The day our father died.

There was no thunder or lightning.

No previous night’s rain to bless the world he was leaving behind.

The day our father said goodbye to this world;

There was no group of friends and family around his bed.

No last kiss on his forehead or a hand to offer one last comforting squeeze.

The night our dad went to sleep for the last time;

He did not inform anyone that this would be the last goodnight.

That he would not wake up from one last dream.

 

Because you see, before our father died;

His smile had been the lightning to many a sad heart.

He always had a way to shock you out of your cocoon

His voice thundered with a hearty laugh;

That always followed one of his sly jokes.

He was a blessing to his children.

And he had a way of raining goodwill on the rest of those who knew him.

Our father did not need to say goodbye to the world.

Deep down he lives in each one of us.

We can still see his smile, feel his calloused hands.

And in both of them, we get the strength to know;

That he intended for us to live on and achieve our dreams like he did his.

 

Our father.

Your husband.

Your brother.

Your uncle.

Your grandfather.

Your late son.

Your friend.

 

He was but a man.

But he managed to be more than that to each of us.

He was a helping hand.

He was the joker in the crowd.

He had aged wisdom.

He was a force to reckon with.

This man had careworn palms.

Yet he held kids and showed his gentle heart.

He had a quiet simmering temper.

With which he stood up for friends and family.

He could discipline with one look.

And love with one phrase.

He fought wars with himself.

Won battles for each one of us.

He was the calm to our storm.

He was the gentle breeze in our sails.

He made ways for all of us with his will.

Taught us that it was allowed to dream beyond our means

 

Our father was in no way perfect.

But each of his flaws made him unique.

In being the man he was.

He mirrored the attributes of his children

Orphans will sing the whole-hearted giving nature of Virginiah.

We found your silent wisdom and maturity in Jane and Carol.

The sounds of clashing hammers lead us to the workaholic bee in Dave.

We shall gather on warm nights for advice from the boy you made a man’s man.

Who deserves the name Kelvin for always striking when the iron is hot.

And when this family needs to smile again;

Irene and I will be at our wit’s end to make sure of that.

 

I am sad.

As most of the people here are

But I stand here to celebrate you.

For giving us the best of your years

For being the best of dads

I know you can hear us.

Let not these cries dampen your soul.

Let that crooked smile never leave your face.

And when the skies light up with stars tonight

I will remember that twinkle in your eyes.

That always spelled mischief.

That twinkle that said,

There was something you hadn’t revealed fully.

I hope you can finish the story for me one day.

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