(Originally read at my fathers funeral, Oct 3, 2012)
Hello, I wanted to share a few words about my father with you.
I know everyone says their father was a great man, but OURS really was.
He had a deep love for his faith and shared it with everyone. He loved God's Saints. Men and women that put their needs last and put God first. St. Francis said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” He lived this.
He read the diary of St Faustina several times, another great Saint my father loved, he lived these words, “Jesus I trust in YOU” . I recently went to my father and mother to ask for guidance over a problem that I could not solve and felt very helpless about. I had not slept in weeks. My father looked at me and said “Judy you've done the footwork, let God handle the rest. Step aside and let the Holy Spirit do his work.” I had my first restful night in weeks. We could all go to him about anything and he would make it better. He had big shoulders. He never let anyone feel they were a burden. He loved everyone. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
He was the gatherer of the family. He wanted us all near him all the time. When he had heart surgery last year, all of us siblings were brought together. You almost felt he did it on purpose... that he wanted us to stop our busy lives and come be together. It worked! We met at the hospital in the early morning and in between visiting hours we had fun together. We went to movies, we ate dinner together, we laughed, we cried. We all felt it was such a gift to have this time to be brothers and sisters again... to have fun together, to be childlike. He loved like a child. Everyone was his friend. He loved his clients and prayed for them. He loved his employees like family. He encouraged them. He made everyone feel important. He never saw bad in anyone.
My father refereed to this bible verse many times … “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. “ My father was such a humble man. He never lost his childlike innocence. He even wore converse tennis shoes to his 50th wedding anniversary. He made life fun. He loved to call his buddies, his grandsons and make plans with them. He would call the house and say, “Can Warren come out and play?” His grandsons loved to “hang out with Poppy.” They already had plans of watching a marathon of Alien movies on their next school break. He made time for each of them.
The past few years he had to go into the hospital several times. He hated going to the hospital. Not so much because of the hospital itself, but because he missed my Mom awful. He loved her so much. He couldn't bare to be even a day without her. Anyone who knew my Dad knew my mother without even meeting her. He lived by God's words, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her” The night before he died, after a full day, he cleaned the kitchen, he loved doing this task, he would talk to one of our Great Saints, the Little Flower, St Therese, while he worked, he loved to do humbling tasks for Christ. He set up the coffee to be ready in the morning for my mother, we all had coffee together that he made the morning he died. There isn't anything he wouldn't do for Mom. If he could have spared her the grief of losing him, he would have found a way.
There is so much more I could say about Dad, it is hard to let him go, but I will end with a prayer he lived his life by,
Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul with Your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus! Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others; the light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine: it will be You shining on others through me. Let me thus praise You in the way You love best: by shining on those around me. Let me preach You without preaching, not by words, but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do best, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.
All of us gathered Nightly for Rosary
Eleventh Station, my fathers art, and his hand was the model
22 grand children
We miss you Dad!