I did not receive the opportunity to present this eulogy I spent hours writing and rewriting at my step-grandfather’s funeral so I will share it here:
It doesn’t matter if he was Granddaddy, Daddy Jack, Dad, the Colonel, or just plain Jack, he was a symbol of admiration to us all. From stories I know he was an excellent leader in his youth, and this showed throughout our lives. He taught me not through the common lectures and disciplinary actions of all parents and grandparents, he didn’t have to speak a word because he was a walking example of morality, strength, love, happiness, and so much more. I know he has touched everyone’s life through his actions day by day, but for this short moment I would like to share how he lives on through these lessons.
First off he taught me to be an incredible card shark by the age of eight, through endless play during Wheel of Fortune and the news each night.
But on a more sentimental note…
He taught me first that life is boundless. As a pilot he saw no limits, and as a child he showed me the world. He opened my eyes and my mind with the experience of continued wonderment. Whether it was high tea in London, or hula lessons on the shores of Waikiki. Through his entrepreneurial feats he gave me aspiration, and the faith that I too could create any professional world I please, whether that be the District Manager with the most stores and the highest year over year earnings, or a simple shop owner when the time comes because I know that dreams can be reality.
He taught me morals, ethics, and manners. He was always cordial, he treated each person he spoke to as if they were the center of the universe, he kept any superficial complaints silent, and he showed appreciation for efforts. He was a symbol of a perfect level of humility, and was never afraid to ask which silver utensil to use next at a six-course dinner. He held no grudges, and was a walking example of acceptance.
He taught me that happiness was a priority. His first and only question he asked each time we had a moment alone in these final years was “Are you Happy?” Honestly I answered yes each time, and he smiled in satisfaction. I make it a priority to only do what makes me happy, and to find happiness in what I’m doing, life is too short to do otherwise. I thank him for reminding me to consider my own happiness all those times.
Last and most importantly he taught us all what family was. For those of you who are not familiar with the tree of which I have blossomed Granddaddy was not my biological grandfather, but the word step was not in his vocabulary. His stepchildren and grandchildren were as much family to him as his own sons, who were truly the apple of his eyes. With each bristly kiss, and compassionate supportive smile he taught us family is not only what you were born into but where Love resides. Being a stepmother myself I know there does not have to be a divide, and through his example I love our son B as much as my precious daughter Aislyn. My friends who exhibit love I accept into my family unit, and for my immediate family, those from my tree I know to love and cherish everyone; I hope to continue to live by this example so for generations to come his footprint never washes away.