I was shown so much kindness during Dad's illness and passing that I could never express my gratitude fully. The best I can do is share my daddy with you, the way he was before he got sick. I was thinking of speaking at his funeral, but decided against it. Here are the words I wrote about him. I hope it shows you what a wonderful person he was and how much he meant to me.
First, I’d like to thank all of you for being here. Your support, love, and sympathy have meant so much to us; not just since Dad’s passing, but in the months preceding his death as well.
My Dad was the smartest person I know. He taught me a lot of different things: He taught me how to read, he taught me how to train a dog, and he taught me how to drive a car. But the most important thing he taught me was to appreciate knowledge.
Dad dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and went on to get his GED, but that had nothing to do with how smart he was. What made him smart was his love of learning. He asked questions. If he knew a person had a job or a hobby that he didn’t know much about, he would pick their brain. The restaurant and the barber shop afforded him the luxury of meeting many people from different walks of life and he truly wanted to know what they knew.
A few years ago I was feeling badly because I wasn’t using my degree. He told me that I shouldn’t feel bad because education was never wasted. He also told me once that I should try to learn something new every day. Now, there have been some days when I learned something new early in the day and thought “Okay, I’m done. I can go back to bed.”
The most important thing he told me was that I should try to leave the world in better shape than when I came into it. I have taken that to heart. Dad certainly accomplished that and I hope that since he passed on his love of learning to me, that I will be able to do the same.