Saturday, October 22, 2016

Words of Remembrance

Words of Remembrance

From my father's funeral mass on Friday, October 21, 2016

First, our family would like to thank you for taking the time today to be with us to celebrate the life of my father, Mike Dollarton.

Poet, Mary Oliver, wrote, “Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

My father grew up with the reality that life is short.  He didn’t take one minute for granted.  And he certainly had a wild life.  He devoted his life to being OUTSTANDING.  He modeled what it means to help others, to be a friend, and to pursue that which makes you happy in this life.

Though none of us knew or could have anticipated what was to come, within the past month, as a family we spent quality time together both for happy reasons and sad.  In those small moments, my father danced surrounded by a garden of those he loved, including his wife, daughters and their spouses, brothers, cousins, nieces, and nephews.  Due to the destination, he witnessed his last beach sunset while biking with Bonnie and spent time in his favorite place with his brothers.

Just two weeks later, our father offered to do what he does best and help family.  My sister’s mother-in-law passed away and Sheila was closing on a house the following morning.  My dad dropped everything, insisting on driving her to the closing in Maryland and a few days later, drove up to New York with Bonnie to help in any way they could.  That included late nights and even walking the boys around in their stroller for an hour and a half following Peg’s funeral to ensure that they got a nap that day.  As a result of being in New York, the following day my father got to spend the twin’s first birthday with them, watching them smash some cupcakes in OUTSTANDING fashion.  

Though his time was short, it is some comfort to us to know that his time was well spent.  He loved big and lived with few regrets.  We feel so blessed to have these memories of my dad’s last few weeks.  We are all better for having known him.  

Last night, at the viewing, a friend shared that Mike Dollarton always left parties abruptly.  That when he was ready to go, he went.  While we don’t understand why, he left this party a little early and we all miss him dearly.  

We look forward to sharing many more memories with all of you following the service.

Thank you.

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