This is un-edited. This is just me at 1 in the morning with a few songs, a few beers and the tape running. I haven’t listened to it. I’m not sure why I’m posting it. I’m quite zen at times. Do it. Live in the moment. Let’s just see what happens. I hope this helps. I think it helped me to do to it. I think. I don’t know. I never know. All I do know is that I love my family and miss Papa.
This is the eulogy I gave to Papa:
I am the luckiest man in the world. I am adopted. Adopted by two brilliant and loving people. I’ve been told that I have chosen wisely and that is so very true. My Mum and Papa tried and tried and came to the conclusion that they would sadly not be able to have their own children. Man, were they wrong. Glad I could help get things started. What an amazing family Papa created.
In fact, now that I’m a father I judge people that way. How are they as a father?
So now I’ll judge my own father through that prism. As a father one of your jobs is your children. Let’s look at his children.
Kiera. K Mo. She would not be half the women she is today without the patience, the kindness, the love of my Papa.
Brendan. He is the kind of man I wish I were. He is fun, loving. Kids love him. Hell at times Brendan is still a kid. A wondrous quality. All those things come from Papa. I love watching Brendan as a father. He’s a natural. Brendan like my Papa chose an amazing woman (Sabrina) to share his life with.
Caitlin. They say that as a woman when you marry; you look for someone that has parts of your father. I couldn’t be any happier with your choice and I know Papa loved Joe so very much. You are a beautiful daughter.
Courtney. In High School no one would have predicted the friendship we have now. I love you. And Tim you are such a great man. Papa loved you.
I can’t believe the extended family that Papa helped create. It’s astonishing. I want to be in Chicago all the time. I love you guys I miss you when we’re not together.
That leaves me; his adopted son. Not even of his flesh and blood and he showed me love and what love should be. I honestly believe that I could not have found and married a woman as remarkable and lovely as my sweet and dear Kate. Sweetie I love you. Thank you.
Thank you Papa.
He led by quiet example.
He was the greatest man. Everything he did he did for others. He was the most altruistic person in the world. Whenever he did anything for anyone it wasn’t because he wanted anything in return. No, he did it because it was the right thing to do. The good thing to do.
He taught me love
He taught me how to use a backboard
He taught me camping
He taught me love of sports
He taught me how to be a father
He taught me how to be a man
He was filled with unconditional love. I am what one might call a bit of a black sheep of the family.
He never told me he was disappointed. He always loved me. He let me live my life.
Even when I said “I’m taking a job in St Thomas the Virgin Islands”
Even when I said “I’m not going to be a teacher any more and become a radio DJ”
Even When I said “I’m moving to Albuquerque to start my career in radio”
Even when I said “I’m moving but not back to Chicago but rather Atlanta”
Even When I said “I’m getting married and the wedding is going to be in the beautiful but remote part of California Big Sur.”
Even when I said “I’m moving again and no not back to Chicago but DC”
Even when I said “Hey I’m moving again and no not Chicago but New York”
What is going to happen to our apple tree. My P’s would visit every year and he would prune our front apple tree. Every time I look at that apple tree I’ll be thinking of you Papa.
Just the simple act of having a beer with him was the best. It’s one of my favorite things in the world. I truly believe that I can’t honestly know anybody until we sit and share a beer or 3. Kate was going through our wedding photos at ———- and found a picture of Papa and Me alone at a table. What were we doing? Sharing a beer.
I have so many memories. So many great and wonderful memories and could go on for hours. He was the greatest.
I love you Papa. I love you so much. I wish you PEACE. I can only imagine the pain you were in. Pain so much Pain. I feel so sorry for you but the pain is gone now Papa. I want you to know that my good memories of us, together, will never expire.
Papa I hope you can see and feel all the love in this room and in the world for you. All this is for you.
I’m not very good at words but I can pick out meaningful music. I would like to play a song.
I love you Papa. Good bye.
I didn’t really remember that night (the night I got the call about Papa’s death – and Tim I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine doing that. You are amazing) until Kate and I talked about it later. Now it is seared. I remember everything. I’m quite a mellow guy and I know I freaked out my kids. For that I am sorry. To say it was an aniamlistic reaction would be an understatement.
I was still doing NEXT on The Peak. I knew I wasn’t going to be in town to record the show. We got a flight to Chicago very early in the morning. The first flight one out. Kate said don’t record the show. Don’t. Just come to bed. I couldn’t sleep. So a buddy came with me to the studio. We shared a few beers and we talked. Thanks Scott. Every word that came out of mouth felt silly, small and useless but I recorded this show. Week 243