Sunday, January 9, 2011

last days

Tomorrow is a memorial service in remembrance of my grandfather, Jean. Below is his brief eulogy that I will be reading tomorrow afternoon:

"Before I start, some of the ideas in Grandpa’s eulogy is taken from Shauna Niequst’s book Bittersweet.

We all know how much Grandpa loved to tell stories. He loved telling stories more than listening to them. He loved sharing of his army days at Ft. Ruckert; the hundreds of cars he fixed, how they don’t make things like they use to, and of course stories that embarrassed Grandma. He was a man of many talents and hobbies, and could often be found in the garage fixing whatever gadget at that time. He didn’t always expect to be hugged or kissed when his grandkids left; but always grateful before we skipped out the door.

To me, Grandpa was a bittersweet man. His character depicted something broken, and something beautiful. I use the word bittersweet because it best describes the man that he was. He was full of depth, complexity, and courage. He was bitter because he made each of us in some way stronger, forced some of us to push through, and he showed most of us how to earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. He was sweet because he taught some of us the importance of providing for family, the smiles he threw our way, and lifelong marriage to our Grandma.

In some ways, Grandpa changed the way each of us live, and the way we all understand life. He showed us the good and the bad, the joy and sadness, and that hard work does pay off. His legacy left a lifetime of lessons learned, and different roads traveled. He showed each of us in some way the rawness of life and how to carry on in easy times, and in times of distress. I want to leave you with one thought: What can you take from this mans life, the bitter and the sweet and use it to stretch yourself in ways you never thought you could? "

You have to understand that my grandfather was not the nicest man that lived on this earth, and after writing his eulogy, it got me thinking about my own life. It makes me think how I want to remembered. I don't want my family to have a hard time coming up with good memories, my triumphs, favorite memories, and jokes of mine. I want them to rejoice in the life I lived, not be relieved that I am gone.

So, how do you want to be remembered? What are you doing with your one and only life? What would you change? How are you growing?

I challenge you to live a life of meaning, truth, joy, patience, and love.

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