Thursday, June 5, 2008
The service today in Corpus Christi was beautiful, full of songs, faith, and inspirational readings. Along with this was my wife Bami's reading of the Eulogy she wrote. I have only seen one other human being display such power and it was when one of my best friends lost his 2 year old little girl to a tragic accident. Both were led by faith in their response and both inspired all who listened and watched their demonstration of true love and trust in God. Below is Dale's Eulogy that Bami read today:
I’ll apologize ahead of time. If you let me get on a soapbox… I am going to take the opportunity, besides I have a lot to say about this man. You probably won’t believe me but this is the “edited version” ☺. After all, I am my father’s daughter… I’ll take the long way around a story hopefully coming full circle to an actual point.
My dad was born w/ hemophilia. A blood disease that was a constant threat to his life from the day he was born until Saturday morning. He faced a lifetime of challenges because he had dyslexia during a day and time when there was really no awareness.
He had made and started his life many times through marriages, children, divorce, and sickness and although there were hard times he never gripped or complained. As a matter of fact he spent the majority of his time listening to all of us grip and complain.
My dad was an Amazing listener. He didn’t ever bore you with a pushy opinion. He only gave advice if you asked for it. He never fed your self-pity with stories of his own “well you think that’s bad … listen to what happen to me!” …… No, He would simply allow you to go on and on while nodding his head and smiling as if he agreed: “of coarse YOU are right and they were so wrong”. And @ the end of the conversation it never dawns on him that you didn’t ask “Dale how was your day?” He just gives you a big Ol’ hug and reassures your soul that everything indeed will be OK.
My dad LOVED to fix things (and take things apart). He took Great pleasure and pride in his work. Every single customer was his friend. And if you don’t think so just ask them. He knew everything about them. Their life stories, their pet’s names, all about their kids….
He never hesitated to reach out his hand.
Even if the monetary compensation was not adequate he was just happy to help. No one ever quite understood this about my dad. Probably because it is so hard for people (especially in this day and age) to grasp… “The Stuff” you can’t take with you… But the relationships you build with people and the happiness you feel in your heart to help someone else is far greater then anything you “earn” in this world.
My dad LOVED to cook! As passionate as he was about cooking I do believe he loved feeding us even more. You could feel his heart surge as he ushered people through the assembly line to “fix a plate”. His smile would be bigger than Dallas if he could look around a room to find people eating, drinking, telling stories, laughing, and just truly enjoying themselves. Sometimes he wouldn’t even get a plate of his own but that’s ok b/c it was worth it. =)
My dad Loved to laugh! Oh and when you got him going he would NOT stop. Red faced and doubled over with maybe a few hits to the table with his hand…. Hopefully, for your sake, it was a good joke. -- But if not you could just laugh at my dad laughing. He loved hearing all of about people’s funny stories and embarrassing moments. He did love a good joke. Unfortunately he could never tell it right. Every time he would try to repeat it, the punch line, people, actual premise of the joke would be changed, or backwards.
This is so hard.
My dad is a fixture in all of our lives. Whether that fixture is big or small, used everyday, or hardly at all -- it is there. He has touched us deeply and we should hold onto that. My brother is so much like my dad. He is the most gracious host, the peacekeeper, he’s kind hearted, and has the most generous soul. I also am like my dad, but I’m sure that is becoming quite apparent through this letter. I know Sally will miss as much as I do the way he used to put his hand on the small of your back and lead you into a room.
My dad never went first.
The only regret I have is the conversation that was never had between him and I. My dad discussed, to anyone who would listen and with great knowledge, life, politics, religion, world events, history, humor, cars and boats, faucets, tile, etc. etc. – but I never asked him point blank if he himself believed in Jesus. Perhaps some of you struggle in your own personal beliefs as well.
I hope today I can shed some light on this subject through my dad.
Jesus is much like the man I have just described: a carpenter, ready to break bread with loved ones and total strangers alike, extent his hand expecting nothing in return, never holding anyone in judgment, a man of compassion, who is selfless, humble, loving, trusting, and the list goes on.
My father lived his whole life in this light and walked the path that all of us should follow, although humanity causes it to be bumpy sometimes. For this I have no doubt what so ever that Dale McDougal is walking hand in hand with Jesus himself right through those pearly gates.
Now he may stop and ask “how did they hang this much weight on these tiny little hinges?”
But I know where he’s headed.
So – If you admire my dad as I do, and want to get closer to God. Slow down a little. Get your priorities straight. When you’re frustrated, take a breath before you say something you don’t mean. Reach out a hug someone –tight. Invite your neighbors over for dinner and don’t blow it off for another day. When you’re driving down the street, give a friendly farmers wave. =) Take the time to ask the people’s names at the places you frequent often (dad knew the names of everyone @ the grocery stores, gas stations, and hardware stores… he also called them friend). Focus on all the good that surrounds you and surrender the bad.
All of us want to leave this world a better place. I believe my dad did just that. I hope when you walk out of here today you’ll feel encouraged to do the same.
You were always bigger than life dad and now you’re free.
I love you daddy!
Posted by Bami Wood at 8:13 PM