Inspired by Tim Russert's book titled "Big Russ and Me," I thought it would be fitting today, Father's Day 2006, to share some excerpts from the proud eulogy I gave in memory of my Dad James Rossini, at his funeral in 1998. It went like this: "I wanted to take a few moments today to express my feelings about my dad. Because I invest lots of my free time reading and listening to books on tapes, and one of my favorite categories happens to be the biographies of GREAT INDIVIDUALS, I sincerely enjoy learning about the lives and experiences of famous individuals who have accomplished extraordinary things during their lifetimes. It's not a coincidence that most of these individuals all seem to practice some basic fundamental values that make them GREAT!
Although my dad was not famous, and a biography may never be written about his life, to me he was a great man who lived a great life. Today I would like to present a summarized version of my perspective of James Rossini my Dad! To begin, I believe you could search this entire planet, and never find a more HONEST person than my Dad. He was straightforward and quite opinionated, but he always told the truth whether someone liked it or not. He would have never made a dime as a used car salesmen, and would fail terribly as a politician, but he was a great role model for his children and grandchildren, because he ALWAYS TOLD THE TRUTH.
GENEROSITY: This was another virtue that my dad practiced throughout his life. And his generosity was always unconditional. He never expected anything in return for his kind deeds. If you were in need, you could COUNT ON MY DAD to give you the last dollar out of his pocket to help you. With no strings attached.
LOYALTY: I dare someone to find a more loyal person than my dad. As an example, he took a bus and a subway for several decades to travel one hour to Center City to get his haircut by his nephew, when there were 5 barbershops located within a 5 minute walk from our house. He displayed the same loyalty to his butcher, the soda man who delivered our beverages, and most importantly to his FAMILY and LOVED ONES.
PUNCTUALITY: Dad was never late for anything in his life. He planned his doctors and dentists appointments as well as any other time commitments, with more precision than NASA plans the space shuttle for takeoff. He and my Mom should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for that virtue. It always amused me how they would sit with their coats on for twenty minutes before I would pick them up to take them out for the day.
GREAT EMPLOYEE: His work record speaks for itself. At his last job he went to work for 25 straight years without missing a day. He took two buses and a subway that took 90 minutes to get to work; and persevered through common colds, fevers and flu's that we all suffer from without missing a day. Neither snow storms nor transportation strikes, kept him from punching his time clock every day for 25 years.
FAMILY PROVIDER: I am sure my sister would agree that as children we always felt rich. Mom and Dad stretched every dollar they made to make us comfortable and happy, plus always had money saved for a rainy day.
RELIGIOUS: Up until his last few years, when it became impossible to walk to church, Dad always set a good example by attending Mass and praying every Sunday, with the same consistency as his work record. He was a proud usher for decades. His example made spirituality an important part of life for his children. I could continue on and on to about the many characteristics that made James Rossini a GREAT MAN. However I want to take a moment now to recognize my Mom, because behind every great man, is a GREAT woman.
Mom gave Dad 60 years of unconditional love. Nothing was too much trouble for her man. Dad's love for food, and Moms delicious cooking was a perfect combination that brought Dad great pleasure. Even at AGE 88, Mom cooked and cleaned and ran their household with the same management skills that a CEO runs a major corporation. Mom always showed her love through her actions. She treated Dad like a KING from the time she met him, right up to his last breath of life. The combination of Dad's great genes and Moms tender care provided Dad with a great life AS A HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND VERY PROUD MAN. These two VERY special individuals have blessed our entire family with many years of PRIDE AND JOY."
Now unfortunately, my entire eulogy is too long for this short lesson. However my memories of Dad are wonderful. We all may have to deliver a eulogy one day for a special Dad. The key point of this lesson is to ENJOY and VALUE your relationship with your Dad and Mom while they are alive and well. Then cherish their memories forever! Happy Father's Day to all!