Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eulogies Bite and Bless all in one breath...

I wrote this a few months ago when my dad passed away. Wow, has it really been that long? Yep, coming up on 4 months... ugh.

The whole idea of a eulogy just sucks. The circumstance for creating one bites, no doubt and I can't think of a single reason for planning ahead and doing it before necessary. So below is what I came up with in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on our way from TN to FL.

One can never say it all or make sense of a complex lifetime relationship nor provide a complete rundown of all there is about a person for this occasion. So I guess we just do what we can to allow a window opened in on the unique love shared with the dearly departed.

Here's what I decided I needed to say:

We are here to celebrate the life of Homer Alexander Chambers Miller, also known as Dick, Uncle Dick or Papa… my Dad.

Bringing to your mind the Ecclesiastes verse from the reading… I think Dad’s favorite part would be the very last bit… “a time for peace”

In my mind, I feel, he spent a lot of time in pursuit of peace. Although he did enjoy a healthy debate, he wasn’t one for angry discord, he much preferred mutual understanding.

Now, if you lend any credence to birth order, Dad was the classic “middle born” of all five siblings. Among them, I think he assumed the role of the peacemaker… mediator… negotiator… some other “middle born” traits fit him as well; he was charismatic and kept many friends… for he was a good listener and loyal confidant. He was open-minded, independent, un-spoiled and not afraid to take risks. He was imaginative and competitive yet flexible and diplomatic.

My dad had many friends, colleagues and acquaintances. He was generous, gentle and thoughtful.

He was, fittingly, born on a Sunday, the Sabbath Day. According to an old adage, he was sure to be “bonny and blithe and happy and wise”. Birth on the Sabbath Day lends unto the child attributes of the sun and it is said that Sunday’s Child is favored by God…

I like that thought. He was a sunny person and he certainly brightened any room for me with his smile.

From his rich lineage, both Scotch-Irish and German, he was full of the strong stock and faith of his forefathers - men, in fact, who helped create this country. I saw in him the competitive, entrepreneurial spirit those enterprising men must have passed down into his very fiber.

Like them, he was high on talent… full of faith… and had a strong belief that God is good.

He told me of how his own father repeatedly and passionately, told him , “You are a Miller and being a Miller means something…” He, of course, was modest about this notion, himself. But as I look around today I see that it certainly did mean something… something pretty singular and extraordinary of which I am proud to be a part.

My entire life, he called me, “Sweetheart”. I hardly remember him ever using my name. It made me feel special…

I think he made a lot of people feel special. He had that gift.

To the bitter end he fought against the ills of disease. Ultimately, his will was simply overtaken as his body, decidedly, gave way... Gave way for this bonny, happy man… always seeking peace… at last, his given time to claim it… to spread it out on a sandy, sun-filled spot… (minus the highest SPF on the market) and finally take… his well earned peaceful rest…

Dad, you are missed… and the thought of you and your smile
will forever bring me peace.

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