May 24th, 2001

Chalkboard

(no subject)

Here is my Father's eulogy. Please will you support me in being able to get through this without sobbing?

I stand here as a representative of my tiny family; my beloved Father who
has gone to heaven, my wonderful Mother who we both love so much,
and my sweet little boy, Beau.

We want to thank everyone for coming. I know that some of you had to
drive long distances, and we're thankful for your support and friendship.
We know that you loved him, and are very grateful for the comfort you
are giving us by simply being here. Mom and I want you to know that,
while no one would ever describe my Dad as being a party animal, he
did truly love his friends, he spoke of you fondly and often.

I think my Father would be disappointed in me if I didn't begin by saying
something about my Mother, his devoted wife of forty-four years, who he
simply adored and depended on. Mom, I am so proud of you. I am so
proud of the way you have taken care of Daddy. It hasn't been easy and
you've been unbelievably brave through these last years of his illness.
You kept your promise to keep him at home, and you always put his
needs before your own. You made certain that he was comfortable and
well looked after. He didn't want for anything, and as far as he could be,
I think he was happy. Mom, you were a fabulous wife, and I don't think
there's a man alive who could ask for anything more than that.

I think he would also want me to say thank you to his nurse Aurelia, who
took such good care of him, and was a fine companion during his last
five years. If there was a good Christian heart in our midst, it was
certainly hers. He would also want me to thank Rosa for being so much
help to my Mother.

You know my Father would have hated this, he hated to be fussed over,
and didn't particularly care for parties. He was a bit reserved and shy, and
it probably would have embarrassed him to see this outpouring of love.
But he deserved it, he was a magnificent man (pause) and he'll just have to
forgive us the flattery, and allow us this one last chance to celebrate his life
together.

They say that funerals are a celebration of life, and I believe that they are,
but they are also a time to be sad, to share our grief, and feel the loss of
someone who was unique and very special to us.

This is a poem by William H. Auden that approaches how I feel about
my Father;

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East, and West,
My working week, and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one:
Pack up the moon, and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean, and sweep up the woods:
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

I'd like to share a phrase in Latin that I have come to love, you'll have to
bear with my poor pronunciation but it's

Lux et umbra vicis sim, sed semper amor.
which means
Light and shadow by turn, but always love.

I wanted to share this phrase here with you because I see it as a
metaphor for life; the ups and downs, the good and the bad that we all
live through, with love as the one constant. Light and shadow by turn,
but always love.

My Father was a well loved man, you are all here as a testament to
that. There aren't many ninety year old men who can claim to have this
many friends. He lived a good long life, a life that was filled with
happiness and joy and so much love. He was fairly surrounded by it.
God knows how much my Mother and I loved him, and he in turn
certainly loved us. So I hope that what you take from this service
today will be the memory of my loving Father as he was when he was
well, full of energy and spirit, with that sly smile and his cute wink.

Let's remember my Father when he was young and handsome with
that black hair that he never lost, and those gorgeous blue eyes. See
him as I do as half of this glamorous couple, dressed to go out to a
party with my equally beautiful Mother. Think of all of the good times
you had together, both here and at our little house in Palm Springs.
Remember that he was a good dancer, no matter how inoften he
danced.

Let's remember Jack Hyland as a devoted son, a good and loving
husband, and a wise and caring father. Remember him with me as
someone who liked rocky road ice cream, and walking his dogs, as
someone who was always practicing his putt on the carpet at our
house, a Dad who proudly took me to every Father Daughter barn
dance and who, although he would have preferred a more athletic
daughter, came to all of my plays, and always snuck back a
second time without telling anyone. I loved him so much for that.

Maybe you remember his hole in one, and how disappointed he was
that that was the year they stopped giving out the Cadillacs. Think about
what a great athlete he was, how much he loved to play golf, and how
strong and happy he was when he was out there playing. Let's
remember how loyal and generous he was to his alma mater, UCLA,
and that he truly embodied Bruin spirit.

Let's remember what a good friend he was, how sturdy, honest and
reliable. Remember that he was a kind and gentle man who loved
animals. That he was smart and witty and liked to tease. That he was
humble and grateful for the smallest of gifts. That he worked so hard to
provide for us and make sure that we would always be taken care of.
My Father knew that the love of family is the one thing that matters
most, and he taught me that. I think that the reason he hung on so long
was because he wanted to be certain that we would be all right,
and now that he's gone, I want him to know that we will be all right.

I know that my Father is in a much better place than this. He is no
longer an athlete trapped in a troubled body, unable to walk or
communicate, but free of pain, and at peace. I believe that he is in
heaven with God, and with his Mother and Father and Uncle who he
loved so very much. Some people believe that heaven is whatever
you envision it to be. Well, my Father always wanted to own a ranch
in Santa Barbara. So I am going to imagine him on a ranch in Santa
Barbara Heaven, with a big screen TV, the most comfortable sofa in
the universe, and the greatest eighteen hole golf course ever
envisioned. He'll be so happy up there, laying on his sofa, watching an
infinite number of sport channels, with a cat on his lap, and a couple
of black labs sitting beside him, then maybe later he'll go outside and
play a game of golf with my Uncle Doug, and there they'll be, the two
of them, standing on the greenest of grass and smiling, trading jokes,
and laughing in the sun.

I believe that it helps to share your sadness at times like these, so I'd like
to ask that you feel free to share your memories of my father with us, and
that perhaps if it's too hard to do today, that you might take a moment in the
coming weeks and jot down a thought or two and send them to us. We will
truly cherish them. Just as we will cherish the memory of my loving Father,
who we will remember with the utmost love and respect, for the rest
of our lives.

May God bless my wonderful Mother and Father. I love you Mom.
I love you Daddy.

Thank you all so very much for coming.