Saturday, July 25, 2009

For my dad...

I'd like to thank you all for the expression of your sympathies in every way possible in the past week. You have reached CS and me through e-mail, a short note on Facebook, personal and also via the blog and it helped us to stand strong at my father's funeral. Your energy has contributed to write and speak the eulogy at the moment of the final goodbye.

This one is for my dad. Thank you dad, for all you have done! We'll meet again some day and catch up on lost times.

Eulogy for my dad:
My father Robert, to many known as „Bob“, was born on the 21st of March 1932 in Bandung, Indonesia. He grew up in Indonesia and during World War II he spent a long time in a Japanese POW camp. When he was 16 years old he made his first long journey, travelling from Indonesia to Holland, where he lived all of his life.

Sunday, 19th of July 2009 he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. During the preparations for the funeral the question was asked, who would speak in his memory. I stand here before you and I’d like to inform you that this speech can take some time. We have reserved the auditorium for the coming three hours, so I suggest you sit back and relax. No, just kidding, it has absolutely not been easy to find the right words. What can you say about a man who never wanted to be the centre of attention? What words do you use when your father has always stayed in the background? Pa definitely hated being the in the centre so I’ll keep it short.

Whenever we had a party, Pa was the one to sit in a quiet corner where he could see everything, hardly talked to the people and enjoyed all of it in his own way. We often asked him whether he enjoyed the party and he always answered: “Oh yes, I’m having a great time”. He was the one to sit around quietly without speaking much.

Pa was a man who always worried about his family. His family was his first, and it appeared to be, his only priority. His family meant everything to him and for his family he would do everything possible within his powers. That wasn’t always easy as he also was a proud man who’d rather not accept the help of other people. He struggled he way though life, always took care of his family and supported his children in everything they did. Even though he didn’t agree with everything.

In spite of his quiet character he was a very emotional person. In the earlier days we haven’t seen that often, but the older he grew, the more his emotional character took over. An occasion where the emotional character really showed was directly after he retired. His former colleagues had organised an surprise dinner. For my dad something totally unexpected and that was one of the moments you good clearly see how emotional he really was. The silent man with the big emotions...

Other times my dad and I talked about the future. Now you may wonder: what future? Actually we then discussed the moment he wouldn’t be with us anymore. He told me he that he had arranged for ma to be left behind without worries. A talk like that always ended with tears and once more he showed how important his family was to him, and his emotions showed again.

In the last years of his life pa suffered from a chronic pulmonary disease from which we knew he wouldn’t recover. His illness often limited him in his mobility, so ma often went out alone to just go for a walk or some shopping. At a certain moment we proposed to dad to rent a wheelchair or get one organised. Then again his pride showed as he thought it was absolutely not necessary to sit in a wheelchair. We used a bit of force and emotional black mail and we then were able to persuade him. After that moment it didn’t take long for him to find out it was actually very convenient to be driven around. We have lived through funny moments with pa and his wheelchairs. There were times we had to laugh so much that we laughed tears.

From now on we will laugh when we memorise, but we’ll do that without him.We have to let dad go for his last long journey. A journey in which he will not leave his footsteps anymore. Those footsteps are in our thoughts and in our hearts. On 19th of July he deceased and slipped away from us the way he lived his life: Quietly and without words…

10 comments:

Shelli said...

I'm so sorry, Ox. It's a club in which I wish none of us belong. The "People Who've Lost Their Fathers" club. I'm sorry and understand what you are going through. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Expat Traveler said...

It brought tears to my eyes.. But he did have 77 great years of living! :)

Xmichra said...

awe.. that was so touching! I am sure that your Pa would be thankful for what you have written hor him, and the great memories you will have.

((hugs)) <-- all the way from Canada :)

Orange-X said...

Shelli: thank you so much. CS told me about your background for blogging so I know that you know what it feels like. We'll get there, knowing that time is the best medicine.

ET: I get tears in my eyes on the most unexpected moments. And yes, inspite of the hard times he went through, he did have 77 good years.

Xmichra: I'm sure he has heard every word and nodded his head to confirm that this is the way he was. Sending you hugs back, all the way from Switzerland ;-)

...ESP... said...

OX & CS - Eli and I are very very sorry to hear of your loss. It was a great pleasure to have met your Pa, he was a lovely man!! Our thoughts and prayers are with you both and of course Ma.

Shammickite said...

It's a very hard thing to do... to stand up there in front of friends and family and bare your emotions. You said what was in your heart. I'm sure your Pa heard what you said... and so did your Ma. It means so much.

Ginnie said...

These are the "eternalized moments" of life you will never forget, O-X. You and CS will share many memories to come when Pa will come to mind, often when you least expect it. My dad was only a year older, 78, when he passed in 1995. He often comes to mind when I least expect it. Please know my love and prayers are with you both!

Geotacs said...

thank you for sharing that wonderful eulogy to remember your dad...

even though i've never met the man your sharing has made me see what a wonderful quiet man he was...

although he will no longer leave his footprints behind anymore, certainly his life has imprinted
many beautiful memories in many people's lives and he has in many ways lived it well for others...

what a quiet but wonderful life he had...

now he has entered the journey of eternal peace and quiet...

swenglishexpat said...

Two months later I discover this post! I wondered why you did not come up in my Google Reader.

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know what it feels like, since I lost my dad four years ago.

I hope you start blogging again when you feel ready. I always enjoy reading your posts and I also enjoy your comments when you have visited my blog.

See you soon.

kanishk said...

that was so touching! I am sure that your Pa would be thankful for what you have written hor him, Work from home India