Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Tribute to the most wonderful man

Dad passed peacefully in his sleep last Thursday. Because of Chinese New Year, we had to make speedy arrangements. But despite the haste, there was a huge turnout to the visitation and funeral. He would have been happy to have seen the banquet that took place in his honour. In fact, as one of his oldest friends said, he was likely enjoying a beer, watching over us while we feasted.

I struggled with whether or not to say anything at the mass. I was afraid I would lose it, become too overwraught with emotion to get out the important words. How do you capture in but a few paragraphs, the special man he was and the impact that he made on so many people?

But I felt I really had to, and I'm so glad I did. And I'd like to think I did him proud...

*****

I have the extreme honour of being the daughter of WMG. Not only was he a wonderful father and remarkable grandfather, he was an exceptional man.

From humble beginnings in China, as a very young boy he came over with his mother to join his father and brother in Canada, for a better life. They settled in Montreal. As far as he remembered, he was the youngest Chinese boy in Chinatown so most adults in the small Chinese community knew him. He was also the oldest boy in kindergarten, but he didn't mind the attention that the teacher paid to him.

He caught up quickly; he finished high school at the appropriate age, and then completed his degree in engineering at McGill university. He worked all through school in the family restaurant business, to help support the family. In the meantime, he also managed to court and marry a pretty young nurse. Dad was good at multi-tasking. All the while he took care of his mother and young sister; and became a much respected uncle to the growing number of nieces and nephews. And then with Mom, he started his own family.

He had a long and distinguished career at MB where he made many friends. And then he along with Mom worked very hard in a second career in real estate. He continued to make so many new friends throughout his life, as we have seen from the outpouring over the last couple of days. For although he was a quiet man, he had a wicked sense of humour and loved a good party.

To quote a message from our cousin who recently visited Dad:

“Your Dad is loved by all of us and we were brought up by our parents to respect him and to consider him as our role model and mentor growing up. My Dad was very proud of him and his achievements. He is a bright, intelligent, successful, righteous and honorable man with strong family values and is at the same time very humble. “

My father was a wise man of impeccable morals. I learned so much from him, about being responsible, honorable, tenacious, ambitious and generous. He was an inspiration and led by example, encouraging us to be the very best that we could be. Because indeed, that’s who he was.

The very, very best.

*****

I love you Dad. I miss you.

38 comments:

Rima said...

Oh, Karen. I am so, so sorry. I hope that your strong network of family and friends will help you through the days ahead. It sounds like you have an exceptional extended family (much thanks to your dad, I expect) and they will rally to help each other through. I'll keep all of you in my prayers . . .

maggie's mind said...

Beautiful tribute, and my heart breaks for you. Please be gentle with you and grieve in whatever way feels right to you. I'm so sorry. Sending hugs.

Jenny86753oh9 said...

Karen, I'm sorry you're going through this. It sounds like you have a great source of family and friends surrounding you, but please know your blogging community is here for you too. Many hugs sent your way.

Shawna said...

Such a loving tribute . . .my heart goes out to you and your family. Do what you need to do and take the time that you need to take.

Ginaagain said...

Dear Karen,
Words aren't enough and cyberhugs are unable to express my sadness for your loss. Every time you have written about him it was so clear that you loved him deeply. He was an exceptional man and a wonderful Father and Grandfather. I know you will miss him terribly. You and your family are in my prayers.
Love, Gina

OHmommy said...

A very beautiful tribute Karen. I am sorry for your loss. Many many many hugs.

Family Adventure said...

You did do him proud. And I recognize much of him in you, and in your children.
HUGS! Heidi

Cherry said...

Your tribute is beautiful and full of love and honor.

Hugs to you Karen. Anytime you need them.

Don Mills Diva said...

That was a wonderful, beautiful tribute.

I am heartbroken for you Karen. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts...

xo

jolene said...

hey karen, your neice here...
so sorry to hear about dad, and that i'm so far away!
however your amazing tribute allowed me to reflect on the times that i had with your dad as well his legacy. thank you for writing this.
hugs to val & warren and your mom and of course and big BIG hug for you. i'm thinking of you all. much love, jolene

donna said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts.

dkuroiwa said...

