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Monday, December 1, 2008

My Dad

Thanks so much for hanging out with us during this difficult week. We are flying home today and I hope to catch up with y'all via e-mails and your blogs this week, although first I need to recover from jet lag and the laundry pile (because we all know how important I find laundry now). Today the husband and I wanted to share with you the words he spoke at his father's memorial service.

Hello. I am Tonggu Momma's Husband. Squeak was my Dad and I am his son.

By the world’s standards, my Dad will most likely not be defined as a great man. Reporters and authors will not write books, magazine articles or front page news stories about him. But HE was great to ME. His moral compass was straight. His faith in God was strong. His compassion for people was carried far by his servants’ heart.

He taught me many things: how to skip stones on the lake; how to build a model airplane; how to swim over deep water; how to take apart a car and actually put it back together again; how to respect the game of golf - not just play it, but respect it; how to fix a sink or a toilet or a faucet; how to adjust my own sprinkler heads; how to treat my spouse; how to be accountable for my actions; what it means to work hard; why God should be important in my life; so many things.

But the most important thing my Dad ever taught me was how to build a successful family. Because you see, my Dad is not my Dad, but he IS my Dad. He taught me that family is larger than genetics, or geography, or bloodlines. I am an adopted son who never knew his birth father. I look on my brother and sister with love, yet I have a bitter taste whenever the world forces me to define them as my STEP-brother and STEP-sister. They are simply my brother and my sister. Why is that? Because my Dad's heart never wavered when it came to his three kids. My sister is my sister and my brother is my brother, not because of anything we did, but because of what HE did - the way he treated me, just as he treated them.

My Dad's legacy will live on for generations because he taught all of us that love, not bloodlines, is what builds a successful family. My wife and I adopted our daughter and we are in the process of adopting a second daughter. I'm doing this not because it was a method of last resort for us, but because it's what I know as normal. Adoption was a first choice for me. And my Dad taught me that that was good. Most of my favorite things to do in life I learned from him: golfing, fixing cars, a healthy day's pay for a healthy day's work. But my most favorite thing, the thing in my day that I look forward to the most, is being a Dad to my adopted daughter, just like he was a Dad to me, his adopted son.

So to most of the world my Dad may not be a "great man," but he was great to ME... and the world could stand to learn a lot from him. Hopefully he was great to many of you here today. I am blessed, my family is blessed and I pray that all of you have been blessed, because of my Dad.

Thank you for coming here today; it means so much to all of us.

35 comments:

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing such an intimate piece of your Father with us. This is so inspiring for those of us who have adopted, especially when we hear all the negative. Love is an awesome legacy to give, leave, and pass on.

OH MY #6 said...

Oh my, I can really feel that love.

Lea
xo

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

That was just beautiful....straight from his heart! Thanks for sharing it with us....your father in law sounded like an incredible man!

Glad that you are all home safe and sound!!

Hope that you all have a great week!

Lisa

Momto3 said...

What a wonderful legacy your father is leaving - very inspiring.

Briana's Mom said...

That was so amazingly beautiful. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.

happygeek said...

What a legacy.

Aunt LoLo said...

Very well put, Tonggu Papa.

Welcome home, to all of you. Wishing you "yat louh seun fung"! (Smooth winds all along your way.)

OziMum said...

T.Daddy -
That was beautiful. It is evident your Father was a great man, because of the man you are.

May your hearts be filled with peace, and great lasting memories fill your minds.

Kerry said...

Beautiful words in memory of a great man. Sounds like he lived a wonderful life. And how blessed you are to be living in his example.

All my best and condolences.
Kerry
Mom to Grace and Maddie

Stefanie said...

A reminder that we are building a legacy, good or bad, in how we raise our children... adopted or biological.
What a special guy Squeak was. His legacy lives on in his son.
Glad to hear you're on your way home :)

The Source said...

Wonderful. Tonggu Daddy was so blessed to have a Dad like Squeak!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

Perfect.

Georgia Peach said...

This is a really touching tribute to a great man who belongs to a silent fraternity of ordinary people whose lives leave an extraordinary mark on those they love. Your Dad was a great man.

McEwens said...

I think that tribute shows truly what a great man he was/is. For he taught his son what the most important thing was in life... family and ones relationship to God.

bbmomof2boys said...

Yes, you can really feel the love you all have for him. Losing ones parents is always hard (I lost both 6 months apart). We are blessed by them in many ways and it seems that T daddy was doubly blessed! What a great man!!

Tongginator - you are so so right. Your Grandpa Squeak is with his new family and I'm sure he's still dancing, just like he did with you.

All my best!!

~Carla

Patricia/NYC said...

Absolutely touching & beautiful tribute. He sounds like an awesome man.

Hugs, my friend!

Janet said...

That is EXACTLY how I feel about my "step" father. He is my DAD, nothing more, nothing less. Beautiful.

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh my...be still my heart. What beautiful and touching words about his father.

Shawnstribe said...

this posting took my reath away.
So many truths, straight from the heart.
A heart that has been guided by a caring, loving hand.
Thank you for sharing TM
xxx
s

Pug Mama said...

tears streaming down my face.
just beautifully moving.
May your GREAT FATHER rest in peace.

Sharie said...

What an awesome tribute! I am sobing and I never met him, but just over the last few months following your blog, I have a feeling what a great man he must have been.
May you continue to learn through lessons he taught you that you aren't even aware of...yet.

Dale said...

I am so sorry to read of the death of your father TD. I hope all of your happy memories with him will comfort you during this difficult time. Unfortunately I know from experience that despite believing that they are finally at peace does not diminsh the painful loss. Take good care. -Dale

Heather of the EO said...

Thank you. I appreciate you sharing this. You have a way with words and you've done your father proud, I'm sure of it. This is so well-said. Nothing I can think to say does it justice. It's perfect! Thank you.

Sharon said...

That is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing that and God Bless you and keep you during this time. It is so reassuring to me to hear an adopted child feeling that. I hope and pray we can accomplish even half of that!!
What a wonderful husband you have!!

Beachy Mimi said...

That was so beautiful and straight from the heart. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. This moved me to tears. He sounds like such a wonderful man. How proud he must be that you are following in his footsteps.

Monica said...

What a moving tribute your husband has given his father. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Peanut said...

That was beautiful. Your father was an amazing man.

Lisa Cairney said...

What a testament to Squeak's life and love for his family...a great legacy he left for your husband....very beautiful.

Soliloquy said...

Clearly - a live well lived. Beautiful and sad.

Be joyful that in the scope of eternity, our separation is by 15 minutes!

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much for sharing. Tonggu Daddy did an amazing job talking about his Dad.

Jen

Susan said...

Beautiful. What an amazing legacy he left.

Steffie B. said...

Beautiful and I am sobbing.....

Shellie said...

I'm so impressed, what a wonderful tribute. He is so lucky to have had a dad like that!

vpandash said...

I loved what you wrote and it reminds me of some of what I said at my dad's memorial service last week. That even though your dad's life won't make front page news, it was still a very important life that mattered. Simply because he was your dad. Please accept my sincere condolences to your family. But I hope you are finding the same comfort I have, that your daddy is now healed and in heaven.