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For Dad

A year ago today, I lost my dad. Shortly after I was tasked with writing my first eulogy and it was an experience unlike any other. I've always enjoyed writing and getting things down on paper but this was such a unique task. In some ways the words came easier than I thought they would but it was still an uncomfortable and unfortunate prompt.


I thought about posting it right after the funeral but in some way I thought it'd mean more to wait a year. I'm not sure if that's the case or not... I contemplated leaving it off of the internet but I feel like my thoughts should be immortalized in the digital ether. I take solace in the fact that these feelings can be preserved.


In the past year new thoughts have joined and swirled with the entry below but a lot of that is still being wrestled with on my end. So for now, without edit or update is the eulogy:


For Dad


I’d like to echo the sentiments that have already been said and thank you all for being here. I know it would have meant a lot to Dad to know that you made him your priority today.


In the past two weeks I’ve been learning a lot about who Dad was as a person and reflection on the legacy of which he is leaving behind. I’ve heard and shared stories of special memories that have been shared by family and friends as well as moments just between him and I. I’ve enjoyed them immensely and I can say that, undoubtedly in the past two weeks, I’ve learned more about him than I have in many years.


I’ve reflected on what he held close and the things that helped make him the man he was to me and to so many others. A recurring theme that I found was that Dad was a man of action. He was the hardest worker I’ve ever known and he was the embodiment of the mindset “why put off for tomorrow what can be done today?”.


There was always an importance on taking care of things now and not leaving them for tomorrow and Dad was so good at living that out.


As you can imagine, as his son that was oftentimes incredibly frustrating. I’m sure Dylan can attest to that fact as well.


His attention to detail was strong and there was no shortage of finding things that Dylan and I could do to help maintain the house, yard, or cars while growing up. My childhood was exceptional, make no mistake, but in the mind of a 16 year-old boy, the task at hand could always wait until tomorrow.


As a 30-year old man, I’m glad that his mentality rubbed off on me more than I knew. It meant that no words or feelings were left unsaid when his time came, two weeks ago. He knew how much we loved and cared for him and we knew just how much he cared for us as well.


That is a silver lining that can NOT be overstated.


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One of Dad’s favorite bible verses, as you heard Carlos mention, was Matthew 7:7-8:


7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.


I’d like to think this resonated with him because as a man of action, this verse was rooted in the verbs. Ask. Seek. Knock. These words gave instruction and direction to channel his actions towards something eternal and meaningful to him. This was his way of connecting with a higher power and I’m so glad that he was able to find that.


Dad was a man of action.


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But being a man of action, Dad had the hardest time staying still. Anyone who has ever tried to watch a movie or television show with him knew that at or around the hour mark, dad would likely need to get up to “stretch his legs” or go look out the window and see what else was going on in the world around him. He had the hardest time finding rest but when he did rest, he often did it for us. Whether it was sitting and watching something with us or playing cards after dinner – when dad committed to rest, he did it for us. Spending time with us and cherishing our presence was the main benefit, it seemed. The rest and relaxation he got from this was just, as he might say, “an added bonus”.


For Dad, resting was a way he could serve us and maximize his impact for and with the family. I’d like to think that the rest he is finding now will serve a similar purpose. Dad’s rest now has brought the family together in a way unlike ever before.


I wish very much that it was under different circumstances, but Emily, Noah, and I have likely spent more time with Dylan and his family these past two weeks than we had in the last two years.


Because his mindset has truly and painfully hit home, again: “why put off for tomorrow what can be done today?”


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The other day I went through Dad’s things and found the current devotional that he was reading through. His bookmark was placed where he had last left off and the topic of that day was “Real Rest”. I take comfort in knowing this is a concept he has now mastered a bit sooner than the rest of us.


I’d like to leave you with the last thing that Dad wrote in his journal:


“Each of us is in a position to influence people in our lives, Lasting Influence. (this was underlined). No matter how insignificant it seems to you, it is greatly significant to God. Don’t lose sight of this fact.”


There’s no doubt that those of us in this room have felt the impact of Dad’s “lasting influence”.


Like the aftereffects of a stone tossed in a stream, our attendance here and remembrance of him is a telling “ripple” of the action for which he was known.




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