How will you be remembered? It is always enlightening to listen to comments voiced about someone, following their death. In the past the majority of funerals were led by a man of the clergy, with few others participating, unless providing the special music. In recent years it seems that more and more funerals are termed as “a celebration of life.” People are given opportunities to share their personal memories of the one being honored.
Outside of the funeral service, how will you be remembered and described? I have heard such comments as : “She never had an unkind word to say about anyone,” to the opposite extreme with “The world is better off without him.” It surprises me what I have often remembered most clearly about my own Mom and Dad. I so vividly see their hands, hands which touched my life in so many ways.
This story is in honor of “The Quiet Man,” my Father-in-Law. I believe John Wayne starred in the movie titled “The Quiet Man;” yet the phrase better fits Daddy. He stood straight and tall, as he labored along the side of his wife in their fish bait business. Often people rushing to their favorite fishing hole stop along the way for fresh bait. Most are unaware of the long hours of hard work that box of worms or crickets required.
Daddy loved to be outside, thrived on the fresh air and honest hard work. He never said a lot, just went about the tasks that needed to be done, working from before sunrise to sunset. He was a faithful husband and father. He showed much deep concern for his wife following a surgery. He took me along with him to visit her during her hospital recuperation. He was so tender and caring in meeting her needs.
One occasion I will always remember is a short personal conversation we once shared. His son, my husband had a love for radio, which began at the young age of nine years old. He had his first DJ job at age fifteen, at the home town radio station. In my In Laws home a radio was on; he kind of pointed or nodded in the direction of the music asking “Do you like that as much as Norman does?” Being an outdoor man, I think that interest was kind of a mystery to him...I answered yes. I had grown up in a house with the sounds of music coming from radios and the hi-fi every day. It was one of his quiet conversations with the young bride of his only son.
In so many ways actions speak louder than words. Maybe, he was a quiet man; but his actions were heard for miles around, and still speak to his family and friends. He left an example to each of us; and I see him now in his son, grandchild, and great grandchild, named after him.
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