I knew that I wanted to share some
things that I had been thinking about Dad during the service. However, I
also knew that there was NO WAY that I would be able to say them. I
composed the following that Kevin read.
I have so many memories and recollections of my Dad. But, when I think of my
Dad, I always recall my earliest recollection of him. It is all pretty fuzzy,
but I can remember sitting in a car and waiting for him. Then, after some time,
I remember seeing him coming from a building and crossing the street to be with
me and Mom. Iíve shared this memory with my parents. They tell me that I am
describing when my Dad worked for Allis Chalmers. I was about two years old. I
am not sure why this memory has been so strong and lingering. I know that seeing
my Dad come toward the car and to be rejoined with his family must have made me
very happy. After a long day of work, the family was reunited.
Dad was a selfless, hard working, and sacrificing man, in the tradition of
his father before him. I remember that when he was laid off in the late 1960s he
worked at a cemetery and a filling station to try to make ends meet. He would do
anything to insure that he could provide for his family. I know that he worked
very hard, in very difficult conditions for twenty years to provide for me, my
sister and my mother. As he and I talked, I learned that he didnít like his
work at Owens-Corning. He liked the people he worked with, but he felt a duty
and an obligation to provide for his family. Whether he was "happy" at
work or not was not a variable. He was continually self-sacrificing to the end.
When Dad and I talked about his leukemia, and what he had in store, he commented
that he believed that he had a good and full life and that he did not want this
to be a burden on the rest of us. Even when making decisions that involved HIS
life, he was still more interested in how this would influence others.
Dad was involved with his children. After waking early and working hard, he
spent many autumn evenings helping with football practice. Not because he wanted
to be the next Vince Lombardi, or because he had unfulfilled little league
dreams, but because he wanted to be involved in my life. He spent several
weekends on Boy Scout overnights and many Thursday nights at Scout meetings.
Again, because he wanted to be with me and to be with me as I grew.
Like all fathers and sons, we tested each other. We became angry but we
always forgave. My father was a dear, dear friend and a great role model. I donít
know that he ever met a stranger. He loved life and loved talking with people. Iíve
always been touched that customers at Price Chopper sent him flowers when he had
his knee replacement. I saw this first hand and he and I would sit at the
stadium, talk to strangers, and enjoying a ball game.
I will miss Dad. I am so happy that he and I had a very good relationship. As
he passed, I looked at him and knew that he and I had nothing unresolved. Sure,
I would love to have another thirty-six years with him, but I know that there is
nothing I could say in that time that I hadnít already said one-hundred times
As I say goodbye to Dad, I have a very strong feeling that someday my memory
will have symmetry. Someday, as I pass, I will be the one leaving the building.
In the car across the street will be Dad, Grandma and Grandpa Potter, Grandma
Meyer, Uncle Sam and Aunt Ardie, Uncle Charlie and all the people I love. Once
again, I will be very happy because, after a long day at work, the family will
again be reunited.