I had the honor of giving one of Dad’s eulogies this week along with my brother and my nephew. It was a privilege to be able to speak about my Daddy. I still cannot believe he is gone and saying a final goodbye today was harder than I thought. Here is what I had to say.
My Dad has, and always will be, the one man that I have looked up to the most in my life. I absolutely adored him and I feel incredibly blessed that he chose me to be his daughter. My parents adopted me when I was 2 months old and it just happened to be the same year he was supposed to get himself a new truck. Since they got me Dad had to postpone getting his new truck so he would often refer to me as his “little truck”.
Through my Dad’s love and devotion to his family, I’ve become the person I am today. There are no words to adequately describe how proud I am to call him my Dad. Through the years there were so many life lessons that my Dad taught me throughout my life and I plan on passing them on to my children.
My Dad taught me the importance of honesty and integrity. You stuck to your word no matter what and you did what you said you were going to do. He believed in honesty. Sometimes it was hard to hear what he had to say, but there was always a lesson to be learned or something to be gained from his honesty. In some cases I didn’t even know the meaning behind what he was trying to teach me at the time until much later in life, but in my heart I always knew that he was right.
My Dad taught me the importance of having a good work ethic. He was always up at the crack of dawn and out the door early. My Dad was a great leader and provider for our family so that my Mom was able to stay home and raise my brother and me. Dad was incredibly organized and took pride in his home. Anyone could look around to see that he put as much love into his home as he did everything else. Our house at Christmas time was the most beautiful house I have ever seen. I remember the hours of labor he would put in to making sure that every light bulb worked and he decorated every inch of the house complete with a custom built star on the roof for all to see. It was purely spectacular and I will forever treasure those memories.
My Dad taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. He taught me what it meant to be loved unconditionally and how to love others unconditionally. I have never doubted how much he loved me or his entire family. He set the bar really high as an example of what I wanted in a husband. Dad truly loved my family and he loved my husband as if he was his own son. My loving husband Jay adored my Dad. Jay looked up to Dad as a Father and a mentor. There were often times when Jay would be doing a project around the house and would find himself not knowing what to do next or how to solve a problem, he came up with the saying “WWFD”. “What Would Frank Do?” And it was true, in any situation you were faced with you could just think, how would Dad handle this? There were many phone calls that Jay made to my Dad asking questions about a project that Jay was working on. My Dad loved nothing more than talking shop with others. My Dad’s second home was Home Depot, Lowes and Harbor Freight. Jay would often think he would literally go to the hardware store for no particular reason but just to walk around until he came up with new ideas for projects to do around the house.
Dad also loved his grandchildren with all of his heart. He was so proud of Joshua, Tessa, Tyler, Madison, Nathan and Jace. Nothing gave him greater joy than being surrounded by them. He was so proud of each one of you and your accomplishments. Now you can rest assured that he will continue to watch over you from above. Please don’t ever think that just because he isn’t physically here with us that he is not with you because he now lives in your hearts.
Dad was a devoted husband and loved my Mom for 44 years. The love they had for each other was like no other. The example they set for my brother and me was extraordinary, sometimes you didn’t think you could live up to that same kind of enduring love. He would be the first one to tell you that he would not have lived as long as he had if it weren’t for my Mom. She nursed him back to health more times than I can count. She took care of him and he learned to better take care of himself because of her. They truly were the perfect couple in my eyes. I was so blessed to have witnessed their marriage. I can only hope that I can provide the same example to my children that they have provided to me.
Dad loved the Lord. He was passionate about his faith and freely shared it with anyone. He prayed many people into heaven. One of the most amazing things about my Dad was if you asked him to pray for you or for someone whether he knew them or not, he DID. He didn’t just say he would, he DID. He had a paper list in his prayer room at home that he would write everyone’s names on and he would pray for each one of them everyday. At the beginning of every school year, he would ask me for the names of my children’s teachers so that he could pray for them to help guide and teach my children. I always found it sweet to see all of the names on it including ours. I never understood why he would need to write our names down, but it was such a personal way for him to pray for each and every person that was in his life. I can promise you that he has probably prayed for every single person heretonight on one occasion or another and whether you asked him to pray or not.
An example of how devout and faithful my Dad was is when I was in labor with my son Nathan on March 24, 2004, Dad poked his head in the doorway around 11:50pm that night and said to the Doctor, “Hey Dr. if there is anyway we could hold off on this until after midnight that would be great because tomorrow is the Feast of the Annunciation”. And wouldn’t you know it, Nathan was born at 12:01am on March 25th. That is how deep his faith ran, that he wanted his grandson to be born on such an important feast day. That is my Dad!
My Dad lived a life of suffering. I can not even begin to tell you all of the things that has ailed him during is lifetime. But he’d always say “It is my cross to bear”. One of the things I admired most about him was that he never complained about any of his illnesses, NEVER. He endured like know one I’ve ever seen. He knocked on death’s door too many times to count but I take great comfort knowing in my heart that he was at peace when our Father called him home to be reunited with all of his loved ones who have gone before him.
I will forever miss hearing my Dad’s voice. Whenever he called he’d always start by saying “Hi Honey, it’s your little Daddy.” Knowing this day would come eventually, I have purposely saved many of his voice mails that he has left for me over the past few years so that I could go back and listen to his voice at times when I need him the most or when I just need a reason to put a smile on my face.
There will forever be a piece of my heart that is broken and missing, but I know where he is now and he is free from any more pain or suffering. I LOVE YOU DADDY♡♡