This eulogy by John A. Byrne for his father is the most moving thing I’ve ever read on the net. An excerpt:
He learned to be generous with himself and with his friends. My father didn’t have much, but he shared what he had with just about anyone who needed what little he had. When we closed up his house on 89 Sherman Ave. and paid his final bills two years ago, we found out that he sometimes paid the oil bills of friends and neighbors when they didn’t have the cash to pay themselves. He never spoke about these generosities, and he never expected anything in return. He was a man who knew what an honest day’s work was and delivered it without complaint or failure — ever.
He learned to live life with optimism. Above all, my father was an optimist. He loved to laugh. He loved to please. He was rarely, if ever, critical of people. He didn’t have an unkind bone in his body. He filled his life with hope, even when there was little reason to hope.
One of my life’s biggest ambitions, is that I may be remembered in much the same way when I’m dead (or even while I’m still here :o).