My father passed away on April 24th 2023 a week short of his 87th birthday after many years fighting Parkinson's Disease.
His funeral was a small, family-only affair. Somehow, the message didn't get to me that I was expected to say a few words until I sat down in the front row at the funeral home and looked at the program, so what I said was on about five minutes' notice.
It's been bugging me for a couple of months now that what I said, speaking extemporaneously and without notes, was incomplete. Today, two months to the day from his funeral, I want to tidy things up a little bit, while not straying from the central theme and not making it overly long.
When I got up in front of our extended family, I noted that I had scant advance notice that I was expected to share some remembrances of Dad, so I was going to wing it.
I didn't learn that skill from him though. Dad was meticulous and planned things out in advance.
You hear a lot about in the news today about generational wealth, particularly in a social equity context. They're usually talking about money. But today I want to talk today about the values and predispositions that Dad handed down to us long ago, while he was alive. This is the generational wealth that makes us spiritually rich.
Dad taught my sister and me the value of intellectual curiosity, and the desire to understand the world around us.
He taught us safety - if something could not be done safely, perhaps we should not do it at all.
Dad taught us honesty - telling the truth even when it is not easy.
Together with my mother, our father instilled in us a lifelong love of music.
Leading by example, Dad taught us love of God as expressed through service to our fellow humans.
These are but a few examples. If I tried to be exhaustive we would be here all day.
Thank you Dad, I love you, I'll miss you, until we meet again - farewell.