When Dad was dying, I knew I had to say something at the funeral.  I come from a family of planners, so I started writing this.  I had always been good at letter writing, my bosses always complimented me.

But I had never kept a journal, never written for ME.  I had no idea how cathartic it was.  So, thanks Dad, I would never put my words down without you (taking the most difficult route) showing me I could do it.

Here is my Eulogy to Dad, in it’s entirety, omitting only some names, my tribute.

I want to tell you how special it is to be the daughter of someone everyone calls Dad.  My Dad was too good to keep to ourselves, it would have been silly to try.  Someone with that much need and ability to make other peoples lives richer has to be shared.

My younger sister and I shared our Dad with many kids through his teaching years, and when I was working at the gas station, I even used him as my very own employment agency.   He always knew which of his students needed a job, and I had the best staff around.

There was always something about Dad that attracted people to him, whether it was kids all over school, not just in his class that listed him as their favourite teacher, or the ladies that came to Mom’s craft table, not knowing they were going to leave there with the scarf that best matched their eyes (cause Dad told them so).

I saw his qualities in my son from a very young age, but maybe never quite as vividly as when I went to the school to pick up my kindergarten student, and already, there were kids in grade 5 & 6 going through the halls saying “Hey, How’s it going?”

My Dad passed his magic to my son, and for that he is forever blessed, and I am forever grateful.  Our Bug has had the opportunity to sit & listen about his grandpas adventures, practical jokes and learn of his love for all the people who touched his life.

While we sat in the hospital room lately, he told us fondly of a friend who had recently passed, and having to build a transmission for him so he wouldn’t be jealous of Dad’s. He reminded my Aunt that a friend of hers got her her first job, working with Polio patients like him, and of the poor guy who got all the pizza crusts delivered to him in his mailbox in teachers college.

Dad also loved to hear about my husband teaching our Bug to work with his hands, whether it was wood-working or on the car, he knew that he had also passed those talents along.

We all got a laugh though, talking about how his math skills skipped a generation.  Even though that’s what I ended up doing for a living, it’s never come easy, not like for him & Bug.

My Dad was a man of very strong emotions.  He always told me I would never see him lose his temper, he was not happy with that side of himself.

But I never had a father who hid his emotions & pretended men don’t cry.  Dad taught me how to live through grief and embrace those who give you joy.  He taught me to do just what we’re doing now, celebrate life, even when going through a loss.

He taught me the theory of “just in case”.  Never, EVER throw anything away, just in case someone needs it!  Of course, I have 1200 sq ft, not 12  acres, but ask hubby, I sure do try!  I don’t think my dad was ever a boy scout, but he was always prepared.

Let’s see, what else… He taught me that you can never have too much rope, he taught me that if you hit that round thing with a rock, your car will start again, and he taught me that with Duct Tape & a toggle switch you can fix just about anything.

I want to thank everybody who brought the world in to my Dad once he couldn’t get out into it anymore.  Every visit, every call, every prayer meant so much to him, and to us.

Lately, I’ve been crying out to God and The Universe, “It’s not fair”  “It’s too soon”.  It is too soon, the world is never ready to lose someone who knows how to dance in the rain.  Then I look at my circle of close friends, women who have held me up through all this, and I realize that I’m the lucky one.  I got to have my Dad for a long time compared to some who really, really went too soon. I’m lucky to have had a Dad who touched all your hearts, and I’m lucky to be able to have had my Dad to share with all those other brothers & sisters that he has collected over the years.