I am not a person who lives with much regret. It isn’t that I don’t make my share of mistakes, its just at a pretty young age I learned how to say I was sorry and admit my mistakes.
There is a regret I have, that I think about way too often….not saying the eulogy at my Fathers funeral. As we sat around the room and talked about preparations, that guy we all know and love looked over at me and said, your the one. You’ll be the one to talk. And well, he was right, if any of us were going to be able to do it, it was me. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I used my grief as an excuse to not stand up in front of my family and friends and honor my father. And its not like I feel like he would be disappointed, because he would not…..its just that there is so much to say, about a man who deserved way more life than he was given.
So rather than go back and write a eulogy, that would have been appropriate for his funeral service, I’ve decided to honor him in a different way, to talk for a minute about the legacy he left behind. Will and Faith and my Favorite Four.
So if you were to ask anyone who dads favorite grandchild was he would answer without hesitation…..Elliott. And honestly, it was true. He had a favorite…..I am sure there are people reading this who disagree with me, but we spent lots of time talking about his grandchildren and he loved Elliotts attitude, and Elliott loved him. Often when we are together, I will tease Elliott….OK Roger, because while Elliott was very young when dad died they must have spent his most formative years together, because when I am missing my dad….Elliott is usually the one who makes me feel better about it.
So because dad would joke about his favorites so often, I pretty much followed suit. I often refer to my favorite child, niece, nephew, husband…(yeah, yeah), brother…..It’s just something I do. I like hearing myself sound like him. And my people know it. Especially my niece and nephews, its a constant battle of who they believe I love more….but just like my dad, it isn’t about loving one of them more, its about who my favorite is, and with them its easy……
Lucas…….He was the entire reason I moved away from the most magical job on Earth at Walt Disney World. He was born pre-mature when I was there. I submitted my resignation that same day. He was the sweetest boy there ever was. He was quirky, smart, and so kind. When he was older, Will was born and Will looked up to Lucas, honesty, Will wanted to be Lucas, and I could not have been happier….for your child to idolize someone so good, well its as good as it gets.
Julia….my sweet niece. When she was little she would pump her little arm as hard as she could when she would run, I remember thinking, this is not a runner…..this weekend she ran her 1st Marathon…..yeah she never stops surprising me. She’s aways been thoughtful, and I mean in a big global way. She was flying all over the world doing mission work when she was in high school. She was also, coming to Mott whenever she could to visit Faith….She’s real. Like I want to be more like my twenty year old niece real. And again, with the role model for my child….she’s Roger’s grandchild that I think he would be most in awe of…..this little girl who once went a year without speaking in school is leading town hall meetings to make the world a better place.
Finn…..my Finn. Finn is most like my older brother Scott. He literally, teases me just like my brother did when we were young. There is something about that, that makes me love him so much more. He also is Wills best friend. They don’t get to spend much time together, but Will knows Finn is there, and Will feels comfortable telling him anything. Obviously, as a mother of a teenage boy, a friendship like that, quickly, propels you to favorite status.
Elliott…Ells. Elliott is for sure the one I spend the most time with. and he reminds me so much of my dad….He is so helpful and able to fix almost anything I need him to fix. The most important fixing he does is with Faith. He would do anything for her. His presence in her life has been such a blessing. He has this carefree attitude about things that is refreshing for someone who has so much to worry about. He keeps her busy and he keeps her laughing and if she needs him, he will drop everything….
Christmas morning this year, I sent them a Merry Christmas to my favorite text….They quickly compared time stamps to see that I had sent it to Finn first…so it must be him…the reality is they all are…..they are my favorite four.
I know how much my dad loved them, as well as Will and Faith and being with them makes me miss him less. I marvel at the legacy he left with these grandchildren and I feel less sad about the fact that he was taken away from us so young. Because, my dad built so many foundations in his life…..but the greatest foundation he built was the one he built for Scott, James and I. I know he is so proud of all the work we are all doing in his absence to continue his legacy. I can’t even fathom how proud he is of Will, Faith, and my favorite four.