Tom, our father, was an exceptional man; he was also a marvellous father. I could tell you numerous stories today about how he loved and supported me, my sister and brothers throughout our lives in so many ways but what he really did best was provide us with unconditional love, and that is priceless. To us, his children, he was like a beacon of light, always calm, full of wisdom and ever ready to do another good deed. No matter what happened in our lives we always knew we could rely on dad. He would never judge, never criticise but would always listen and provide rock solid advice. He was always full of enthusiasm for our achievements and had that rare and unique quality of being able to make you believe that you could achieve whatever you wanted to. In what can appear at times a mad mad world dad would always remind us in his calm and gentle manner that there is still beauty in this world and real goodness in people if only we take the time to look.
Dad was devoted to our mother and she was devoted to him. Together they were a real love story, two parts that made a perfect whole. They made the world a better place.
When my children were younger they sent me this poem:
To You My ChildIf there could be only one thing in life for me to teach you
I would teach you to love
To respect others so that you may find respect in yourself
To learn the value of giving
So that if ever there comes a time in your life that someone really needs, you will give
To act in a manner that you would wish to be treated
To be proud of yourself
To laugh and smile as much as you can, in order to help bring joy back into the world
To have faith in others
To be understanding
To stand tall in this world and to learn to depend on yourself
To only take from this earth those things which you really need
So there will be enough for others
To not depend on money or material things for your happiness
But, to learn to appreciate the people who love you
The simple beauty god gave you
And to find peace and security within yourself
To you my child, I hope I have taught all of those things
For they are love
They couldn’t have taught us better, by the way they loved us the example they set us and by the beauty and goodness they brought into our lives, the lives of our children and all of those who knew them. They made the world a better place for us all.
One of my abiding memories of mum and dad is of them sitting at home, holding hands, just content in their love and at peace with the world.
Dad’s passing has left a void in our lives that can never be filled. But we hope that he is now reunited with mum, holding hands and at peace. We dad’s children have been truly blessed and it is now up to us to pass those blessings on.
Peace to you all and thank you for the parts you have played in dad’s life and for joining with us today to say a final farewell.