Monday, May 3, 2010

Eulogy For My Grandfather

Last Saturday May 1st I attended my Grandfather's Funeral. Dr. Wan T. Tang was born in March 13, 1916 and April 22 at the age of 94 years old. He was a World War II veteran who worked with the Americans as a doctor and a translator. After the war he was a business man working in import and export companies and real estate. He is survived by five children, and eleven grandchildren. The following is the eulogy I gave at his service.

Welcome everyone. Thank you everyone for being here to honor our grandfather. We all traveled to be here, some near, some far but we’ve all taken time out of our lives to share this time together, and I know we are all grateful to each for the effort we have all made to be here. As sad I am on this day I can’t help but smile looking out at all of you and feeling the warmth that only comes from being together as a family.

I'd also like to thank everyone who has come up here and shared their thoughts about grandpa. Speaking at an occasion like this is a difficult thing to do . . . as I am fast discovering.

We take this time as a service of shared reflection. A time for us to think back on the man who shaped each of our lives. Through reflecting on this man, we see our own past, our present, our future.

My favorite memory of grandpa was the moment when Diana first met him. It was during a wedding reception we held in Seattle for our friends who were not at the Chicago wedding.

I have never seen anyone so overjoyed to meet Diana. In the same way that the quickest way into a mother’s heart is treat her children well, grandpa’s enthusiasm was a gestures of respect and love was not only to Diana but to me, embracing someone he had never met before simply because she was important to me.

Grandpa said “hello” and “nice to meet you” with a huge smile and muttered something in Mandarin. He gestured towards my mom to tell Diana what he said and my mom translated “you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

I can’t really say, I don’t really know all of what his life means to me. I’m hopping that this weekend will help me figure some of that out. What I do is that I feel grateful for all that he gave, sad for the loss and apprehensive because I know from now on when the morning sun shines on me, it will be a slightly different color because he is no longer with us.

For the past week, I’ve asked myself: where do we go from here? How do we honor our grandfather? The best that I can figure out is that it’s in the choices we make every day demonstrating the values of loyalty, family and love that defined who he was and defines who we are. In this way, he will live forever in our memories, our souls and in our hearts.

Grandpa, I will always be proud to have known you.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful eulogy. My condolences to you and your family.