My dad could fall asleep anywhere.
It was important to know my father. He was a connector; he knew everybody. I first learned of this when I was eight, and he almost got our family on the set of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. And then again when, at eleven, he almost got me a lunch date with David Cassidy because he knew the teen idol’s manager. He knew a record promoter and brought me home a stack of New Wave albums—The Cars, Blondie, Patti Smith, and Elvis Costello—before there was even a new wave. I remember he thought Elvis would have less-than-zero longevity, like Elton John.
|Here’s generosity for you: a family cruise to Bermuda,
everything paid, including kids’ face painting and
off-ship meals and a few souvenirs.
If you needed a back doctor, knowing him could get you a faster appointment. He could get you a last-minute reservation or a special deal on a car or just some extra nice treatment somewhere. There’s a waiter at the Prime Rib who used to fawn all over my husband Marty when we came to the restaurant. It took me years to figure out that it wasn’t Marty who was so special; it was my father. The waiter had assumed Marty, also Mr. Miller, was his son, so when he asked, “How’s your dad?” I said, “I’M Harvey’s daughter.” He sucked up to me from then on.
|Even in the hospital, my dad would work, though
each successive hospital visit would make that less possible.
When he became successful in his business, he became more generous. You couldn’t go anywhere without him saying, “You want it? I’ll buy it.” If you would so much as touch the fabric of a pair of $300 jeans, he’d say it. “You want it I’ll buy it.” But who needed a pair of $300 jeans? There’s a shop owner in Rehoboth who loves him but hates his crazy ass family.
|Panic: How is it that the most recent
photo I have of myself with my father
was taken 18 years ago at my wedding?
So I think of sandwiches and games and generosity when I think of my dad. And I think of love. He loved fiercely and loyally. And if something was wrong, he wanted to fix it for you. He hated seeing the people he loved struggle or suffer for a moment without something they needed or wanted.
It was so easy to love my dad because he loved so easily. And the best benefit of losing someone like that is that you never have to wonder if you loved enough or well. You did.
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy to say goodbye, and as prepared as we try to be, we never are prepared. Your father sounds like a wonderful person.
tears soaking my shirt.
how lucky you have been to be so loved and adored.
and how lucky, your dad, to have had the same.
My sincerest condolences to you and your entire family, Leslie. I'm sure your father would be very proud of your beautiful tribute. Hell. I knew nothing about the man and now I love him too! Best, Steven Donaghey, Brooklyn.
Those are beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing them with us.
What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute (of course). What a wonderful man and father. So much love to you, Leslie. xx
This is the most beautiful eulogy I have ever read. These insights into your dad's approach to love (given and received) make it even less surprising that you're the magnificent human being that you are. xoxo
I'm sure you know that this song was written for Gwyneth Paltrow when she lost her father.
I wish I had the presence of mind to say something at my father's funeral. He had been so sick, that, at the time, my main feeling was relief.
Your eulogy was right on. It let us know your father.
It is an unspeakable loss to lose one's Dad. But you have given beautiful voice here to what you, and the world, have lost.
as always I do repeat myself, thank you for being so generous in sharing your dad, with us. your eulogy was wonderful, and the song just nailed the emotion.
A beautifully expressed eulogy. So sorry for your loss, Leslie.