I want to thank the many
friends that have come to support our mom and siblings in this time of
reflection. For us, and the rest of my dad’s family I want to start with a poem
that I feel adequately describes life and what you make of it. This poem was
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
From the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came his date of birth
And spoke the ending date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years. (1928-2009)
For that dash represents all the time
That he spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved him
Know what that little line is worth
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars…the house…the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard…
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down long enough
To consider what’s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile..
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy’s being read
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
Well dad did live his life and fill his dash to the fullest. Some of the words to describe his life are determined, arrogant, loud (he was a cheerleader), loyal, loving, stubborn, hard working, and did I say determined? When dad wanted to do something, he did it no matter who or what said he couldn’t. In fact, if you told him he could not do something he was more determined to do what he wanted.
Dad had his first heart attack at the age of 47. A very young man, he is so stubborn that he wasn’t going to give in to this. Later in life, he told me the paramedics had to shock him 21 times and that no other person had ever lived after 21 shocks with the paddles. He said he wasn’t afraid to die he just wasn’t ready.
The second heart problem came at the age of 64. This one he was sent to Milwaukee for a by-pass. These two
heart attacks weakened his heart, which ultimately shortened his life. He raised eleven can I say great children when mom never worked outside of the home. He taught all of us to work hard for what we have. Every one of his children work and have inherited dads work ethic, and moms frugality. Together they made a perfect match.
This being a day of reflection, I want to share mine with you. I remember twice in my life seeing my
dad cry. The first was when I was young, dad was coach for a little league baseball team, and he was accepting an award or something. When he got up to speak, he got choked up trying to talk about the love he had for the team. The second time is when we gave him a group picture of his kids. He was so proud of us. He would tell a story of when anyone bragged about their new house, car, boat or any other material item he would take out his wallet and get out the photo of his kids and tell them this is what I have, my kids. And you know that we meant more to him than any monetary item in the world.
We all have memories of dad. Here are just a few:
Neighbors- your dad was loved by the entire neighborhood. In the summer, he would go door to door delivering those wonderful tomatoes to all of us. I would hear him in the yard whistling. I always knew where he was because he was always happy and whistling. His family meant EVERYTHING to him. He would brag about you all the time.
Carol- Dad will always know how much I love him and when the time comes he will be smiling down on all of us and bragging to anyone in heaven who will listen how great his kids, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are. His pride in us has always been special to me.
Bill- Gramps has told me many times that he has done all that he has wanted to do in his life Alaska, hunting and getting a nine point deer, having his big family and grand family. And when that time comes rest assured that I have led the life that I wanted and be happy for me.
Don- One of Don and Dads last conversations went something like this: Dad you’ve always been a strong man. I want to thank you for all the things you've done for me. It's been a good life. I just want to tell you that I love you and thank you. He told me he loves me too, and that he's had a lot of fun being my friend. So what do you tell a man?
You tell him you love him! With Love, Your Son and Friend Don
Bob- I want to tell you some of the things that I respect about my Dad: I respect the way he showed his love for family and country. I respect all the hard work he did to raise his family. I respect the way he treated our mother with love and making sure we all did too. I respect him for loving life and living it to the fullest by hunting and fishing, the way he enjoyed the family reunions, by singing alouette and going to cards. I still admire the way he could program the T.V.
Rosanne- Dad I never knew how much I really loved you until the last 15 hours of your life. I will never
forget the wonderful super bowl that we shared and the great conversation that we had that night. Love, Rosanne
Michelle- Dad I got to your house today and found your flag at half-mast. This was just a reminder of how
proud of our country and our family you are. So thank you for teaching us all to be grateful for our country, and most of all, to be proud to be a member of such a wonderful family. Be at peace Dad. Love, your youngest baby.
>Mom has told all of us about when she told the nuns at Holy Redeemer that she was going to marry dad. The
nuns got all excited and told her “Oh no honey, you don’t want to marry HIM.” Mom said “oh yes I do” she was so right. He has been a good husband, provider, friend, companion, and lover to our mother.
We all have memories of dad and the one that I will remember and try to emulate is the love that he had for his spouse. The love of his life, as he has told me so many times over the years. Mom and dad fell in love at the age of 15. The stories that mom and dad have reminisced about in these past months will be fond memories for me and I will never forget the true feeling of the true companionship that they have for each other. They told me that Dad would sit at the end of the counter while mom worked at the corner soda shop sometimes holding her hand and sometimes just sitting there until she got off work. Then he would walk her home and sit with her on the settee until grandpa Van Gorp got up to go to work. He worked midnights. Mom said grandpa would kick dad on the foot and say, “come on Lefebvre I’ll take you home.”
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