Eulogy for My Father

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[pullquote]‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Alfred Lord Tennyson, British Poet (1809-1892) from his poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.”[/pullquote]

One year ago today, my Daddy passed away and went to join my Mama. It was Veteran’s Day, which was appropriate since Daddy had served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in the late 1940s. My five siblings and I came up with the following attributes in reference to our father:

God-inspired, man of character, compassionate, humble, man of stability, respectable, charming, hard worker, steadfast family man, musician, avid fisherman, and beloved physician.

At the age of 93, it was certainly evident to each one of us that he had lived a long and beautiful life. Even so, this has not changed the truth of how much we miss him and our Mama, too. When one loves completely, the “missing” may lessen, but it never goes away. I spoke at Daddy’s funeral and wanted to share with you my words to honor the memory of my beloved father:

Joan’s Eulogy for her Daddy
November 14, 2013

Our father slipped away quietly on Monday, a gorgeous, autumn afternoon. The kind of day that our mom would’ve loved. When author C.S. Lewis’ wife passed away, he was quoted as saying :

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) quote from his book, A Grief Observed, written in 1960

I believe that is exactly how our Dad felt after our Mama’s brief illness and death in October 2006. In fact, some of us thought Dad may join her in that first year of his bereavement, perhaps dying of a broken heart. But instead, our strong and courageous father rallied, continuing to play his clarinet for his many grandchildren, take his daily walks for fitness, and deliver Meals on Wheels to the homebound.

From the time I was a little girl, our big family drove to Savannah Beach every August for our annual family vacation. Often this trip landed on my birthday and I thought that was just part of the plan—a beach birthday trip for Joan and family!

These were always great times and it was wonderful to see Daddy relax and take a break from his busy OB-Gyn solo practice.

When I think about who I am today, and who I am becoming, I think of both my mother and my father. Some of the most important character traits instilled in myself, my brothers, and my sisters are compassion and a strong work ethic. We now observe these same traits and many more in their grandchildren. WE are all thankful for the role model given to us by our parents, and I hope all of us for generations to come will honor their memory with our own lives.

Another life lesson that my father taught me is to have equanimity, a mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness. While I am definitely still learning to practice equanimity, I believe another way to think of this is in Psalm 46:10:

“Be still and know that I am God.”
 

In closing, as I remember how special the fall season has been to our parents, their wedding was on October 21, 1948, and they both have now had their Homegoing in the fall, I am reminded of one of Dad’s favorite musicians, Frank Sinatra, singing:

Autumn Leaves

“Since you went away the days grow long,
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song.
But I miss you, most of all my darling,
When autumn leaves start to fall.”
 

I love you Mama and Daddy, so glad you’re finally back together!

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12 thoughts on “Eulogy for My Father”

  1. Dear Joan, Your thoughts and memories make my heart sing. I am wearing one of Moma’s fall jackets this morning. One of our employees just stopped by and made the comment, that jacket screams my Mom. I am wearing it proudly and celebrating the fact that our parents are together and one grandchild is with them. All my heart, L3

  2. HI Sis, Laura Lea! Thanks for stopping by! Awwww, Mama’s jacket, now that makes ME smile! Yes, we have so much to be thankful for. It gives us such peace to know where our loved ones are once they leave us. I am so glad I have Mary Ann, Kathy and you in my life, for I feel like I am with our Mom when any of you are around me. love you, so, jO

    1. Gomez Davila is also largely continental, which is not to say that he was not Cocanbiom.Menlius has mentioned reading at least some Nietzsche, and finding it much too abstract and difficult to pin down, like poetry – he mentioned that one of the virtues of the 20th-century gorefest was to force political philosophers to become concrete and clear. For my part I don't think Nietzsche was over-abstract in the least. It's true that his writing is very stylized, and that most of his pages need to be interpreted in light of his entire organic corpus.

  3. I do not know how Heaven and God puts people together who enters the Kingdom but I cannot help think that two special people like your father and my JB must be aware of each other. They were both loved.
    Your tribute to your father is a wonderful legacy to his family.
    Virginia

  4. HI Virginia, I hope you had a chance to read my post on Hospitality, too! Yes, I have a feeling Daddy and your JB have met, considering they went on up to heaven only 2 days apart!

  5. I must say it was hard to find your website in google.
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