Tuesday, April 08, 2008

For Dad

Today is April 8, 2008. This would have been my dad’s 78th birthday, but in 2002 he passed away from cancer after surviving for about 7 years after his initial diagnosis. Oh how we still miss him. (And I'll always regret that he died before I even knew Susanne so they never got to meet.)

He was goofy and silly and loving and smart. I thought that today in honor of dad I’d include a part of the eulogy I shared at his burial mass…

Good morning everyone. On behalf of my mom, brothers, sisters, nieces and grand nieces I’d like to thank you all very much for coming here today to honor our dad’s life….

…I want to share with you a few things that dad literally carried with him most of the days of his life, because if you want to know what someone really values or treasures, you don’t really need to look much farther than that.

Like most of us, dad carried his keys. For him they symbolized something wonderful. Home. He loved the fact that he owned a place where he could raise seven kids and he also really loved to just putter about from room to room, to the porch, the basement—wherever. He definitely treasured his home and his ability to provide for us. He took special care in these last few years to make sure that mom would be financially OK. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

When we looked in dad’s wallet last week we saw that he carried with him two pictures. They were of the littlest among us—his 4 ½ year old granddaughter Janna and his almost two year old great-granddaughter Cassie. Dad, (and mom I might add) loved babies. I suspect that over the years pictures of all of us lived in that wallet, because dad treasured all of us--his children, grandchildren and his lovely “great”. It was always so comforting to know this.

Dad’s wallet contained a library card. As a kid in Boston he was allowed to check out 4 books at a time and all of his life he held on to that behavior. He really taught us all a life-long love of reading I remember thinking once when I went to the library with him that he must have already read everything there at least once. That was Poppi. Sitting at the dining room table, drinking his omnipresent cup of coffee and going “ah huh” to any and all questions including “hey dad, can I have a million dollars?”

The last item I’ll mention the wedding ring that mom put on his finger back on September 15, 1956. It was a simple gold band—simple like dad, and he was rightly proud of the fact that he never took it off. Simply put, Poppi always felt like he was the luckiest man in the world because as dad would say “the beautiful Mary Ellen” married him. If you know our mom, you’ll understand why he thought that…

…I’ll end by saying that I recently figured out that dad’s greatest gift was the ability to interact with all of us in a completely different way, and so for each of us he loved us equally but specially. Not everyone has this gift. During his last week of life he found a special way to say goodbye to each of us…

I won’t share the rest of the eulogy in this blog post, but I guess I just felt compelled to honor my dad today. God bless you Poppi. We still miss you. Love, Monica

1 comment:

Jenni said...

monica, that was beautiful. thank you for sharing it.