Good morning. Before I begin, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is E-A-, the eldest of four children in our family. Yes, my father and I share the same name. Now I stand here before all of you, friends and relatives, who are here for Papa. Thank you for being here today.
It means that he touched your life in some way or another. That means that you'd miss him in some way or another. Our family is blessed to celebrate the life of this man I am lucky to call my father.
To some, he was an uncle, a cousin, or a brother. To our grandparents, he was a son. To our mother, he was a husband. To all, he was a friend. Still to us, his children, he is a father, our dad and most importantly, our beloved Papa.
Papa taught me a lot of lessons, but allow me to share with you the most important ones.
First, Papa taught me about love. I clearly remember how Papa used to bring Mama to work and pick her up afterwards. This happened during their entire married life, even when his health began to deteriorate. They were happily married for 36 years. He was committed to making her happy. If it was important to her, it was important to him. During his last days, his only concern was for Mama's well-being, not his own impending mortality. Their marriage was love and commitment personified.
Second, Papa taught me about family. Back in the days, my siblings and I were very active in school activities and programs. Guess who was always there wearing that proud smile on his face? Papa with Mama by his side. He never missed a single school activity that we were involved in. He never missed any of our graduations. From Papa, I learned that you are there for the people you love. He kept promises and honored commitments to all of us.
Lastly, Papa taught me about laughter. To those who knew him, you’d know that Papa has a booming voice coupled with an infectious laughter. Even his smile was contagious; it makes you smile back at him, even if you had a bad day at school or work. Dinner time was fun with him joking around at the dinner table to make everyone smile or laugh.
Yes, Papa will be missed.
My mother will miss having her best friend by her side.
I will miss my father, the source of my convictions and my inspiration.
My hero has passed on now. He leaves me and my siblings to carry on the family name. We are proud of him, of all that he was, and all that he would've been. But Papa has been called home.
I am proud to say that of all the roles he played, what he was the best of, in my opinion, was being our Papa.
There is a proverb about stars in heaven. It goes like this: "Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."
Papa, I'll be looking at the stars tonight.