Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /customers/6/2/9/jabana.se/httpd.www/justhilarie/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 275 Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /customers/6/2/9/jabana.se/httpd.www/justhilarie/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 275 Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /customers/6/2/9/jabana.se/httpd.www/justhilarie/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 275 Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /customers/6/2/9/jabana.se/httpd.www/justhilarie/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 275

A good man

October 15 is the yahrtzeit or anniversary of my father’s death. He died in 1997. My mother called me here in Sweden a few days before, to tell me that the doctors had said there was nothing more they could do for him and she had decided to unhook him from the machines he was attached to. My husband booked me on a flight to the States the next day. Mom picked me up at Newark airport and we drove directly to the hospital. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening sitting there next to my dad, holding his hand. I don’t know if he knew if I was there or not, but I like to think he had been waiting till I came. That night, sometime around midnight or so, the hospital called to say my dad, Milton Cutler, had peacefully passed away.

me and my dad

me and my dad

While my mom kept herself busy making funeral arrangements, I sat down at her computer and wrote a eulogy for my father. I thought those words had been lost long ago on some old hard disk. Recently, while I was helping my mom move, I found a printed copy of the eulogy and brought it home with me to Stockholm. Now on the anniversary of his death 14 years ago I want to give that eulogy once again. Here it is.

My father was not the kind of man who created a stir when he entered a room. He was a little man, almost petite, and spoke softly. He wasn’t the kind of person who could tell riveting stories or captivate an audience. But I remember when I was little, he used to read to me before I went to sleep. He didn’t read to me ordinary run-of-the-mill bedtime stories. He read me Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl and Aku Aku, the book about the statues on Easter Island. He liked those kind of stories and that was what he found interesting to read to me. For my tenth birthday I received a subscription to National Geographic from him and long after I moved away from home, the issues kept coming every month to the house, with my name on them, but not really for me.

He also loved Science Fiction and that love I’ve inherited. I read my first Sci Fi book when I was 11 – The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, it was Daddy’s book. After that I read every Sci Fi book Daddy had till I started to buy my own.

He was a quiet man who rarely voiced his own opinions or demanded to have things his way. I think he came from a generation for whom the expression “self-fulfillment” would cause a feeling of discomfort and the idea of “doing your own thing” was an alien concept. For him, it was more important, to do the right thing. He didn’t drink, he didn’t gamble, he didn’t chase after women. His life wasn’t easy but he stuck with it. He worked hard and tried to give the people he loved in his life as much as he was able to. And when his time came, there wasn’t much time left to do the things he had wanted to do.

My father was one of those small, inconsequential men that the world out there doesn’t take much notice of. But he was a good man and in this day and age, just simply being a good man is something worthy of our respect, deserving of our praise and should be cherished in our memories.


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /customers/6/2/9/jabana.se/httpd.www/justhilarie/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 405

4 Responses to “A good man”

  • Claris Says:

    Absolutely lovely.

  • Kim Loughran Says:

    To strive in life for accomplishments sometimes obscures the greatest accomplishment of all — to love, be loved and have friends. Your dad was obviously a winner.

  • Stig Says:

    Simply and beautifully put, Hilarie. And the photograph – so perfect – has brought a tear to my eye. What a wonderful daughter . What a lucky dad. This will not go unnoticed in The Book of Life. I think sometimes the best of one’s deeds are just thoughts. Invisible to all but God. But never inconsequential.

  • KJL Says:

    24 years. wow. your eulogy is beautful and filled with honor. yes, he was present in his quiet way. and his presence was enduring.

Leave a Reply