How does one determine the worth of a life? Certainly one way is by how many other lives he has affected in a positive way. Certainly one way is by how many others knew and loved him. On this basis alone I would say that my dad's life was worth more than all the kings and queens of Europe and all the presidents of the United States combined. My father lived a blessed and wonderful life. He was a loving and caring husband to my mother for sixty years. He was the father to eight wonderful human beings, myself and those I am proud to call my brothers and sisters. He was a son and a brother who cared deeply for his siblings and took great pride in his family. He was a well liked and respected teacher and coach. He touched many lives and left a mark on them that many will never forget.
My dad was more than just an English teacher and football coach, he was a life teacher. He showed people what it was to live life to its fullest. He worked hard to provide for his family, and he played hard to nurture his soul. He was not only always active and athletic, but he was also intelligent and cerebral. He was very competitive. He loved to do a good crossword puzzle as much as he loved to play a good game of tennis. He exercised both his body and his mind and kept them active as long as he could. My dad loved life, and he loved being alive.
My father cared deeply for people. He might not have always known how to properly show it, but there was an aura about him that let you know he cared. If there's anything I'll always remember about my dad it's his smile. His smile would light up a room. He had the most exquisite sense of humor. I think he could find humor in just about any situation. He would tell stories about things that had made him angry and laugh about them later. When he laughed, it was contagious, it made others feel good. When he smiled, he did so with more than his lips and his cheeks, he did so with his eyes.
My dad's eyes were intense. When he was angry, they would blaze and burn right through you. When he smiled or laughed, they would glimmer like two stars in heaven. If the eyes are windows to the soul, then I would say that my dad's soul is very bright and lively.
Dad loved to tell stories. He loved the attention. He could tell a story and hold an audience's interest with the best of them. He had something to say for just about every occasion and he'd usually say it. More often than not those listening would end up laughing and feeling better for the experience.
My dad taught me much. He gave me more than he'll know. My sense of humor. My love of writing and the English language. My love of telling stories. My smile. There is so much of him I can see in myself. I thank him for these gifts and treasure the good qualities I inherited from him. It is through all of us that his memory continues on in this world, and it is up to all of us to make sure that his good qualities flourish while any qualities that may not be so complementary diminish.
I know that my dad's soul will continue to watch over his family. I know that his smile will continue to shine upon us as we continue on with life's struggles and sorrows, its joys and triumphs. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. I will miss him tremendously, I will miss his smile, his laughter and his sage advice. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. I hope the angels appreciate his smile and laughter as much as I did.