Monday, August 20, 2012

My Dad's Funeral

Kenny, Me, My brother and my mom 

These are the tables we set up displaying photos of my dad. My mom and I made Sunflower seed packets with my dad's picture on them. He planted sunflowers ever year... we thought it would be cool if everyone planted them next year for him.
More pictures, my dad and a photo album.

As we were going through my parents pictures preparing for the funeral it because very apparent that we didn't have any pictures of my dad before he met my mom!! Crazy! I asked around and My Great Aunt Joyce found a wallet sized photo of my Dad in his Marine uniform! Isn't he handsome? We also got some pictures from my Aunt Barbara of my dad as a kid.

The Flag : /

The service was beautiful. The military honors were beautiful. The gun shot solute. Taps. Folding of the Flag.
It was extremely hot, but I barely noticed.  We brought lots of bottled water for our guests (since I am sure they noticed the heat)

After my parent's neighbor Drew said a few words, my brother gave his speech. He found the poems on his own (the second one I would sweat he wrote if I didn't know better) and we wrote the Eulogy as a family.

You never said “I’m leaving”
You never said “Good bye”
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knew why

There are no words to tell you
Just what I feel inside
The shock, the hurt, the anger
Might gradually subside

A million times I’ll need you
A million times I’ll cry
If Love alone could have saved you
You never would have died

In life I loved you dearly
In death I love you still
In my heart you hold a place
That no one could ever fill

It broke my heart to lose you
But you didn’t go alone
For part of me went with you
The day God took you home

Things will never be the same
And although it hurts so bad
I will smile whenever I hear your name
And be so very proud that you were my Dad

My dad was born Mark Lee Garrett on June 20, 1957 in Grand Rapids MI

He moved to Arizona when he was 5 years old

After his mom met and married Douglas Taylor SR. Mark was adopted by his step-dad and renamed Douglas Edwin Taylor Jr at the age of 12. His love for outdoor adventure was born as they spent most weekends out at Roosevelt Lake camping, fishing and riding dirt bikes.  

My dad spent his teenage years in a quiet home in Phoenix and according to neighbors and local authorities he liked to rock the boat.  

By some miracle, he graduated from Washington High School in 1975. While academics weren’t the issue, it was difficult to pass his classes from under the bleachers… Shortly after graduation it was strongly suggested that he enlist in the military. In 1976 joined the US Marine Corp and served for 3 years.

In 1978 his boss, Max Lang fixed him up on a blind date where he met and fell in love with my mom. They were married in March 1979 and they were blessed with me in December… you do the math.

Our family was complete when my sister entered this world in March 1983.

My dad worked very hard to support our family sometimes working 2 jobs and doing odd jobs on the weekends to make sure we had everything we needed.

He coached my soccer teams, my sister’s softball teams and was at every school event.

He enjoyed going out to the dessert and getting injured out on the quads, loved hitting houses while golfing… his specialty was the roofs. He had a hunger for adventure with no regard for safety.

He had a big heart for dogs and would always try to find a home for strays even if even it meant our house.

We was a great neighbor and was constantly helping out. At one point maintained most of the ½ acre lots on our block. My dad wasn’t the type to ask for help, but would always help others who needed it.

In what little spare time he had he loved to garden and grow different plants and flowers especially sunflowers. He also loved to play cards and was slightly competitive in nature…. He also loved to have his family together on Sundays for a steak dinner and was the worlds best BBQer.

My dad had two families his biological family and his Wist family. At home he was a loving grandpa, dad and husband. At work he was a hard working, human GPS who loved to joke around and make his coworkers smile. His nick name was ‘short brakes’ because his truck went through brakes faster than a NASCAR driver!

He touched many lives and will be greatly missed by all who knew him in his short 55 years on this earth.

As I looked upon your face
I saw the wonder of God’s grace
Once again, whole at last
No more suffering,  your life raced past

Then all was quite, completely still
Peace at last, no longer ill
I remembered the memories that we shared
Deep and meaningful, and how much you cared

I came to visit, though it was hard
I watched you slip away, my Dad almost lost
Watching glints of recognition in your eyes
Crying in pain as it took me by surprise

You didn’t deserve that cruel disease
It brought us all completely to our knees
The years were robbed it wasn’t right
Up to the end I watched you fight

Dad I smile when I think of you
You made mistakes, but me to
Dad it doesn’t matter about the past
I’m just happy you are free at last

I was blessed to have him in my life for 29 years. I feel numb... I am able to just keep going and I don't feel the pain I did when my grandma passed. Its different. Maybe I am just ignoring it. Its hard to ignore on the day of the funeral. Today I was a complete mess. I am thankful for the amazing support of our friends. I was so surprised how many people showed up for my benefit. People that didn't even know my dad came for our support. So many of my friends (Jereme,Janesse), coworkers (Becky, Bill, Candace, Jeff), old church friends (Keri, Sister Turley, Stargrett & Jeff), Kenny's family (Michelle, Kim and Nanette) and of course my BFFs (Blair and Allan, Bev & Lloyd). I am sure there were more that I am not remembering... the whole thing was such a blur. I was hurt that the only on of my dad's relatives came to the funeral (my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ray). I know they care. Most of them are out of state, but it still hurt. 

After the service a few of us (some of my parents neighbors, my mom's friends, Brian, Kenny, Stargret & Jeff and I) went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. It was actually a nice lunch. 

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