Another eulogy has been given, yet it never becomes easier for me. I have given so many eulogies in my life, and I can say that it always difficult for me. I did not know that this one was actually going to be done by me. I was just asked to speak with the priest before the services started.
When I spoke to him, he basically told me that he really wanted me to do the eulogy but my friend’s dad told him that I might be too upset to do it. So, I came unprepared. When the priest told me that it was OK for me to do it, I said I would be able to do it. Then I went in my little area and set my thoughts in motion.
I can truly say that the priest who performed the service was great, and he would have been able to do quite a fine job with the eulogy even with the few things I could have told him right before the service.
However, there is nothing that can compare to firsthand knowledge. It comes from the source, and from the heart. I knew this boy from the moment he was born, and now, I was there to see him leave this earth and be buried. This has truly been a hard week for me. The worst part was that he died on the same day my father died, just years later, so that was a hit all it’d own. That day now has even more weight added to it, and I will never look forward to it coming around each year because of the feelings of loss and sadness that it yields for me.
I was told by all who attended that I hit the nail right on the head with my words. I captured the essence of that beautiful young man, and brought his wit, his happiness, his compassion and his gift of gab and placed it right in front of them for all to see. Although the words came easy, they were not easy to say. I was so torn apart by the loss of my childhood friend and confidant. As I was telling my tales of days of you yore, my mind was going a mile a minute reminding how I will never see my friend again, and the thoughts of our late night chats will are forever to be silent.
I tried to memorialize GB with things that everyone could easily attest to that were part of his character. I felt that each person had a connection even though they might not have been directly connected to the event at hand. However, there are some things that are for me only-Our personal little snippets that made our friendship so important for over 4 decades.
4 decades…..40 years……Wow! That seems like a lot of time when looking at it with the 40 years in front of you. However, when I look at those 40 years in my rear view mirror, they seem like but a blip in time. They went so fast…too fast.
Although I have no regrets, I…….Hell yes! I have regrets, I am sitting here crying my fucking eyes out at this very damn moment. Part of my life is gone, and it is never coming back. I keep hearing all this talk about acceptance and grieving processes, and I just can’t get my head around it. I feel like running away sometimes lately. I know in my heart that everything has its time, but that is not making any of this any easier. I have given 10 eulogies in the past 3 years exactly. 3 per year- One every 4 months on average- 3 years ago, I did 4 eulogies in a 2 months period. I want to be able to speak to my friends and family at that moment because that is the last time I will be with them before they are laid to rest. That is not the problem.
The problem is that my entire framework of who I am is falling apart. A life that used to be filled with nothing but goals and desires has been replaced with a life of helplessness and sorrow for those who I have lost and the lifestyle that was once ever present. I have carried so many coffins lately, and they have not been only the old timers, it has been many young and vibrant lives that were cut all too short. When I look at the lives lost at such young ages of 18, 20, 27, 38, 40 and 44 from accidents and disease, I start to see the possibility of my ultimate demise. Seeing such things first hand brings our ultimate fate right front and center.
Although difficult to deal with, I still have to work hard to give my children every possible opportunity in there lives. I can’t allow my sadness to interfere with there ability to grow and thrive. They came with us to the funeral, and they were the only children. My friend was very special to them. He used to give my son comic books because they both enjoyed them so much, and he always complimented my daughter’s achievements, and told her she was going to be something special some day. To see all of them popping fireworks in the street each year was truly a memory I will cherish forever, and my videos of those moments are absolutely priceless. He meant so much to my daughter that she actually came and asked me if she could read one of the prayers during his service, and I was absolutely impressed at her thoughts on the matter. I know GB was looking down on her at the moment when she was speaking and smiling his ass off. This kid is amazing, and she is only 12 years old-I am so proud of her!
Life really is too short. So, I guess I better get to living it. I keep thinking of that damn Pink Floyd song, “Time.” It really is true that 10 years will get behind you, and no one normally tells you when to run. Well, I can honestly say that I tell my kids to start running each and every day. I am always telling them to reach for the gold ring, and make every possibility an option. Regardless of how my life turned out, I want them to be able to soar into the stratosphere. I do not want them to limit themselves or look back 10 years from now and wonder “what if?” We talk about how important education is, and how playing sports is not just about the sport but the connections and learning to follow directions and overcoming obstacles. They know that competition is not just about winning but working to achieve success- Success in a job done to the best of their ability. It is working and thinking and using their minds and bodies to build a toolbox full of skills that will allow them to overcome obstacles and enable them to teach their kids one day. Wow! That was a mouthful.
On days like these, I always think of my father. Before he died, there was nothing, and I mean nothing that my father could not build, fix, overcome. During my life with him, he was the most solid person I knew or that I have ever known- This is not an exaggeration, but a fact. My childhood was that good, and I only hope that my kids feel the same way about me when they become adults.
For instance, when my dad retired from his job in his early 50’she decided to build a 42 foot boat. He never built a boat, but building is building, and a true craftsman can do anything with anything. He always used to tell me to lay one brick at a time, and it will soon be done. I was a young kid when that boat was built, and people still talk about the boat that was built in the lot next to Interstate 10. I had someone talk to me about it 2 weeks ago. I did not think it was anything out of the ordinary because my dad built stuff constantly. He built my brother’s cases for his jewelry store, and they are still in there today. I just watched it happen, and accepted it as part for the course. I did not know that the average dad just did his job and came home. I just figured all dad’s built houses and jewelry cases in the afternoons when they came home from work. The thing about it was I actually liked working with my dad, and because of that, I just did what he did. I don’t even think about it. Building a 2 story cabana over my back yard and canterlevering a deck over my garage is no big deal.
I am starting to see that it is a big deal when my children bring there friends over. The kids look at some of the things in my yard and can’t believe what they see. When I want something, I build it, and that is because I watched my dad do exactly the same thing. Now, my daughter is doing the same.
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Not many 12 year old kids can handle a drill or a hammer with such ease. She has been doing things like this for years now. I used to drill pilot holes and hold the wood, but now she starts them herself, and she measures the lumber and uses a square and a level, but I only allow her to use a cutoff saw that has a ton of safety features and I am right there with her. My son has been doing the same for many years.
This is him filing the edges and measuring pieces of what soon became this.
The arch was the easiest thing for him to make because the router cut the wood and he made a jig to allow him to cut it out. However, it looked to professionally done. That was from an 8 year old, and he just did it because he saw me do it so many times before. However, I never let them use any tools unless I am right there with them. I do not have to worry about him doing it without me, it is my daughter. She just goes with it. Also, I always use as much stuff out of the trash-And I really mean trash. We always go trash hunting to find materials because once it is cut out and painted, it looks perfect. I hope that I am teaching them to not be wasteful and learn to use what they have to get things done. All the wood and the paint was from off the street. It is amazing how many quarts of paint people buy and throw out because of the strange colors they choos. It really is cool to see a kid take a bunch of trash and make something special.
Anyhow, I get so excited talking about my kids, and I sometimes forget everything else that is going on around me. I am sure GB is happy that I am feeling better now. I do miss my friend, and I always will. I am not even tired, and I have been up almost 24 hours with only 3 hours the night before. I am going to wrap this up by saying, “Do you best to tell your friends and family how important they are to you. Don’t wait for tomorrow because it, very well, may be too late. Bask in the glory of your memories of yesterday….and continue to make new ones.
Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends
Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer