This wasn't how I anticipated getting my blog up and going, but a little over a week ago, my dad passed away. He was battling stage IV colon cancer, and after a two and a half year battle, he finally went home to be with my brother, Bruce, and the Lord. The months and years ahead will be difficult ones without him, and yet I know, at least cognitively, that the Lord will give me the strength I need to get through this. He will be my peace when I have none; he will be my strength when I am weak.
I gave the eulogy at my dad's funeral, in the form of a letter to him:
Dad, I've never found it difficult to write, but today I do. It's challenging to write a summation of your life, for there was so much you did and so much more you desired to do--and yet, the Lord's timing was perfect, even in this. On November 25, 2017, you took your last breath and passed into eternity with your Lord and Savior. You fought hard, just as I would expect you to--after all, you were the one who taught us to never give up. You were stubborn until the very end, even whenwe told you it was okay, that you could go home, you held on, and more importantly, you let us hold you.
Before you were a father to Bruce, Julia, and myself, and a husband to Mom, you were a son, a brother, and a friend. You loved your mom and dad deeply, and although I've heard rumors that you were at times a mischievious brother, your love for your sisters was undeniable. You were a true friend to many, always taking the time to ask how someone was doing, and doing so with sincerity.
Over the last several years, I watched as your love for Mom grew in ways that I never knew it could. I saw you look adoringly into her eyes, and tell her you loved her with fierce devotion. She told us, after you passed away, that you made her promise she wouldn't remarry (I can't say we were surprised)--and you told her just a few nights before you passed that you thought it was very unfair that you couldn't be married to her in heaven. In fact, you found it so unfair that you told her you'd just sneak around up there.
You had a wry sense of humor, which was evident when you dubbed yourself "Chemosabe," during your many chemo treatments or when you let several rats loose at your high school graduation, and literally took the secret to your grave. As Fyodor Dostoevsky said, "If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don't bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he's a good man."
You could make others laugh so hard it hurt, and you laughed so well. You were a good man; you were the best of them.
Daddy, you fought hard to beat this cancer, and truthfully, I thought you would--I thought God would cure you, that there would be a miracle. But, I'm beginning to realize that the life you lived for the last two and a half years was a miracle. You were able to travel to far away places, you were able to enjoy meals at some of the best restaurants in the world, and most importantly, you were able to spend time with us, your family. This was a miracle, because we never head to watch you become half of the man you were, you were always, so truly, you.
I know you would want us to be happy, and we will be, eventually. Mom, Julia, and I have each other, and we have the strength and peace of the Lord--and we have a promise that we'll see you again soon.
And, as I know you'd like us all to remember, in the great words of Monty Python, "Always look on the bright side of life."
Bruce A. Miller, Jr.
November 17, 1961-November 25, 2017