Eulogy for My Beloved Papa
Papa—you haven’t left me—you are with me all day long.
The woman that I’ve grown into is confident and strong.
You showed me how to drive a car, to jitterbug, to swim—
You listened when my heart was hurt, and when I didn’t win.
You might have taught me to defer to all authority
Instead, you let me trust myself, my non-conformity.
You gave advice or didn’t—you let me tell you what I need
To learn from my mistakes is how you taught me to succeed.
From you I learned a love of words, the shades of what they mean;
To talk it out, to compromise, to sometimes intervene.
From you I learned the simple joy of planning for a trip
We’ve seen the world by train, by car, by bus and by cruise ship.
As an English teacher, and I didn’t know this at the time
I reinforced the love we shared for books and plays and rhyme.
Because of you I stand up straight, have faith in my decisions
And know that if I make mistakes, I’ll always be forgiven.
You’ll be with me in formal gardens with their splendid color splash,
a visit to a history museum for a glimpse into the past,
or hollering out the question in a Jeopardy Daily Double.
If I question right and wrong, I know you’ll keep me out of trouble.
Dad—rest in peace and know you’ve left the best of you behind
I’ll carry on your legacy, with laughter, love and pride.
I love you, Dad.
Cori Modisette, Portland