Leaving a Legacy – a tribute to my Dad

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I lost my Dad in 2007 to Alzheimer’s. I miss him everyday. The following is part of his eulogy I wrote for his memorial. Thank you for letting me share a little bit about my Dad.

We all hope to leave a part of us behind in this world when we move on to the next. We hope to leave something good, something tangible, something that brings a smile to another person’s face when they think of us.

My dad did more than that – he left a legacy.

He left my brothers and me with a strong moral fiber. Strong biblical morals. So strong, that when we learned them, we were too young to understand the significance of what we were being taught. Morals that were so ingrained in us that when we became Christians it seemed like just what we were supposed to do.

I never heard him curse, and rarely did he raise his voice. And yet we knew when we had done something wrong…like when I broke curfew more than once and the words “I’m disappointed in you” were enough.

He left a legacy of love. I don’t think I ever questioned his love for us – even in our rebellious teenage years when we made more than our share of questionable choices. He always let us know we were loved.

He left a legacy of good work ethics. He worked hard for our family and showed us the value of a dollar and how to earn it.

He left a legacy of appreciation. We knew how to appreciate the things of life. When we were young it was about appreciating our toys. Some of which still survive today. As we grew, we learned how to appreciate bigger toys…like our first cars.

He taught us how to appreciate one another…our families…our spouses.

He left a legacy of honesty. Of how to build a life based on love and trust and hope and kindness. I don’t ever remember an instance of rage, even when one could have been warranted.

He left a legacy of laughter…of family wrestling matches, and endless board games, and family vacations.

But most importantly he left a legacy of God. Through his actions he showed us who Jesus is and what Jesus’ love meant every day of his life.

So to my dad, I would say “Thank you” for leaving us a legacy that we can hope to pass along to our kids. Thank you for the years of patience and love. I hope I can live up to the example you set for me.

Thank you for being a strong example, so that when it came my time to get married, I knew what qualities to look for, and found them in my husband.

I love you, Dad. You will be missed.

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