Oh, Karen....my thoughts and prayers are with you...even more so than before. The fact that you could actually stand up and give such a wonderful and loving tribute to your father is amazing...where you got the strength, I don't know. Maybe while your Dad was watching over you all, with his beer in one hand, he put is other hand on your shoulder to give you the strength to do that.
The grieving process takes a long time, Karen. Know that as you go through this, you are loved the world over and we are all sending you warm thoughts, love and hugs.

Kat said...

I am so impressed that you could get up and give that speech despite battling back the emotions. That is amazing. What a wonderful tribute to your dad.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Tara R. said...

I'm am so sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful remembrance of your father. My prayers are with you and your family.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Oh my. My condolences.

I'm genuinely sorry for your loss.

Badness Jones said...

That was beautiful Karen, and I'm sure that your Dad was watching. Hugs to you and your family, I'm glad that there is such an outpouring of love around you. You deserve it.

xoxo Sarah

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I am lucky to still have both of my parents and admire how strong you sound and how loving your tribute is. Take care of yourself and your family.

Kami said...

Oh Karen, I had no idea he passed away...I am so sorry for your loss, you had such a close bond with your dad.

What you spoke about at mass was beautiful...I am wiping tears. Just beautiful.

Big hugs to you, Karen, as you grieve. My thoughts are with you.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

What a wonderful, moving tribute you put together.

My heart breaks for you, and I hope that this confusing and painful time is eased by the love of your family.

My SIL's father passed away a few months ago, and her sister got up and spoke. At the end she said, "He wasn't perfect. No one is. But he was the perfect dad." That got me sobbing. Sounds like your dad fits that as well. A great man, and a great father.

abritdifferent said...

What an amazing tribute to someone who sounded like a remarkable man. I am so very sorry you lost your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

Frances said...

What a lovely tribute. I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. You are such a wonderful person and to have to endure this pain I wish things were so very different. My thoughts and support are with you at this tough time.

Miss said...

*hugs* That was beautifully written Karen. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Momisodes said...

Karen, this was beautiful. Your love shines through in your words. I know he would be proud. I have a lump in my throat and my heart breaks for you and your family's. I am very sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts.

Mike Golch said...

Sorry for your lose. I miss my Dad as well.even thoought he passed away in 1984.I still miss him

fancypansy said...

I am so sorry. What you said was beautiful. You and your family are in my thoughts.

JIll

melissa said...

mwah...
i'm so so sorry!!

come over to my blog for a surprise.
xo

gmcountrymama said...

That is such a beautiful tribute to you father. He must have been really special. I'm so sorry for you loss.

LaskiGal said...

You spoke with such eloquence . . . the courage it must have taken when you are struggling with your own grief.

Your courage, your strength, your heart . . . a true testament to a wonderful father.

Karen, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Much love . . . L

Dina said...

i'm so sorry karen. You were fortunate to have had such a wonderful and special father whom you shared such a beautiful relationship with. I only hope my daughter loves and respects her daddy the way you did yours!
Your tribute was very moving. God bless you and your family.
D

Ed (zoesdad) said...

This was a beautiful tribute. He is surely smiling upon you.

You're in my thoughts.

Maureen said...

Karen: My sincere condolences. How very lucky you are to have had such a wonderful man as your father. Yes, he will be missed, but what a blessing to have had him enrich both your and your family's lives. Take care.

Danielle said...

Dear Karen,
I am so sorry to hear about your loss, Your tribute to your dad was very touching. I hope that you are doing ok, My thoughts go out to you and your family.

Danielle

Beck said...

Oh, Karen. I am so, so very sorry. He sounds like he was a lovely man and my heart is broken for you.
Praying that you are surrounded by love and comfort right now.

Melissa said...

I'm just getting caught up here, so I'm sorry I'm a little late. I am so sorry for your loss, but reading this post and the one right after it, you are indeed a lucky family to have so much love in it.

My best to your mother and the rest of your family during this time.

A Buns Life said...

I'm so sorry for your loss...I know how difficult it is to lose a parent. My heart is with you during this hard time.

C. K. said...

I'm so sorry, Karen. Your dad is so proud of you, and you have been so amazing -- and your dad had a chance to see his grandkids, I'm sure he felt his life was most fulfilling. My condolences.

Huckdoll said...

Oh, Karen. Major hugs, hun.

This tribute was so very graceful and beautiful.

Knatolee said...

Way to make me cry... beautiful, Karen. I still miss my Dad so much and it's been almost 17 years. I'm glad you spoke at your Dad's funeral.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin