I am so lucky he lived to be 76, I got so much time with him I can’t complain given how many people I know who didn’t have that luxury for whatever reason. But I still miss him, and it’s not even been three days.

My dad was so much more than my dad. I only hope I can be some of the things he was. I love you dad.

 

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5 thoughts on “Eulogy for my Dad

  1. That was great Rick. A wonderful written perspective on your father and all he has touched and embraced. Rick, you’re your father, you’re your mother. You’re also the greatest influence in your life, past, present and future. God bless you and your family.

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  2. Hey Rick,
    I don’t know if you remember me but I remember you.(I think the last time we saw each other was at your brother’s wedding or your aunt Shirley and uncle Mike’s 40th wedding anniversary) I’m your cousin Lou-Anne’s daughter. I wanted to say how saddened I am to hear of uncle Ron passing away. I remember how much fun you all used to have as a family. You were silly and goofy and always had a good time. I have thought about your family on many occasions and have always wondered how you were all doing. I often wondered if you are still bowling those perfect games. Hopefully you still get a chance to, it seems like you have a very busy life.
    I see your brother from time to time, usually in the grocery store. He doesn’t live to far from me. This is the only way I have found to get in touch. I wanted to express my love and great big hugs to you all in this difficult time. I wish we could be there for you. Please take care and if there is anything we can do way over here on the other cost, just let us know.
    All our love,
    Tanya LaVallee (Schmelter)
    PS- Maybe you and your dad have the writing talent from your grandpa Nelson. He was always writing poetry. I put all his poems together in a small book. If you ever want a copy let me know where to send it!

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  3. Beautiful Rick. My dad passed more than 7 years ago and I still think of him every day. My condolences to you and your family.

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  4. Rick this is really touching. My heartfelt condolences. I lost my dad a year and a half ago ,like you said I hope we all strive to be some of the things our parents were/are.

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