In honor of Father's Day, I would like to share the Eulogy/Letter that a dear friend of the family, Carla Jay - an "Honorary Rogers" as my dad named her, read at my Father's funeral June 4th.
May 31, 2013 – the day my whole world stopped. Four days have passed, but I still feel as numb as I felt when my mom told me the news. I listen to her trying to understand the tragedy that I, myself, am still trying to figure out.
They say everything happens for reason, and God has blessed me with spurts of reasoning through these passed couple days. Although this is hard, and I know it will get harder before It gets better. I’m at least born into a strong united family.
Last month I stood in front of a crowd of people like this speaking from a confused heart spitting out a mess of things I wanted to say about my Paw Paw. One of the things I wanted my Paw Paw to know was how proud he’d be of my dad.
After months and months of just being sick, my dad has really turned things around and stepped back into the role of a leader and has done great things for my Paw Paw’s shop. Up until his last breath he was a hardworking man. I don’t want that to go unnoticed.
These last couple years I have had the privilege to live in the rent house behind my parent’s. My dad cried when I moved away to Austin when I was 18, but I am sure he cried harder when I moved back to Kingsville.
My dad was 54 when the Lord called his son, but looking back I don’t quite believe he lived those years consecutively, because he sure didn’t act his age most of the time.
My relationship with my Dad sure wasn’t like any other Father Daughter relationship that I know. Not even the same as the one my sister and he had. Of course he would tickle us until we peed-a-little just the same, he’d probably pinch the part between our neck and shoulder a-little-too-hard just the same, or “cut” our noses with his rough fingers pretending they were scissors just the same, but our relationship was unique.
It started out great, I was my Dad’s little “sweetness” and he could never do any wrong. My dad always knew the right words to say. I remember when I was younger walking up and down the sidewalk on Stirmen street, I was wearing a denim dress and my mary janes reading a letter my dad wrote me, and how happy it made me feel. My dad was also so creative… he’d draw sacred hearts and flowers, anything to express his love and just to make us feel good. I like to think that I get my creative genes from my father, just like marty and matthew do, too.
I always wanted my dad to be the best man for our family, and I wasn’t afraid of giving him tough love. If I didn’t like what he was doing, I’d sure let him know . Right, Tiffany? However, my dad was just the same. We could be each other’s biggest pains in the butt. Just a couple weeks ago he called me at least 20 times and left me numerous text messages just to annoy me. It worked, but of course I acted like it didn’t, because then he’d win! No sir.
My dad loved to call my phone. Of course I can’t say that I cherish those calls because all he’d say when I answer was, “where’s mom?” Sometimes I wouldn’t even answer the phone… I’d just hand it to my mom and say “It’s Dad.”
My Dad adored my mom. That’s something we really had in common. After work we’d wait on my parent’s community bed and listen for the door. Of course, I’d always be concerned what was for dinner, but not my dad… he’d eat anything. Unless you took a bite of his food… he’d say… “take it! I don’t want it anymore.” OK dad… I just got one fish stick… I don’t want a whole tray full of 40!
My mom loved my dad, so much. We couldn’t do anything without my mom having to get home quicker to be with him. One time my dad was getting so mad at me for not kissing him, but he was all sweaty and gross and it kind of turned my stomach, but there goes my mom.. . taking a big ol wet one from my Dad. Sweaty or not, my dad’s kisses were always wet.
This past year, the time spent with my dad is something that I will always cherish. The day I found out I was pregnant, my dad hugged me and said he was going to be there for me in whatever decision I made. I cried in his arms and knew that I could be a single parent and that I’d have all the help in the world. My dad was a tremendous help with Laken. He started out with 2 dogs, but once he got my son was about to say puppy… My dad was in love.
Last year’s Father’s day card I told my dad he had to get better, because Laken needs him. However, now I think that my dad needed my son. Not that the other grandchildren aren’t as important, because they are, but my son brought joy to my dad’s life when my mom was busy with her family as her dad-my paw paw was sick. It crushes me that my dad will no longer be physically in my son’s life, but I look at my family and know that in spirit he will.
My brother Matthew has always been a reflection of my dad. Just listen to the way his daughters talk about him, I get confused and think they’re talking about my dad! The day my brother, Marty, got into town he slept in my mom’s bed and prayed with her and tried to find her comfort just like my dad would do. I look at these two amazing men and just know that my dad lingers within them. Laken will get to know his granddad through my brothers, and even stories my sister and I can share.
Dad, I am really bummed you’re not here… there is so much food you’re missing out on. Yesterday after dinner I didn’t see the point of bringing home leftovers because there is no one to give them to. Daddy, our lives are going to be turned upside down, and mom and I won’t know what to do. We will get there, but it’s going to be hard. I am going to miss everything about you. Your boxer shorts that are always too lose and have way too many holes, you talking over anything I am trying to listen to, you’re constant need to pull mom into everything…. “Carol, what’d she say?,” your farts that can clear a room, your jobs that linger, your love of music and things you’re passionate about, your ability to surprise me, and overall your company. I just want one more day of the four of us, you, mom, laken, and myself on that community bed… just one more day. I love you so much, and that will never change. I will continue to let Laken know who you are and how much you loved him. We will all try to comfort mom and each other. I love you so much, Power Ranger…. BOOM!