We Seldom Heard You Sing

A Eulogy for my Father

William Edward Fitzpatrick

April 8, 1933- October 29, 1996


 

 

We seldom heard you sing;

Salesman, Self-taught Pianist.

though on those rare occasions

your voice soulfully rang out

“The Green, Green Grass of Home”,

as tears came to your eyes.

 

I remember weekend afternoons;

Mechanic, Tinkerer,

As we listened to Irish music on WROL

with the hood up

and your hands dirtied to the elbows

as you kept a long parade of cars running,

but just barely.

 

We were very young;

Disc Jockey, Carpenter,

as we sat in a house you were always repairing

and listened to your voice on the gigantic radio

that was always placed so high out of reach

in our kitchen.

 

I was much older;

Fisherman, Indiscriminate Collector,

when I realized

you were only human after all,

and not the Super-Hero

I had always thought you to be.

 

I was older still;

Best Man, Chocolate Addict,

when I realized

I admired you anyway

and asked you to stand with me

as I wed my beautiful wife.

 

Later still;

Dollhouse Architect, Maker of Funny Voices,

you acquired a new group of fans:

your childrens’ children,

calling you Grandpa as you built miniature Masterpieces,

and talked like Donald Duck

to their (and our) delight.

 

I can’t yet believe;

Innkeeper, Fixer of Broken Things, Launderer Extraordinaire,

that I won’t hear your voice on the phone

or see you folding towels

in your workroom

surrounded by the clutter of your hobbies.

 

But you live still in us;

in your Youngest’s Artistic Talent,

in your Oldest’s Tenacity (and love of Chocolate),

and in my love of Humor, Hollywood,

and Making Funny Voices.

 

And as we say Goodbye,

for now,

tears come to our eyes,

as we lie you ‘neath the Green, Green Grass of Home.

 

Kevin William Fitzpatrick

October 29, 1996