Well my father died yesterday. The casket has been ordered, the funeral arrangements made. I wanted to give a eulogy, but instead I am posting it here. My father taught me a lot of lessons in his life. Maybe he can still give those lessons.
My Dad use to say he was at an event where he first saw Mom. He said “I just saw the woman I am going to marry” I am not sure that was entirely true, but I do know he believed it with all his heart. That was a lesson to, always love as strong as you can and say I love you every chance you get.
He and I talked a lot during baseball season. The Sox would do something stupid, or the umpires would blow a call. We would each reach for the phone. Instead of saying hello, one of us would say “Can you believe that %*(_U^^ call! Once we considered the team straightened out we would both say “I love ya” and hang up. Only to call back when Josh Becket needed to be pulled or Dice-K blew apart a game.
I got to take him to a Red Sox game, back in 2005. We sat with Theo Epstien in his private box We had a great time, and according to his assistant he spent a lot more time with us than he usually does with guests. Oh how we laughed that day me, my Dad and two of his grandsons, Paul Jr and Joe. We teased each other and Theo. Joe was more excited to meet Wally the Green monster than the General Manager of the Boston Red Sox.
That is another lesson I learned from my Dad, Laugh long, laugh hard, and laugh often.
While I can't speak for my sisters, when he walked me down the aisle of this very church in 1982, he waited until just as the doors were opening looked at me and said “If you are having second thoughts I might be able to cover for you.” I walked up the aisle trying to hide my giggles. While Dad, ever so innocently and seriously escorted me up the aisle.
I know my Dad believed in a higher power, or at the very least that good pitching is a must if your going to win the World Series. Mostly I think he believed in Santa Claus, and Mrs Claus. He believed in him because he saw in the mirror every morning and cuddled with the Mrs every night. Yes cuddled, my parents held hands and kissed each other often. As often as they told each other they loved each other, they showed it every day. So we learned another lesson, live each day in love.
Dad use to call us kids his “elves” he would always say, growing old is a given, growing up is optional.
That is a lesson I hope every one learns from my Dad. Who I wish had a few more years of growing old, instead of growing up.