Tomorrow, we are holding services for my dad. Over the last few days I have felt an intense need to tell everyone what I thought of my dad....how he made me feel. Tonight I was granted that by Brother Greg and I will be delivering my dad's eulogy. Here it goes:
We are here today to celebrate the life of my dad, Terry Raymond. I can't thank everyone enough for making the trip and for my amazing family. 14 of us in one house and more laughter than we can handle. It's the only thing that is getting us through the day.
We lost dad entirely too soon. Look at all the love in this room for my wonderful, thoughtful, caring, kind and funny dad. It's overwhelming.
I wanted to take a moment to share some memories and thoughts on dad.
Dad instilled a great sense of friendship in me. Through his years of wonderful friendships with Tom, Cindy, Joe, Dan and so many others, I really got a sense of how your friends truly are a natural extension of your family.
My best friend Susie Brill gave me these beautiful words of comfort: I believe heaven is a beautiful place and I know that you
father is on his way there. You will live without seeing him, but he
will see all the wonderful things that you will do and the even stronger,
more wonderful person you will be when he looks at you from heaven.
My best friend Anne Hazel held my hand during my first ultrasound this week. And Emily and Jen made the trip from OH to hold me up today. You see, my dad taught me how to pick the best flowers in the garden and nurture them with love. They will then give you years and years of endless beauty.
I am lucky that my dad will live on through my children.
Sadie inherited dad's blunt way. That girl will tell you how it is, just like dad always did. She also inherited his mischevious streak. When I was about Adrian's age, I had really bad eyesight. One 4th of Jule dad took me to Geneva Park to watch the fireworks. I remember looking up and seeing something flying through the sky with blinking lights. He had me convinced that it was the Goodyear Blimp coming to scoop us up and see the fireworks from the air. In actuality, it was just a passing plane and he was just playing a trick on his blind daughter!
My son Colin inherited dad's tinkering gene. He loves to inspect things and pull them apart.....but unlike dad, he hasn't figured out how to put them back together yet. I know he'll get there though.
I am hoping our third child, who is due in September, will inherit dad's curls. Maybe not his afro curls, but his curls nonetheless :)
Dad - I love you. You always made me feel so special and loved. On my last birthday you sent me a card with flowers on the front. Inside you wrote, "you are the flower of my life." How special is that??
There was never a second that I didn't know my dad was proud of me and that he would do anything for me. I feel like my husband is that kind of father to our children. I am incredibly blessed.
In closing, I wanted to quote my dad's friend Dan Nugent. Dan told me on Monday that, "your dad was the best friend I ever had." In all of our own ways, dad was all of our best friends. He'd do anything for you. I pray that he is working on a hot rod or lawnmower in heaven and breathing in the sweet smell of eternal life.
~~~I love you~~~