He hasn’t always been like this. So old and frail; a prisoner held captive by his failing strength. His hair now silver was once coal black. He has kicked a can down the road in front of him as he walked to his first day of school. He had hopes and dreams and was excited about all the possibilities that lay ahead. He played baseball, rode his bike, chased the girls and skipped school now and then to go fishing.
As time went by he worked hard and played hard. He felt pain when he lost his mother and felt pure joy when he fell in love with mine. He was a handsome man, slender with wavy black hair, a swagger in his step and a twinkle in his eye. He hasn’t always been this old.
When America was in grave danger he answered the call. The Greatest Generation they call them now. They went without hesitation and saved the world. My how we needed him then but now he will rest for a while.
He has known the joy, apprehension, pleasure and sheer terror of raising five children. He has known the love of an angel from heaven who gave him his children – my mom.
He has been a telephone man, a fire chief, a fixer of all things broken and a pretty good dad. He was once a child, a teenager and a handsome young man. He hasn’t always been this old.
No, his hair was not always white and he has not always needed help to get out of his chair. He used to remember things better and smile a lot more. He hasn’t always been this old.
He used to laugh as he ran to find the most Easter eggs. He shot off fireworks on Independence Day. On Christmas Eve he was too excited to go to sleep. He worried about the math test and wondered if he would grow up tall. He dreamed of places far away and wondered if he would ever go there.
When you look at him, see him for all he has been ; remembering all the people he took care of in his lifetime. Now we will take care of him for a while. He may be a little slow getting up out of his chair now but he was never slow to help someone in need. I’ve heard men say, “He would give you the shirt off his back.”
He has climbed poles in rain, sleet, snow and dark of night just to make sure our telephones always worked. When he got sick or hurt himself no one knew. It was not in him to complain. Everything would be OK in a day or two. He will rest a while now but he hasn’t always been this old.