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|May 12, 1998, my father passed away as the result of a heart attack. This was my eulogy, in honor of his life and love for me.|
My father was not tall. Of all our family, I was the only one who ended up shorter than he was. But he was large. A large heart, a man of largesse, he gave generously and without reservation. Although he didn’t always remember a birthday, when he did, he held nothing back. If I invited him over for a holiday meal, he’d provide enough money to feed an army! So the meal was always filled with good food, good company, and no worries.
He was quick to smile, quick to laugh and slow to anger. He had a lot of patience and was actually a very good teacher. He had a way of explaining things, which was simple and clear. From him I learned how to teach, to be patient, thorough and creative.
He was an artist. He could draw, though drawing was not his passion. He loved to create things from metal, beautiful wrought iron doors, gates, arches and metal sculptures. I used to watch him create delicate, leafy boughs by dropping molten brass from the end of a rod heated by a torch. The drops of liquefied metal spattered on the cold steel table he worked on, hardening into lifelike appendages for his cypress trees. He always wanted me to pursue my art and make it into something more than an avocation.
As a young man, he was incredibly strong. But, even as a middle-aged man, he was very strong. One time, while I was in high school, I had a bicycle accident. I was thrown to the pavement and hit my head when the brakes on the bike locked up. My father came and lifted me from the street, carrying me to the VW bus while I was still semi-conscious. I was never a skinny girl, even then. I weighed at least 130, and he just lifted me straight up from the ground.
He gave the best hugs! He’d hug so hard I couldn’t breathe. But his kisses were almost always scratchy, unless he gave me one right after shaving (which he often did twice a day!). I used to watch him shave. Sometimes, when I was little, he’d splash some of his aftershave on my face, too. Old Spice, and later Brute, are the scents I will always associate with my father.
I loved my father with all my heart. For his hard work, love of fun, encouragement, and unswerving faith in me. He will be missed beyond measure.
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