Eulogy for Father


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Eulogy for Father


"I have been having a lot of feelings since my father's illness and death and we will see how long the feelings will allow me to speak.

By far the biggest feeling I have had has been gratefulness. Gratefulness to have stood in the shade of my father's tree. Because to me my father was like a tree in many ways. An oak tree. An oak who's taproot was anchored in faith and in the Divine, and with branches and leaves that act as a home for those around. I stood in that home and for that I am so grateful. It's an experience that I wish I could condense into a couple of words and then tell you. People I talk to say sometimes "I guess you can't expect your family to be like the Brady Bunch." I don't have the heart to tell them that I wouldn't ever trade my family for that, nor for anyone. It was an incredible experience to grow up in my family with my mother and father.

My father’s tree was stable, you couldn't push it, and it was strong. It was a place for everyone around him to glow. He wanted others to glow. He enjoyed and reveled in the glow of everyone around him...not only his own. It is a beautiful thing for a man to be able to do that. I honor him for that. And boy, do I feel a little dwarfed by comparison. A couple of weeks ago I told him, "Dad, you have always done things so deliberately and calmly you have been a great role model for me. I just feel so overwhelmed by trying to follow in your footsteps." He looked at me and motioned with his hand as if throwing a ball at me and said, "Oh you're all right." Somehow that "oh you're all right" was the biggest blessing. He had told me many times that he loved me, that he was proud of what I did, but this sunk deeply into me and I felt it as a blessing from him like I had never received before. All the times my father told me of his love for me, or how he was proud of what I was doing or what ever, were still with me but this simple phrase moved me in a unique way.

I think I can speak for all of my siblings when I say that we always knew within our family that we were loved.

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"Eulogy for Father." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Nov 2017
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It was not just us, young people would come up to my father to be listened to, to be heard and to be understood. Both my mother and father had the capacity to be with someone and to hear them without judgment. Maybe a little judgment, but not much. I don't know about around here but where we grew up that's a rare commodity you don't see it very much. I was blessed to be there.

I see my father's tree as being linked with passion. Probably not the passion you think I'm talking about. I'm talking about a passion that takes an everyday moment and turns it into something joyful. Now I could give you 15 examples of this but one was our dinner table at home. When we had dinner we didn't just have dinner, my father and my mother sometimes would devise things to do at the dinner table. Sometimes it was you can't say anything without rhyming. So whatever was said at the table had to rhyme. Like "Peas please" or today it might be "I know I shouldn't oudda but please pass the budda." We had fun. My father was able to put that joy into everyday moments.

My father was also a wise man, an intelligent man. I remember last summer I told my father that I had taken every bit of advice he had ever given me, it had just taken 10 to 20 years to implement it. He and I both laughed when I said this. But there is something in this story and that something is that he allowed me to fumble the ball, to make mistakes and to screw up. He would make his opinions known but he let me go my own way and make my own mistakes and I knew his love for me even if I didn't follow what he wanted for me. To me that is loving wisdom.

My father was also a man of action. Not only did he have it up here (pointing to head) he had it in his feet too. Thanksgiving at my house was always a time for the family to be together but I always will remember that my father would give up a bit of that day to make sure that the people who lived near us had food. I honor his action.

My father was also a man who knew how to build bridges. To connect things and to bless things. When I was in my father's presence I felt his blessing and a connection to him.

There is one last reason the oak tree is a good symbol for my father. Acorns. My mother's yard now is covered in acorns. You can't take a step without smushing a handful into the ground. To me these acorns are a sign of my father and all of his blessings I have spoken of, plus a lot more. All of his blessings are left as seeds which can sprout now on their own. When I see an acorn now I'll think of my father, remember his blessings and try to pass on the seed to others."


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