Saying Goodbye to a Great Man

Once again, I'm turning the blog over to Jeremy. One week ago, Jeremy's father was killed by a driver while he was out for a morning walk. Our life has been completely turned upside down. 

I hope everyone has had a happier new year than we have. My father died in a car accident while walking on Jan 4th. If you knew him, you know exactly what kind of loss that is. If you didn't, he is the small town guy that knew everyone and had a nickname, story, smile, and/or laugh for everyone he had ever met.

I had the honor of delivering the eulogy for my father. Just in case anyone wants to see it, here it is:

If you knew my father, you knew three things. He loved you; if you did what you could, he was proud of you; and he liked short funerals.... so I'll try to be brief, for his sake.

I feel lucky for inheriting two of his best traits.... his drive for service and his humor... though I'm not sure if my family would agree on the last one....

I am positive that, for those who are here and for those that wanted to be, my father made a difference. It could be as simple as him stopping to talk to you at the street corner while he was on a walk (possibly with one of the many dogs we've had), or one of his … stories... that you just had to laugh at even if it wasn't funny because of my dad's infectious laugh, or he's made you something or helped you around the house with some little task. Every message we've received since his passing reflect how important he was to all of you...

However, what I will remember most about my dad is his wisdom. As many boys do, I never understood how wise my dad was until I grew older. There are two distinct pearls of Allen wisdom that best encapsulates my dad's view of the world. I was getting ready for a state math competition in the 4th grade, and I was completely nervous. He looked at me and said “You know what you call a pig's ass?” My 10 year old self gave him a look.... a look all of you who knew him gave him at some point when you had no idea where his story was headed and a little scared what he'd say next.... and said “no, what?” His response... “Pork?” After a confused minute, he explained to me that no matter what happened at this competition, I was still the same person, still his son, and he still loved me. This is the same message my brother got when he was headed to a competition and my dad was recovering from his heart surgery.

The other piece of wisdom comes from my college years. For a long time I wanted to be a lawyer, but my dad knew me better. He asked me why I wanted to be a lawyer, and I told him it was an important job that helped others and make a good living. He responded...”Prestige... isn't going to put food on the table. What you need to do is find something you can live with and enough money you can live on...” That, probably even more than the influence of my mother and mother-in-law, is why I became a teacher of the most difficult kids that there are. I hoped to make a difference in their lives, because dad could make a difference in anyone's life.

That is the one thing I will miss I face more of life's challenges... possibly starting a family, difficulties with being an adult, career issues... he won't be there with any more pig's asses...

Rest In Peace dad... We love you.

As I sit here, it is strange how I'm feeling. I know he is with me. I especially felt his presence with me the night before the funeral when I asked for the strength to speak. My father had side jobs at funeral homes since he was a kid, so he was no stranger to this process. He always wanted people to see it has a celebration of life, not a grieving of a loss. Surprisingly, that's the feeling I have (thanks, Dad). I am sure it'll hit me at some point, and I have shed a few tears... but all I can feel is the overwhelming love and support of a family, friends, and multiple communities (the town, his workplaces...etc.) and it makes me feel content. Like the preacher said.... my dad didn't want to go, but he was ready. You always have to be ready in case something like this happens to you...

But, since this blog, and our lives, center around fertility, there are two things I want to share with our readership. One, we only had one stupid relative that told me that now my dad will pull some strings so we're gonna give him a grand kid now. How motherf****** insensitive do you have to be to bringing that up now. Great, now I'll have a child that will not have the opportunity to know my father, and he had to die so that I could have a child. This was coupled with the classic “all you need is faith” load of BS that, if she has actually read this blog at all, would have known how colossally stupid that comment is to us. Then again, she's also the ones that wanted only the biggest and best things present at the funeral (when none of it came from anyone she even met....).

The other was a thought I had the other night. Perhaps this might be the reason we have been unsuccessful in our attempts at a child. Becky and I were the closest to my mom (geographically) when this happened, but it was still an 11 hr drive there and a 17 hr drive back to my hometown. If Becky was expecting or if we had an infant, there is no way we could have done what we did. My wife has helped my mom so greatly in this trying time, I don't know how this would have worked without her. If everything happens for a reason (still looking for the reason for the accident...) maybe that is the reason for our lack of a child today.

Thoughts, prayers, and well wishes for my family during this time are greatly accepted. Here's hoping that if we finally are successful, he can still enjoy his (hopeful future) grandkids...wherever he is.

Love you dad....


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