My husband’s brother passed away on Saturday November 3. Louis Tackes was 91 years old. Jim went to Wisconsin to be with the family and celebrate Lou’s wonderful life with Lou’s daughter and five sons, their children and grandchildren. Jim’ nephew Dan, Lou’s oldest son gave this profound eulogy at the wake and since it said so much about what we are all striving for in this life I thought it fitting to share it with all of the readers of this blog.
by Daniel Tackes | November 9, 2012 |
Thank you all for coming to say goodbye to Dad and/or to comfort us.
I’m thinking I don’t have to remind anyone, but we just had an election. I thought a lot of things about the election, but the things that came to mind immediately were:
- Could be the first time in 40 years that my Dad missed voting in an election. He believed wholeheartedly that the democracy he fought for also had to be protected through voting for your thoughts and values.
- Since Dad retired, he worked as a poll worker and I feel bad that his fellow workers, this time had to do without Dad’s latest crock-pot creation.
- I NEVER knew who Dad voted for. He also believed that democracy was protected by secret ballots where no one could coerce someone into voting a certain way. He stood behind that belief by never telling us who to vote for or who he voted for.
Mostly, though, I’ve thought about all the things in this election cycle that bothered me (Not a political statement).
- It too often seems that money is more important than ideas.
- It seems like there is so much show and flash over substance.
- It seems like it is harder and harder to know if candidates are telling the truth; there is so much spin going on.
- It seems that politicians so often promise things that they don’t follow through on later.
- It seems hard to know what candidates really care about or believe.
- It seems like we don’t want to hear about sacrifice, even for what we know to be good or right.
As Dad died in the middle of all this hype (commercials, robo calls, multiple mailings) I realized that my first thoughts of Dad were of a simple man that was the exact opposite of what bothered me about the election season.
- Dad always believed that ideas like honor, working for good, caring and true character were more important that all the money you could possibly earn.
- Dad always felt that the person a man or a woman was, was much more important that what they said. Living well was much more important than speaking well.
- Dad was always a man of truth and integrity. He was a kind and considerate man, but not at the expense of truth. Being able to sleep well at night because of a clear conscience was an important thing for Dad.
- Dad was a man of his word. If he told you he’d do something, you could count on it. He was a trustworthy Dad and friend. He was a team player you could count on.
- We all pretty much knew what Dad believed in and treasured.
- Mom and his marriage
- His family
- His faith
- Hard work
- Did I mention family?
And he was willing to stand for his principals:
- He risked his life for his country.
- He worked odd jobs (like all those porch railings in Belgium) to support his family.
- He stood up for things he believed were important even when he knew it would be unpopular.
Dad embodied for me the kind of character I want to have, and that I want my children and grandchildren to have. Every time people who knew Dad do something good, important or brave, I will know that the most important parts of Dad are still with us.
Finally, I’d like to share the wisdom I heard our granddaughter, Christiona, share with our 3 1/2 year old grandson, Caden when talking about Dad. I heard her say, “Don’t worry, Cade. Grandpa Lou will be with Jesus. He’ll be just fine.