My father was a very good man. He would call “Poppycock!” » (as we say in Spanish, Paparruchas!, and others) with abandon on everything that seemed inconsequential to him, which was often the case.
He devoted his life to his family; there were five of us kids, so money was always tight and he worked very long hours for many years. His job no longer exists since he was an industrial word worker, a linotype maker. Operating a linotype machine is hard work and you’re not expected to do more than six hours a day. He rarely did less than eight, sometimes more.
A linotype machine creates lines of words that are put together to create pages of text. The molten metal is continuously poured and solidified, creating the lines that will then be printed.
For a man who valued actions so much over words, it is ironic that he spent most of his life working such long hours producing only words.
My father didn’t have a eulogy at his funeral. No one in the family is religious, like he wasn’t, so we’re not good at ceremonies. We stood in silence for a few minutes after his ashes were placed in the grave and a cemetery worker closed it, then we dispersed, with closest family gathering afterward for lunch.
Thinking about it, in many ways I think it would have been my father’s choice, and he would have thrown some Nonsense! complains about someone who suggests otherwise. Why?, he said.
But the eulogy he didn’t get is not what my father deserves. He may not have changed world history, but he was always gentle and generous, and loved us in the best way he knew how, without using many words. It’s not like he’s perfect and makes mistakes and pays the consequences like we all do.
I would really like to share the value of my father, who favors action rather than words. But the reality of the world we live in is that the value of things is not what they are, but what is said…