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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Monday, August 20, 2007

In Memoriam

Today we laid Dad to rest. Bruce did a fine job with the service. Penni was unable to attend, she had stomach pains Saturday and was taken to the hospital where they discovered a bowel blockage. They are trying to break up the blockage without surgery and could be in the hospital for four to six more days. I videotaped portions of the service and showed it to her this afternoon.

My Eulogy
The two standout experiences I had with Dad:
In 1969 I was running track in Junior High. Dad was working nights and taking classes at the University. I didn't see too much of him. One night he came home smiling like the Cheshire Cat. He told me that in one of his classes there was a lady whose husband was coaching track at a rival school and he asked her how his team was doing. She answered by saying, "Pretty good except for the damn Prescott kid." Then she caught herself and asked him he was Dad's son.
Dad said, "He sure is." (Her husband thought he could win every track meet that season and take the city championship. A couple of days earlier against that school I finished first in three races and it was his first team loss.)
Dad was not stinting in his praise or showing pride in Bruce, Penni or me, but this time was rather special. He was so happy to be the father of "That damn Prescott kid."
The other special experience was many many years later. Dad had retired and was getting out the house by substitute teaching. It was nice that whenever I needed a sub I could choose Dad and know I had a sub the students would not misbehave on. I would tell them that I had never been able to get away with anything on him all my life -- so don't even think about it. One of the teachers in my department was seriously ill and I needed a long term sub for six weeks. Mom and Dad were just coming back from a drive up to Washington State, Oregon and California. With only one day of rest he agreed to the long term contract and for six weeks we taught across the hall from each other. I could see the pride in him as he saw me "in action" so to speak. The teacher who Dad was subbing for wasn't very happy about it at first, but when he came back he told me that the classes were the best behaved he had ever seen after a long term sub.


Irina Tsukerman said...

That's really beautiful.

How did your father manage to keep everyone so well in order?

Susan said...

Thanks for coming to visit my blog , even though you have been going through what must have been a very difficult week for you.
That was a wonderful eulogy from son to father. It seems that you were just as proud of him as he was of you. Have wonderful to have had an oportunity to have worked with him. Seems like you will have many good memories for you to carry with you, hence, your Dad will never be far from your heart.
My prayers go out to Penni, whom I take is your sister, that she will soon be home and feeling herself. How very sad that she couldn't be at the service.
I hope you will be able to enjoy your new school year. Just keep the memory of the pride your dad had in seeing you 'in action', and know that he is always with you.