The Last Goodbye

The exhaustion is finally seeping in from all the celebrations of my Dad’s life. Tonight was the final event…the big party where so many of my father’s best life long friends came to be together with us. My Dad spent his life curating a tribe. When I first got out of college and went to work he told me, “Always be nice to the people who work for you, you never know when you will work for them.” I thought that was so interesting because that had not happened to him at that point in his life, but certainly was true.

Beside my father’s work friends my two nearest and dearest, Carter’s god parents, Suzanne and David came to be with us. As Suzanne said to me once, “You always remember who came to your parent’s funeral.”

It meant the world to my mother that people came from far and wide to tell stories about my father and what he meant to them. He loved all these dear friends, Ann and Mark, Mary Jo and Dick, Julia, Knute and Siri, Debbie and Geoff, Nish, Rick, Tim, Tim and Jayne, Rich, Sally, Judy. The common theme was that he made everyone feel that they could be their best selves.

My sister Margaret spoke about how he was her biggest supporter. Russ talked about the lesson of never giving up and always striving to be the best that my father imparted on him. Carter, who was moved to speak talked about how he always pushed her out of her comfort zone, which was a good thing.

Thanks to Mary Jo and Dick for organizing the party at the Army Navy Country club. They did a beautiful job. Thanks to Ann who helped me find all the contact information for all these friends. My aunt Edie, who could come sent all the flowers for the tables and they were perfect.

In the end my mother thanked everyone for reminding her what a force my father was. He made a huge impact on many people’s lives. If you were strong and could learn from him, you grew in many ways. Not everyone could handle his tough love and brutal honesty. He was brilliant and sometimes that was frustrating for him when people could not keep up. There will never be another one like him, and everyone in that room tonight knew that. You made our last goodbye one he would have loved.

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