Copies from the 2007 and 2009 Word Documents of the Eulogies I've given for my Brothers, Sister and Father at their funerals
The 2009 Eulogy for my father:
"I wish I could tell everyone here about my Dad's life, tell you all of the fascinating things I know have taken place, things he did for so many people, about his life as a child in this rural area, the tough times he lived through, but honestly, I came along pretty late in his life. I feel like many of you could tell about those stories, many I've never heard, but when a man lives 85 years, it is hard to hear all about his life from any single person.
I realize how little I knew when I was talking to his Nephew, Mark, the day before yesterday, and he told me Daddy was Commissioned by the Governor of Kentucky in 1973 as a Kentucky Colonel. This was something I did not know, and it reminded how little I do know, despite asking all the questions I have over my 27 years. So, I looked into that honor he was given, and I learned this Commission is only granted by the Governor of Kentucky, and only he knows the reason why, but usually the reasons are for being dedicated to the welfare of others and for overall strength of character. Well, those are things everyone who knew Daddy understood very well about him.
I cannot count the times people have told me that they would not have made it if he had not been there to help them. I feel very confident when I say there could be no person around that did nearly so much for the people of his area for year after year after year.
Imagine being told by people that they would have gone hungry as children had your dad not been there month after month, and this is a story I've heard from people since I was a child.
And there in the store: hundreds, Thousands of unpaid bills and bad checks stacked box on top of box. Daddy always said the amount of money owed, well, it was so much he really could not imagine trying to tally it all, and it was given to help people, money he was never repaid, but Money he kept on giving.
I know this area will never see someone else like him, no one else to impact an entire Generation, Never Again.
The Bible says to "Give honor to whom honor is due", and I feel inferior to the task. . . when he is due so much.
And I have spent most all of my life thinking that Daddy, being nearly 60 when I came along, would not be with me very long, so you would all think that I was prepared for this, but I cannot tell you how unprepared I really was, really am.
I believed as years went on, he would have to live forever. Certainly, he would live forever!
Then, I told myself that after we lost Ben, Angel and Quentin that if - and I stress IF - Daddy died, then I would feel it was for the best because of how hard it was on him to go on without his little kids, but selfishly, I will stand and tell you today, I cannot fathom him never calling me saying,
"This is your Papa, How are You."
I cannot imagine that. And that is how it will now be. . forever more.
Still, I know he was never the same after that happened, and I have reminded myself of that fact daily, and I will continue to do so for a long time yet.
He told me recently, talking about my Baby, "Jack," who is almost 8 months old, "Maybe I'll live long enough for him to remember me," and I think about how I must remember to teach the Baby about his papaw Tiny. . . and remind his older Brother to tell him about him, and I think about how I can never really Show him how his papaw was, and I think about what he will have missed.
Constantly on my Dad's mind was doing what was right in the sight of God. He really worried about those he knew and hoped they would walk in the right direction. He was as much a Man of Honor and Integrity as I will ever know.
He talked so often of what a strong man he had been, and I think of how he must be now, I imagine, he is that young man again, and he is with his babies, and I think that I really will be okay without him, but I also think of how I must remind myself of that every day from now to be able to accept him being gone.
I know this might just seem true to me because he was Mine, but I believe in Ernest that never was a Father more loved for just the person he was than I have loved mine.
I know that anyone who ever really knew him will never have him far from their thoughts, and I think not a day will pass that I do something Daddy would see as extravagant that I will not hear him say to me,
"My, My. . ." '
The 2007 Eulogy for my 3 siblings:
What I have to Say, I had to type it, else I’d get up . . . starting crying and then what would we have?
So, I’ve sat the last few days and typed it . . up till this morning:
I will talk most about Angel, believe me when I say thatI could stand here until the end of time and talk on nothing but my brothers alone:
His was a FAITH I will likely spend my life searching for. . . his was as perfect a faith as I’ve ever known.
As my Husband, John, wrote on your memory board. . .
“I’m sure heaven has more than pickles, mayonnaise and more Wal-Marts than we do here, so we know you’re loving it" . . .
But I will talk about Angel most because she was the greatest friend of my life, and as her friend Hannah also wrote on Angel’s myspace, she was “The Love of My Life”. . .
I found, after this happened, some of her notebook papers. In them she had written when I moved away in 2005, what hurt most about that was she had lost her best friend, she wrote no one made her feel like I did, and I hope that was a good thing. She talked about how much silly fun we had. . . the thing is, not a word of that is news to me because she told me these things often, and although I felt the same way, me. . being thoughtless and prideful. . .I suppose. . .never told her I felt the same way.
She was the greatest friend to me I’ve ever known. I hope someone can learn from my irreversible mistake here today. . .
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens
- Proverbs 27:23-27