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“My Father’s Eulogy”

“Hello, everyone. Thanks for making it out today. I knew from the moment Dad got sick that I would be speaking today. While it’s hard, I’m happy to do it. Once he got sick, he started talking longer and with more importance. He didn’t know it, but he was eulogizing himself. Every time I saw him, I would write down something that he said that stuck out to me. These are my ten favorite.

10. Sometimes you’re simply terrible at something. A lot of times there’s nothing you can do about it, so do exactly that.

9. Every day is a new day until every day is the same. If you’re really fed up with someone, find a small room and huff and puff until you’re done. Maybe bring a friend if you need too. Then, the next day, restart. Try and be a friend; build the relationship. If a few days go by and you’ve done a restart every day, then take action. Speak up. But never be afraid to give someone a second, third or fourth chance. You’ll find that your greatest relationships never seem like much upon first glance.

8. Sharing is a great way to show someone you love and appreciate them. My car is my prized possession, and for that reason I let your mother drive it.

7. The towing industry is the most unethical business there is. They are literally stealing your car and making you pay for it. If it was up to me, only cars parked in front of schoolhouses on fire should be able to get towed. And even then, the schoolhouse better have children in it.

6. Don’t fake compliments, but learn to compliment the right things. Some people are just ugly, but there’s no one who lacks any redeeming feature, physical or otherwise. Don’t compliment the thing that sticks out most to you, because everyone will always compliment that part of the person. Instead, do a little digging. Find something you love about a person that’s not on the surface. If the response to a compliment is “Yeah, I get that a lot,” then you’re doing it wrong.

5. Your mother is the most beautiful being in this universe. When you have children, make sure they know that about their mother too.

4. Cats and dogs are extremely important.

3. Don’t judge people based on what they do, but on what kind of people they are. Your mother and I had essentially nothing in common when we met. Do you remember the story? My childhood hound had been hit by a car. I sobbed over her on the side of the street. Your mom got out of her car and said to me, “I saw you on the side of the street and I realized that I’m so special to get to witness a complete stranger love something so dearly. Can I ask what her name was?” Your mom was so kind and sincere. As quickly as heaven took one love from me, it gave another.

2. Never be afraid to talk to an old friend. This is how we look back at chapters of our lives which we thought were closed, and it is the greatest therapy.

1. Give speeches. Every time you’re at a party, give a speech. When you’re at work and everyone’s having one of those wickedly bad days, stand up on your desk. Be the captain and say everything you can to make everyone smile, even if they might hate you for it. The words you say will both be fleeting and marking. Only some will remember the words you say, but everyone will remember that you said words. Be an elevator and speak genuinely. You will be remembered.

That last one is my favorite, and it’s the one that gave me the idea to do this. He said it on the day he was diagnosed.

Thank you.”

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