Saturday, March 03, 2007


My Dad passed away two years ago tomorrow. I asked a friend of mine who lost her father, "When do you stop crying?" She said you never really do. And she's right. I still cry when I have moments of almost picking up the phone to call him or bouts of missing him. But, I now have more and more moments when I'm smiling, even laughing, remembering him. I feel sorry for people who didn't know my Dad. He really was terrific. And funny.

Bobby gave the eulogy and preached Dad's funeral. Below is the eulogy to help those of you who knew him remember and others to get a glimpse at who you missed:

". . . a life is a lot more than a list of dates and places. It’s a person – a personality. I want to share something personal about Bobby, but I hesitate to do so, because, for one, he’s my father-in-law and I don’t know where to begin or end. For another, I know that the things I remember about him, or appreciate about him the most, are likely different from many of things that are special to others. More than that, I know that many of you knew Bobby much longer than I did – some maybe all his life, or perhaps all your life. Besides from all that, I understand that the man I knew later in his life was very different from the young man I’ve seen pictures of and heard the stories about.

The man I knew was a new creation, because Christ had changed his life. So I encourage you to reflect on your memories of Bobby, as I share with you just a few of mine.

When I think of Bobby I especially remember a big man with large hands. That’s one of the first things you noticed about Bobby when you were a young man wanting to date his daughter. It was kind of intimidating. But I quickly got over that because Bobby had a way of carrying a conversation, and making a total stranger feel just like an old friend. Bobby liked to just sit around, enjoy a good conversation and a cup of coffee. He had a good sense of humor. He could tell a joke. He could make a face. He told lots of stories about characters with the most colorful nicknames that you felt like you knew by the time the story was over. Bobby enjoyed simple pleasures. He liked to “piddle” around in the garage. He took pleasure in nature. He liked to watch birds and animals. He liked to root for the Wildcats. And he enjoyed country music. Those are the things he liked to do. Alisa and Karen were always trying to expand his horizons. They used to say he was in a rut. I said it was more like a trench. But Bobby seemed to understand something a lot of people don’t now-a-days: those things were enough to make him content – and that’s a good thing.

More important, Bobby was a kind and gentle man. He was always willing to help out others. He was a person others depended on, confided in, and looked to for advice and strength, especially during hard times. He had a reputation of being tighter than bark on a tree, because, much to Mary’s chagrin, he would make due with anything, and absolutely would not throw anything away. I later found out that his reputation wasn’t true; he was a generous man who simply did without so that he could provide better for his children – who he was so proud of. That’s the man I knew. That was the man redeemed by Christ. That’s the one I remember.

As I just mentioned, late in his life Bobby returned to his faith in Jesus Christ that he first professed as a young man. He made that faith public when, at Christmas, in 1997, he was baptized into the body of Christ at Southeast Christian Church, in Louisville, Kentucky. Of all the things that Bobby did in his life, the one thing that is most important today, the one thing that makes everything else seem trivial by comparison, was to place his trust in Jesus Christ. It is, therefore, that aspect of his life that we will especially commemorate today.

As it so happened, it wasn’t long after Bobby’s baptism that his health problems became apparent. Over the years his health decreased, until at last both his body and mind were destroyed by disease. In the end, however, he fought the good fight, he finished the race, and he kept the faith.

Bobby lived the three score and ten years allotted to him. He died old and full of days. Bobby passed from this world on Friday, March 4th, at 4:50 pm, at Norton’s Suburban Hospital, in Louisville, Kentucky.
It was appropriate that as he was gathered unto his own he was surrounded by his own. In the final seconds of his life, I read from Psalm 16. And as I read the final verse – “In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Bobby breathed his last, and serenely departed from this life, as if to say that he had at that very moment entered into that eternal joy.


RosieBoo said...

Aww, I love that picture of you and your Dad at your wedding. Your Daddy always reminded me of Christopher Plummer (Capatin Von Trapp in Sound of Music)

My memories of Mom come in waves much like yours....know that your sister here understands...

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the memories of 'Uncle' Bobby.
He was a wonderful man. You were lucky to have him in your life.

Someone gave this to me after my Dad died. We were not as close as I would have liked,not like you and your Dad. It really touched me.

'Our parents cast long shadows over our lives. When we grow up, we can imagine that we can walk in the sun, free of them. We don't realize, until it's too late, that we have no choice in the matter;they are always ahead of us.

We carry them within us all our lives-in the shape of our face, the way we walk, the sound of our voice, our skin, hair, hands and our heart. We try all our lives to separate ourselves from them, only when they are gone do we find we are indivisible.'

-Richard Eyre

Hope you are well...

Your cousin Tami