Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mr. Ted is Dead

In memory of my Dad who recently passed, I (Jordan) have been asked to compose a brief entry for our blog. For a while now, I have been wondering what to say, wanting to avoid a repetitively hollow and cliché piece.

Pondering the subject, 2 compositions that I had heard come to mind that I thought might give me some inspiration. Both were short yet unusual.

One was about Mr. Head (pronounced "Heed" in the Scottish vernacular). After Mr. Head from Bitterhead Scotland died, Mrs. Head thought she should post an obituary with the local village news rag. And when she inquired as to the cost, the clerk said it cost by the word. So Mrs. Head wanted to keep it short. When she suggested that the obit should read "Mr. Head from Bitterhead is dead" the clerk tactfully suggested that it was a little curt and offered to add 3 words more at no charge. So after a brief moment of thought, Mrs. Head revised her submission as follows: "Mr. Head from Bitterhead is dead. Volvo for sale."

The other, a true story, was a posthumous obit written by the person himself posted in the local paper after his death. Apparently he was a jovial fellow and all who knew him weren't surprised by his words. His self-composed obit simply read "John is Dead" under a picture of him with a broad smile.

Now this I think makes more sense than the usual and typical "Theodore David Mills, born...blah blah blah..." because obits are only meaningful to people who knew the deceased and they probably know everything that you might want to say anyways. So words can be an inadequate substitute.

I could bore you and say that Dad was an extremely steadfast and honest father (which in fact he was) and that I couldn't conceive of a better Dad (which in fact I couldn't). And I could add that because of this and by his lead, he taught us there could be a balance in being responsible and enjoying R & R activities. But for those who knew him, knew that his "quiet love" was unequivocally evident without showy displays. I suppose, as a simple description that says it all, I could say this: "If all earth's inhabitants were of Dad's nature, there would be peace without strife and conflict."

Or for the sake of brevity, and in light of Dad's scriptural belief in the life after: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5.5)

Or...I could just say...

"Mr. Ted is Dead"