Wednesday, June 01, 2005

the measure of a man

My grandfather Amadeo (known as Army to friends and family) lived to be 87, and lived life to the fullest. He was a professional football player, wrestler, and educator for over 50 years, working until he died. Married twice, he was a father of six (of which my father is the oldest), grandfather of twelve and great-grandfather of five.

My Uncle Steven gave a beautiful eulogy, and with his permission I am including an excerpt below.

The Measure of a Man

What is the measure of a man?

I believe that we are measured by our families, others we have met, and God.

For those of us that have worked in Education, we know that we all have had an impact on the lives of children we have taught or coached. The question we might ask might be, was it a good positive impact or did we have very little influence in their future? Or perhaps a better question could be, did we say or do something that changed the direction of someone's life? Remember Robert Frost wrote, "I chose the path less traveled." Did you ever help someone go in the right direction?

It is the quality of one's nature that sets you apart. When the time comes for you to stand up to the plate and make a difference, do you know what to say, do you have the courage to say it, and do you say it with conviction? He had all those qualities and I am glad he was there at those turning points in my life.

Only God can measure a man for Heaven, but we can speculate. Have people gotten into heaven that have made mistakes? The answer is yes, if we have tried to right those mistakes and ask for forgiveness. Have we loved our neighbors and given our love to our family? I know that he has. My family and I loved him very much and his opinion meant a great deal to all of us. We have confided our fears, troubles, and worries to him and appreciated his responses. I feel like picking up the telephone and calling him right now.

In the days after Mom died, Grandpa and Uncle Buddy drove up to Asheville to spend some time with us. Moved by Mom's passing, he told us that when it was his time to go, he wanted us to have a party in his honor, and that's exactly what we did last weekend. I hope you were smiling down on us, Grandpa, and that we sent you off right.

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