Eulogy for Father


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Eulogy for Father


We are gathered here to give Dr. Jerome, my dad, a last formal farewell. We celebrate his life with the theme of "Choose Life". For throughout his life, dad consistently chose life.

He has the God given virtue of seeing the possibility of life. In many circumstances when many are blind, he sees possibilities for more abundant life.

His vision is so clear that it drives him to action. And he is a man of action. He always tells me that his actions are calculated risks. Only after his death have I come to understand what he means by calculated risk.

I believe he weighs the possibilities for more abundant life against the personal risks that his actions might incur. For him, the possibilities for life always out-weigh the risks of personal loss or rejection. His vision gives him the desire and courage to act.

When he saw the possibility of a greater life in relationship with another, he married my mother, Theresa, in 1938. His vision was correct and resulted in a fruitful life-long relationship that brought forth 5 children.

When he discovered that I suffered from asthma, he chose a better live for me by becoming a pediatrician. The result was not only a better life for me but also for his many patients.

In 1947, he saw the possibilities for life in the West. So he came over to study in St. Louis. His father, my grandfather, was blind to the possibilities and refused to send him here. But his mother, my grandmother, sold some of her jewelry to pay for his stay here.

In 1949, when the Communists are moving to take over the country, he saw the risks to our lives and come back to get us out. For him the risk of Communism was greater than the uncertainties of immigration. We left one week after the Communists captured Shanghai, with expired passports, and on the only ship to visit Shanghai that year. If dad was only one day late, our lives would have been radically different.

When he saw that teenagers needed a special kind of medical care, he left his practice here in order to study at Harvard's adolescent unit. He was the first doctor in St. Louis to practice adolescent medicine. He also authored a book on the subject.

Later in life, with considerable personal sacrifice, he chose to fight for the life of the unborn, for medical ethics that protected the aged and infirm, for an end to capital punishment, and for other related causes.

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To dad, these are not just good causes but crusades that received his full devotion.

His greatest devotion was to Mother Theresa and the Missionaries of Charity. When he told us that he wanted to bring Mother Theresa's work here to St. Louis, we utter a collective OH Right Dad. But he proved us wrong and made it happen.

When he traveled to Mother Theresa's bedside when she was sick in California, I thought he was crazy. I thought he had no chance of seeing her. Yet, he was with her at her bedside.

He was also at Cardinal Carberry's bedside during his illness. He was a close friend of the Cardinal's and helped him to seek the correct medical care.

Dad made many "OH Right Dad" things happen. I am very proud of him. But what I most appreciate about dad is that he enjoyed life. He lived life in the present, not regretting the past or anticipating the future. He did it his way and enjoyed doing it.

Last Friday, on the same day of the week that Jesus returned to the Father, dad chose life for the last time. He chose the fulfillment of life for himself by returning to the Father. He chose life for us by freeing us from seeing him losing his physical abilities and from the need to care for him.

God allots us our number of days and calls us home when He wills. Yet, knowing dad, God probably consulted dad before calling him home.

Last Friday was dad's final letting go. His trust in God and in us grew to perfection and he was able to let go totally. Early in life, he talked to me of lacking faith in God. Yet, he grew to have full faith and trust in God.

His letting go also attests to his faith in us. He knows that you, his associates, will carry on his work and that he can trust your capable hands and caring hearts. He trusts that we, his family, will take of each other and mom. He trusts that you, Mom, will find new life in his physical absence.

We believe that relationship does not end at death but reaches its perfection. This is the hope that buoys my spirits. These next days, weeks, months, and years will prove my hope to be true. For my relationship with dad will grow more intimate in my reflection and recollection. Indeed, I have already come to experience a better understanding and appreciation of dad. I can now say things in my heart that I was afraid to share with him when he was here.

I hope that we can go on living as he did. And I say this especially for you Tom. I hope that we not regret what might have been and live in the present with great hope for the future.

In conclusion, for myself and on behave of mom and my family, I want to thank
Archbishop R for all the care and kindness he has shown to dad and mon.
Monsignor S and Our Lady Lourdes parish community for all of their support.

For all of those who help to plan and carry out this liturgy.

For Nada, the choir, the brass quintet, Mary, our organist, and all of you for giving dad such a glorious musical send off. He can't carry a note but loved to sing.

Dad was often impatient, demanding, and high maintenance. I want thank all of you who loved and cared for him nonetheless. Dad was never demanding of me. The burden of caring for him fell mainly on my sisters, Betty, Fran, Li and my brother Tom, and my brother-in-law Frank. Thank you Betty, Fran, Li, and Tom and Frank.

Mom, you have loved and cared by dad all these years. I know as you know that dad loved you. Thank you for caring for him and allowing him to be who he wanted to be.

Finally, I want to tell dad.

Dad, you are not a burden to us. You are God's glory revealed.


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