On this first Father's Day without my father, I was looking for a way to honor him. But what would I write? His voice still echos in my ear. It then occurred to me that I have not looked at the notes I wrote for his Eulogy. So I have written the speech as I either recall saying it or intended to say.
Crosspoint Community Church
Thursday, March 3rd, 2016, 3:00 pm
Everyone knows Fred differently. Husband. Uncle. Brother. Grandpa. Acquaintance. I knew him as Dad.
He was gentle and honest. A real, keep-to-yourself kind of guy.
He taught me respect for others. He taught me compassion for those we love. He taught me how to throw a ball, shoot a gun and shave my face. He taught me how the world works.
He was passionate about cars. He always kept the family vehicle in top working performance. And it was always clean. He was a true handyman. He built everything from tables to entire neighborhoods. He was passionate about family. He would do anything for us.
When I left for school in Denton it was the early 1990s. I pursued my own interests in things like music and computers. These were things he didn't understand. I would return to visit for Christmas and other holidays. We even enjoyed a great trip to Disney World.
It was at that time I realized he wasn't Dad anymore as much as he was more of a friend. And that's how I started to know him.
When I knew him as a friend we would go to ballgames together. We looked forward to seeing the new cars at the auto shows. But it wasn't always big ticket events. We would go to the local hardware stores for something he was working on.
He would tell me stories about his time in Viet Nam. They were simple stories about going to the Post Exchange (PX) or the chores he had to do while there. He would even share more personal stories like how he met Mom.
I would share things I found on this new thing called the Internet. One thing, in particular, is the original manufacturer of the jacket Indiana Jones wore in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. When I would bring things like the jacket or the boots over to show him, he usually insisted we watch the movie.
We shared Saturday afternoon cigars together. We discussed what we wanted to do with our backyards. We talked about the trips we hoped we could take.
Today I get to learn about Dad, my friend in a new way. I get to learn this new narrative of him through you all and the stories you have to share.
Thank you for taking the time to be here. Thank you for making the effort to remember him.