You Know Michael Lawrence Dake

My father passed away one year ago today. The following is the eulogy I gave of him:

Thank you Scottie. So thankful for you and our friends at Canaan Land Church. God Bless you. Thanks also to Dwayne Spence for all of their help this week.

On behalf of the Dake family; my mother Peg, my siblings Chuck, Beth, Michael and Patricia, I want to thank you all for attending tonight and celebrating my Dad’s life.

Well here we are. When we all found out about Dad on Friday, I think one of the things we all mentioned in some way to each other, that we have been preparing for this for awhile.

Dad’s health over the years, but especially the last few, hadn’t been great. Yet in your mind you have these conflicting thoughts: 1. that this could happen and 2., it wasn’t going to be for a long time, because frankly...Dakes live forever.

When Chuck and I met with Scottie this past Sunday to talk about my Dad, it got me to thinking about in general, ‘how would you describe Dad?’ Whether you haven’t met him or hadn’t seen him in years, how could I explain who my Dad was; a complicated, yet incredibly simple person.

And really it’s this...

If you know one of us, you know my Dad.

If you know one of my sisters, you know how compassionate and generous they are towards others. How they always want to teach and help. If you know one of my brothers, you see the diligence and perseverance they have to take care of their families through any challenge, heartbreak, move or otherwise.

And if you know me and how emotional I can get, well, actually...that’s not my Dad, I don’t know where that comes from.

But really it’s the little things my siblings do for others.

We have spent the last few days laughing and crying with each other. We have also been yelling at each other. All things we used to do with my Dad actually! But when push comes to shove, just like our Dad, we come together and get stuff done. There are no four other people I’d want to experience this together than my brothers and sisters.

You know we joke about Dake Family Rule #1 and frankly it’s the greatest family rule, in the history of family rules.

But really as I have been thinking about the moments with my Dad, it was moments in the car that really stand out as special to me.

Whether it was back in 1996 and taking a trip to see a Cavs game and knowing I was about to embark on a retreat. On the trip Dad told me about a retreat he went on and the theme was “Bloom Where You Are Planted.” That was really the first time I thought about leaving Ohio and two years later I moved to DC and began to be “planted.”

It’s little things like the last time I was with Dad this past Christmas and he was excited to share a new endeavor and he got my car detailed. Those are the times I remember and cherish. I pray that your moments, the small happy moments with Dad fills everyone’s heart.

You know Dad loved, I mean LOVED his grandchildren. He loved them so much that when he was with them, he wanted to control every minute, even to the disregard of say, the parents of said grandchildren. Because those moments for Dad meant so much. I will miss seeing and being a part of that.

I know Dad will spend waaay more time watching over the grandchildren and I hope they take comfort in that.

And for you Mom...

You and Dad have been through so much in these 57 years. Your friendship has withstood a lot of challenges, but you shared so many more joys. Especially AFTER January 7, 1976. The little routines he had with you are so very special. Please remember that you made him a better man, husband, and father.

I’m happy Dad gets to rest now. he’s spent so much time taking care of others, I feel great joy knowing that the Lord is taking care of him now.

You may rest in peace Dad.

I have no doubt you have places picked out all over heaven for us to see together in that camper. And we are going to whether we want to or not. But together we will have fun.

So nothing would bug Dad than knowing we have some food scheduled and waiting for us. We will begin heading over to Kingy’s on 33 just over down the road.

Follow a Dake. Bring your own car, because we don’t carpool. That’s not how we roll.