I can't believe that I am standing here today, at age 23 and Courtney at age 20, speaking at your funeral. Right now, if you were here, I just know that we would be grabbing a coffee from Pearl Cup and hustling and bustling around Dallas visiting all of the best stores and picking out the next movie we would go see at the Northpark movies together. It absolutely breaks my heart that you had to go this way, this young in your life. I love you more than you could imagine dad and will always hang on to our sweetest memories together. I will never forget how we used to put on the ELO album and dance to “Mr. Blue Sky” all night long with myself on one arm and Courtney on the other. You would swing us around for hours making us laugh and laugh. Even after you broke your toe, you still danced with us and did not complain one bit. As I grew up, you introduced me to imagination and wonder. You inspired me to embrace imagination within myself through all of the fun stories you would tell me and places you told me about. Both you and mom always encouraged me to participate in anything I had interest in and here is the list of what I gave a try: dance, volleyball, basketball, acting class, figure skating, dance team, and finally violin. And I am very glad I chose to stick with the violin :)
! In 7th grade, I remember you helping me create my science fair project about pollution in the rivers in DFW. We went down the entire Trinity river in Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas to get samples and took our time gathering everything we needed. I later found out that I won first place in the science fair that year, and I looked at you and was in awe of how intelligent you were and how you helped me get the grand prize! I never imagined winning a science fair, let alone going to a state level competition, and because of you dad, I finally believed that I was capable. You and Courtney also had a chance to excel with a very complicated
?project her freshman year of college. The project was to build a moving kinetic sculpture with working gears. You and Court worked tediously on the project until you almost felt crazy and you said, “Courtney this is so detailed, I could never do this for a living!” After long hours of work, Court turned in the project and a few days later found the sculpture displayed in a prestigous showcase. Dad you were truly brilliant at everything you put your mind to, and you inspired both Courtney and me to be the best we can be in our education.
! You also had a passion for the environment which was outstanding and you opened up my heart to so many aspects of life. We used to watch shark week every year together and when you explained how sealife was possibly going to go extinct, you inspired me to create a save the sealife club in 5th grade. Thank you for teaching me compassion like that dad. I will never forget how much you believed in being healthy and taking care of yourself. You made me laugh so many times when I would call and see what you were doing and it was always “about to work out Steph!” or you would give me step-by-step instructions on how to cook the latest healthy meal you discovered. Almost every Thanksgiving over the past decade when I was with mom I would call you and you always said, “I'm cooking sea bass for Thanksgiving with kale and watching the game” and I would think to myself wow, my dad is so strong not to eat the typical meal I wish I could have self control like that! And the holidays that I spent with him and Courtney were filled with movie marathons and homemade vegetarian meals and apple pie. I never thought I would enjoy meatless roasts until he told me to just try it and I have been hooked ever since. :) I loved when you gave me recipe advice and encouraged me to be healthy and I will cherish your words of wisdom for the rest of my life. You were the strongest and bravest person I knew and you were NEVER afraid to stand up for yourself and others at any given time. You were grounded
in yourself and taught me how to be strong not only for myself but for those I love too. A phrase that I will always remember you saying is to “stay true to yourself no matter what, and follow your dreams, there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” When I doubted if I could finish school, you were there instantly and had the perfect words to keep me driven. Any time I called you to tell you I just don't think I can do this anymore...You always found a solution and never let me give up. You always told me that you believed in me and I just want to say to you in heaven that I believed in you too daddy, for my entire life. You were the sweetest man I ever got to know in this life, you loved with EVERYTHING that you had and gave with everything that you had. Thank you for giving me the best childhood a daughter could have. In my last phone call with you, I remember how happy you sounded and I thought to myself, “Wow, thank you Jesus that he is at peace in his life!” I could not stop grinning the entire time I talked with you. You told me how proud you were of my latest accomplishments and told me, “I told you, you can do anything!” You also told me how much you loved Courtney and my mom and I had tears in my eyes when you told me, “Stephanie, you and Courtney are the best things that have happened to me in my life and I will always love your mother, she is such a good person. I pray for you guys every day.” We wrapped up our conversation the way we always did with a “stay healthy and take care of yourself Steph, be careful, and talk to you soon. I love you.” I never got a chance to speak with him again, but I will forever feel peace in my heart for him because I know that Jesus has him in his both of his hands. I love you always and forever dad <3