Eulogy For My Dad

This is the eulogy I read at my Dad’s memorial service yesterday. It only skims the surface of what he means to me, but I hope it gives even a small bit of perspective into what an amazing person he was.

When I was 7, my Dad took me to a Mariners game against the Red Sox. It was one of the first games I ever went to and this one was extra special because it was just me and my Dad. And because it was lunch box night. The game went into extra innings and my Dad told me a story about how the Red Sox once played a game that lasted so long they had to come back the next day to finish it. My 7 year old self thought that meant if the game lasted long enough we would get to sleep at the Kingdome. Needless to say, I was quite upset when he made me leave before the game ended. I’m the sort of baseball fan that would never leave a game early, and I periodically pointed that out to him over the years.

The lunchbox is still one of my favorite pieces of Mariners memorabilia.

That was the beginning of my baseball obsession. My relationship with my Dad grew as we watched thousands of games over the years. We would go to several games a year, where he taught me to keep score. That blue scorebook we toted to every game is an invaluable record of our time together.

When the Mariner’s broadcaster Dave Niehaus died last year his family talked about how overwhelming it was to hear how much he meant to fans. To them, he was just their father, husband, and friend. Having heard from all the people that my Dad meant so much to, I know exactly how his family felt.

It’s amazing how much influence he had on so many people. To me he was just my Dad and he is so much a part of me, and not just genetically, that I wouldn’t be myself without him.

In addition to baseball, I also shared his love of history. I loved talking to him about what I was reading and hearing his perspective about events of long ago. He was a devout Abraham Lincoln fan and I sincerely hope he’s been talking old Abe’s ear off for the last couple weeks.

My Dad was my favorite person to talk to about politics and current events. When you read a lot of history you learn not to overreact to small things and I’ve found there are very few people with the breadth of knowledge and thought process to intelligently talk about these things.

He did everything he could to encourage me in doing things I loved. He drove me to countless riding lessons and horse shows. Shuttled me and my friends to all those gymnastics practices and meets. And when I had my heart set on going to college on the east coast, he was encouraging and supportive. Going to UMass was one of the best things I’ve done in my life and I owe him so much for making that happen for me.

At every change in my life, he was there with intelligent perspective. The talks we’ve had have shaped the way I see life and the way I think about it. At one point, I was complaining about something or other and he asked me, do you want to whine about it or do you want to fix it? Naturally, I wanted to whine about it. But I’m learning to ask myself that question and asking it is the most valuable guidance he gave me.

My life is finally coming together and I’m sad that he won’t be there to see how it turns out. Because I loved, admired, and respected him so much that nothing was more meaningful than hearing him say, “I’m proud of you.”

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2 thoughts on “Eulogy For My Dad

  1. Pingback: Eulogy For My Dad « Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Gets In

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