not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Life Celebration Pt.1

Uncle Sean (#10 of the 10 Callahan kids) had everyone holding their sides because they were laughing so hard.
Katie and Mom having a laugh.
My two New Yorkers came down to honor dad.
Gina and Me.
And then we got home and shit got crazy. Food and laughter and LOTS of booze.
Yesterday was Dads service, and what a beautiful day it was. We were shitting ourselves the night before because the forecasts were calling for rain and high winds...and our venue was outside. The Whitebrier was the perfect's where my mom worked back in the day when she met my Dad. So once again, the heavens above blessed us with a beautiful day to celebrate my Dad's life. It was a packed house, filled with family, friends and even some who have never met Dad but wanted to be there to celebrate his life. We told stories and laughed and cried and laughed and was exactly the way that Dad would have wanted it. I wrote an outline for my speech, and I rambled for a long time around the subject, but I'll just include the backbone of the speech.

(It started out with me approaching the mic saying "I'm powerful and amazing" several times to fight back the tears and deliver this speech for my Dad):

My Dad taught me how to Live, like REALLY live. From the time that I was a little kid, and even through his death - he has given me a passion for life that is so strong, so intense, so vibrant. Sometimes I feel stressed because there aren't enough minutes in my day, days in my week, or weeks in my year to do all that I want to do. I want to taste everything, and see everything, and experience everything. This passion was a gift from my Dad. 

You all may know him as a loud, crazy man -- KILL EM AND EAT EM -- I GOT IT!! -- LEFT RIGHT!! but my Dad was also a wise, kind man who always knew just what to say. No question was too stupid, no emotion too silly. And even in this time of sadness I'm comforted by a conversation that we once had years back, he said...

"Cailin, life is like a river. It is going to bend right and left, and some days it is going to rage with water and at times it's going to run dry. YOU CAN'T CONTROL THE RIVER. You can only control how you handle yourself and how you respond to that, and that makes you"

Well this fucking river has taken me down a turn that I don't like, and now it has run dry. And some days this sadness seems so great and so dark that I might lose myself in it completely. But then I remember our conversation and I know that I'm going to be okay. We are All going to be okay. Because my Dad taught us ALL how to life. And through his passing he reminds us that:

  • each day is a blessing
  • each breath is a miracle
  • every relationship is to be cherished
  • never underestimate the power of friendship
  • and that an ice cold beer can turn any day around. 

Osho says "Be a drunkard, drunk with life, with the wine of existence. Don't remain sober. The sober person remains dead. Drink the wine of life. It has SO much poetry, and SO much love, and SO much juice.   I tell you you are born and you will certainly die, but something in you was before your birth and something is there which will remain after your death. And that something is life. Life is eternal."

My dad may be gone, but he lives on in all of us today, and for all the days to come. He was so beautiful, and so bright and so fucking vibrant -- and a Life like that doesn't just disappear, it can't. So try not to be sad, but to celebrate his life by living each day of yours to its height and depth. 

God bless ya Dad. I love you. 

After the beautiful service we headed to the Abbey for a luncheon, where Jim and Christian Mahr played music and we ate, drank, laughed and remembered Dad through stories and photos.

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