The following is what I said at my Father’s funeral on Saturday.
Hopefully, I will be posting more in the future.
On behalf of my brother Rick, my sister Kris, myself and our entire family we thank you for your thoughts and prayers and your presence here this day.
A special thank you to my Aunt Inge and Uncle Earl Brockman for their support and assistance during this difficult time.
Also, my dad’s brother Uncle George and Aunt Dorothy who were able to visit dad before he passed. We are so grateful for the time we have had together during this difficult time. It has been wonderful sharing memories and having the opportunity to grieve together.
We would also like to thank the staff at the Pleasant View Nursing Home, each one of them. They treated him with kindness and respect all the way until he left the building when he passed – we are forever grateful.
Also, we want to thank Craig of Newcomer funeral home – he could not be more sensitive, helpful, and competent.
Finally, I would like to thank Monsignor Larry. Not just for today in his role, but on Monday, after being in Milwaukee all day, he came to see dad and performed last rights – we truly feel Dad wanted and needed that. Thank you and God bless you.
It was just a little over 8 years ago that we were saying goodbye to our mother and Oma. It is the little things that you sometimes notice about someone that tells you more of the story. As we started the process of going through documents and such, we found the cards that mom and dad had written to each other. Words of love and commitment. If you would call the house number today, dad never changed the greeting. On many accounts that he had, we found that he never took her name off anything- – because he loved her so much.
A pattern of something shows the demeanor of a man – and the pattern that father had was one of love. It was not just mom; it was how he provided for his family; it was how he quietly helped people. His philanthropic nature donating to worthy causes and encouraging others. He was one of the most gracious and loving souls we have known.
In the time that mom passed, we have had opportunities to hear stories of how they lived, how they loved, the challenges they faced, and the losses they experienced.
We also found a man that had a deep love and deep respect for God. To be honest, it was something we learned more and more about. We have had many conversations with him about God and how much he loved God, how much God loved him. God’s love is big enough for each and every one of us, and God loves you too – more than anything, Dad would want you to know that.
Dad loved lots of things…music, food, reading, animals, knowledge – but most of all he loved his family. When he became ill, he was so worried about a Christmas card or a gift being late. He was worried about sending a birthday card while he was in a nursing home. He was worried about being a bother, when the reality of it all, he was a blessing to all that knew him.
While he was in the nursing home, we tried to ask what he would like food-wise to make him more comfortable. Sugar cookies were high on his list and Jennifer’s were his favorite. A pizza from Suisse House – and although it cannot be verified, Captain Morgan’s and sour. One of the other things he asked for was peanut brittle – so we made him peanut brittle. What we did not know was he never had peanut brittle in his life, and he loved it!
Why bring up peanut brittle in this somber moment? I love what my sister said, call your parents and loved ones often, tell them you love them, for tomorrow is not promised. Do whatever you can for those you love, even if it is just a sugar cookie, peanut brittle, or a phone call.
Peanut brittle, because while we are here in this time, enjoy what you can, nuts and all. Dad had us try some very different types of food – some we liked, some we didn’t – beef tongue, steak and kidney pie to name a few. Life is an adventure, and there is more for us to experience, and that is one lesson we can all embrace going forward.
We love you, dad, so much! Goodbyes are hard – but knowing that you are reunited with the love of your life and the God that you love brings us tremendous comfort and joy.
Like we said a little over 8 years ago, it is not goodbye – it is auf wiedersehen, which means “until we meet again”.
May God bless you all and we thank you again so much for being here with us during this difficult time. We love you and God loves you as well.