It is the 1 year anniversary of my father's death tomorrow. According to Jewish tradition you light a candle on the eve of his death. Since I don't really know what you are supposed to say when you light the candle, or what I will say, I thought I would post the eulogy that I wrote.

My father lived 91 yrs. 8 months & 2 days.

He had strong hands and he was proud of them.I guess they came in handy in his line of work as a butcher. 4 days before he died when the nurse said to squeeze her hands he said "Are you sure" and smiled with her expected response.
Though I really think he missed his calling..Accounting. He loved numbers. When I was cleaning out his apartment I found alot of scraps of paper with his calculations. 3 days before he died he asked me for the Business section of the paper.
My father had striking blue eyes. 2 days before he died, the nurse said to him "You are a gentleman, everyone is in love with you:look at those blue eyes." And they lit up for an instant, like they used to.
His mind is what was truly amazing, sharp as a tack. He could remember more stories than anyone in this room probably. And it kept working right up to his death. 1 day before he died he was still trying to keep track of everything.

A really important event in my father's life was WW II, when he served in the Army overseas. He enjoyed telling stories of this time; as most of us here are aware. Another thing that he really liked to do was to help people. And I can remember people often saying, "Your father is such a nice man".
His family was very special and important to him. His stories of New York and his brother Mac and his siter Lil were truly heartwarming. When I went down to Fla. to get him at the Rehab I overheard a hospital worker ask him what was something he was proud of in his life and he said, "My children". That pride and dedication to the family was something he shared with my mother, Blanche, over their 30 yrs. of marriage. And I admired how devoted he was to her during her illness & death.
Years later he was blessed to meet Betty and they enjoyed 20 happy years together. We all know he missed her terribly and often wondered why he was still here. My friend, Marilyn told him it was so that she could meet him and so that he could get to know his grandson, Luke. And perhaps it was so I could get to know him again. It was a privilege taking care of him in his later years and to be with him at his death.
I know he would've loved everyone being here because he actually spoke of who would be here a few days before he died and mentioned his nieces and nephew, Harold, Helen, and Muriel, who gave him so much support with their visits and phone calls.
I don't know if any of you every noticed but my father never said Goodbye; so Dad as you would've said, "So long for now."


Monique said...

So sorry about your dad. He sounds like he was a great one.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Patry Francis said...

Glad you put this up. It deserves to be read.

MB said...

Your dad would appreciate this!

kate said...

It is good to remmember the ones we loved. Sorry about your dad, he was so great.
Thanks for sharing with us your grief.

FTS said...

Wow, you brought tears to my eyes. Nice tribute. :)

rdl said...

Thank you all for your kind comments, it meant alot to me.

Marewheeee said...

wonderful tribute which could apply to my own father who was busy right up until his death. Had spent the weekend in B& W hospital and made it back home Monday afternoon. Had the hospital bed set up in the living room and hospice ready to attend to his last weeks, or so some thought. He died in the night, pushing the oxygen mask off his face and had one leg out of the bed, foot on the floor like he was getting up to leave.
Which, actually, he was.
He was only 66.
Wish I had a picture to post.
I look just like him though. I have his eyes.

tom said...

I am a member of the sandwich generation....still with kids and now with parents who are dying and deteriorating...just today I helped my sisters-in law with their dad who had fallen and spent the night on the bathroom own mom is 85 and slowly having died three years ago and my wifes mom.. literally a saint in the flesh.. her anniversary date is three years ago Nov. 29.
You never forget, and the pain is real....embrace it but remember that, while it will always hurt, you will always have him in your heart.

rdl said...

marewhee: I guess that is where we get our good work ethic.
Tom: yes the sandwich generation that I was a member of for a little while; difficult place to be/juggle - i used to say I have a 9 yr. old and a 90 yr. old. Sometimes I don't know how I did it all and now wonder what I do with all my extra time. But I guess it wasn't extra just comppressed and supercharged.