I wrote this for inclusion in the program for my father’s memorial service, but I’ve decided to speak there instead. Here’s what I wrote for posterity.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I find that it’s been a very difficult and peculiar thing to write a eulogy for my father. It’s taken several days for me to be able to find a place within myself to even begin to consider what to write. Upon finally considering this honor, I found myself feeling gratitude for what it allowed me to recall, understand, and appreciate.
My father accomplished countless things in his life and this is because he lived a life of service. He was simply open at all times to helping people find their way in life. He did this with a commitment to Christ as his Savior and with a conviction that all things are possible.
My father was a people person. He would introduce himself to anyone and I saw him use this talent to bring the world closer by meeting and engaging with people from all walks of life, talking person-to-person with mutual respect from the very start.
My father was highly educated in theology which is, by definition, the “reasoned discourse concerning faith [using] rational analysis and argument to understand, explain, test, critique, defend or promote” matters of faith, in particular his faith of Christianity. With as thoughtful as my father was, he took a definition like this very seriously, each and every part, applying his all to understanding his faith as completely as possible to share it in every way with others.
As an adult, I find that I have a regret of missing the vast opportunity to actively engage with my father in his life’s focus. To me, he was simply my father, the man who helped raise me through his divorce, career challenges, and struggles with human frailties. Through much of my life, I struggled with my feelings toward him because of my own immaturity and shortcomings. Thankfully, in the past several years, my father and I came to a full reconciliation with each other, something that I’m so glad to have shared with him, especially in light of his sudden and untimely death.
I hold countless memories from growing up with him as a child. He introduced me to working on cars, fishing on the Atlantic shore, watching triple feature movies at drive-ins, and playing lots and lots of tennis. Later, he supported me in sports, my love of computers, and he helped me own a home. Through it all, he gave me my spirituality, my sense of honor, my devotion to understanding, and my breath.
I’m compelled to describe my father as a compassionate warrior. He devoted his life to pursuing a complete understanding of whatever he applied himself towards, and then he championed those causes with all the resources at his disposal.
I miss his presence in this physical life, but I live with him in spirit. I look forward to walking with him again when I leave this earth.