Friday, October 8, 2010

My Father's Eulogy......Delivered By Me 2000

When I am thinking of different words to describe my father,

I think: either he was a paradox, or a true renaissance man.

My father was a man of steel, yet I have seen him cry.

I have listened to him laugh out-loud at cartoons, or the funny papers.

He was easy going, and he had an Irish temper.

He was a private man, yet everyone knew him.

He enjoyed telling stories, gardening, fishing, cooking, reading recipe books, and eating.

He enjoyed talking with people and getting to know them. And, learning from them, too.

He seemed to know a little bit about everything.

He was fascinated about the weather, science, animals, or birds.

It did not matter. He was a sponge.

Ultimately, he could "hold his own" in those conversations.

When I began to think of the values he instilled in me, three examples come quickly to mind.

When I was a little girl, it was the fashion for your family to get dressed up, and go to town. I was delighted and very proud that so many people knew him. And, he spoke to everyone. Social misfits, drunks, store clerks, politicians, friends, and co-workers. It didn't matter if he was in his police uniform or not.

From this, I learned you do not have one code of ethics, or one persona for work and another for home life. He was true to himself, no matter what the occasion.

By virtue of his chosen profession, we were financially poor. Many times my father came home in the police car to have my mom make four bologna sandwiches, which he gave freely to a hungry person. He refused to give them money; however, if they were hungry, he gave them what they needed.

From this, I learned there is always a way to help people and to identify what they truly need.

The last example happened a few years ago, at a gym. A rather large, black man approached me with his hand already extended, smiling broadly.

Who was this? I was naturally suspicious.

He said, "I just wanted to shake the hand of Bob McFarland's daughter." He not only introduced himself, he also revealed this wonderful tale.

He began, "When I was about eleven, your dad caught me in some trouble. He took me home to my grandmother. He talked to me for a while and said not to disappoint her again.

He also said he would be checking up on me. I was pretty street smart, and I thought, "Yeah, sure."

The next week, he showed up a school and asked how I was doing.

If he was in the neighborhood, he'd stop by my house. If he saw me, or my grandmother on the street, he'd always speak.

Somehow I felt very important. His caring always struck with me.

He kept his word."

More important than any one thing, except his family, was my dad's word. He was unflinching about any promise.

His word was never, ever compromised on his word.

Integrity was his most valuable asset.

Did he make a difference in this boy's life? Yes.

Was he continuing to make a difference in this man's life twenty years later? Yes.

These virtues, along with many others, were instilled in me. And they have been instilled in MY daughter, Suni.

My dad was her role model and father figure, too.

And, the legacy lives on.

Right now, and tonight and forever: when you think of my father and how he touched YOUR your own good deed, or say a kind word, or smile at someone.

Do this in my father's memory.

So you see, the legacy will truly live on and on. By coming here today you show respect and honor to both my father and my mother.
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1 comment:

  1. Sam my heart, I am in tears. I miss both my parents dearly. You are truly an amazing, wonderful, outstanding women.

    Love you always,