Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Uncle Randal Falling in the Water

Dad's memorial service went extremely well. I am certain he is pleased. Herewith the talking points I used for my eulogy. As is always the case, there's a fair distance between the stuff you write down and the stuff you say. Case in point, my opening comment was going to be something like:
It's 2:30 now. If someone could give me a signal around quarter of four, that would be great.
Actually, although I could have gone on for quite a while, I was concerned about time so I dropped a couple of items, including the part about Uncle Randal falling into the water.

More on that later. Here's the outline:

· Spent the last four months taking care of Dad

· Story starts with me, a year ago, deciding to become a painter

· Allowed me to move down here

· Spent more time talking to Dad than the rest of my life combined

· All we did was talk

o The war—what scared him

o Books—His two favorites: P&P, Willa Cather-My Antonia

o Cooking—microwave hollandaise

o His parents and family; The Corrigans

o Drinking

§ Bloody Mary story

§ Bay Head

· Pumping out the boat

· Uncle Randal falling in

o Best day of all. I remember that smile

· In his last week, he smiled twice

o Opening line of P&P

o Fudge from Betty

· Two days later, the phone rang at one in the morning

· Show up at Heritage Hall

o Peaceful for the first time in a long time

o Read the first chapter of P&P

· Looking through his stuff

o Story about the boat (in the vagrant mood)

o Clerehew

o Double dactyl

· Leisure world community—what a good son

o Half the credit is mine

o Not a lot of money but two great daughters, a best friend, a lot of great paintings and, most of all, those four months with Dad.

· I am grateful for those four months.


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