My father’s legacy

November 23, 2014 Sandra Dawes

November 26 will mark a decade since my father passed away. In some ways it feels like a lifetime ago. So much has changed since that day. Recently I’ve been talking a lot about legacy. Asking clients and attendees at workshops and talks I give to think about the legacy they want to leave behind. I thought it would be nice to honour my father by sharing the eulogy I gave at his funeral. It was and is a privilege to share with others the impact he had not only on my life, but on everyone he came into contact with. Here it is:

Thomas Dawes was not only my father, he was Superman. Not the Clark Kent super hero, but truly a SUPER MAN. He was a wonderful father; husband, brother, cousin, uncle and friend. He managed to touch each of our lives in his own special way. Whether it was the helpful hand that he lent to anyone who needed it or his sense of humour, we all can think of some way in which he has touched our hearts. I remember being a little girl and thinking my daddy knew everyone he met. Whenever we went out to the mall, to the bank, wherever, my father would smile and nod at anyone who he established eye contact with. I remember asking him once how he knew all these people and he said he didn’t, that he was just being friendly. I think that’s just one example of the kind of man my father was – always friendly, always kind. He was the kind of person who earned your trust, live and respect with ease. He never had an unkind word to say about anyone, and would never hurt your feelings on purpose.

 If you knew my father, you know that he had a joke for every occasion. He was always trying to make people laugh. When I was a little girl, my friends used to love hanging out with my dad because he was always making us laugh. Even a few weeks ago, when he was admitted to Credit Valley Hospital for kidney surgery, he joked that he didn’t want to shave because he was afraid he’d distract the nurses with his good looks. Even though he wasn’t well, he was trying to keep everyone else in good spirits.

I know that this is a difficult time for all of us who knew and loved my father. He was a great man and his presence will most certainly be missed. I know that for me, it will be the wonderful memories of my dad that will pull me through. He was a good man and I know that he’s in a better place now, where he no longer has to suffer any pain. I want you all to know that my father was at peace with himself, he told me just a month ago that he knew he had lived a good life and lived longer than so many, so whatever happens, he’ll be okay. This memory brings to mind another one, almost thirty years old. My father worked nights when I was a baby and I can remember him coming to my crib at night and singing to me. I even remember the words to the song and I want to share them with you now:

“Que será, será, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see, que será, será…”

So please do not dwell on the sadness of my father’s passing, and rather celebrate his life and the wonderful memories that he has blessed us all with, in the time that he was with us. I know that’s what he would want. 

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