David William Dickie, Junior
August 28,1990

We are here today to say our farewells to my father, David William Dickie, Junior. I would like to be eloquent enough to summarize his life during this brief service, but in truth, I cannot. How can words like "kind," strong," "loving," and "intelligent" possible show the depth of his character, or the range of his lifetime of experiences in anything but the most generic way? I could fill a book with words and still not capture the essence of this man.

I suppose it would be traditional to speak of my father's past. How he fought every day of the last twenty years to overcome medical problem after problem; any one of which would have been enough for most people to give up. Or before those times, to happier moments when life was a little more forgiving than it has been of late. Or, perhaps, how he managed to raise three boys at a time when raising children to have integrity and honor was a very difficult task. Certainly the recent past holds little to be thankful for; and it would seem kinder talk about my father when his mind was clearer and his body was stronger. But, as I've explained, it simply isn't enough to say who he was or what he did.

Let me then relate a simple story that I think is rather indicative of his life, and his death. A story, not of the days when he was stronger, but during the times when he faced the most depressing and adverse conditions of his fifty-seven years. For in truth, it was in facing adversity that my father truly demonstrated his greatest moments.

In the process of sorting out the inevitable details having to do with my father's estate, I had to recover a safety deposit box key from the wreckage of the Dodge Lancer. I knew already that the Lancer had rolled several times during the accident; but it did not come close to preparing me for the reality of the situation. All I could think about was the terror and pain my father must have felt during the accident, so much so that I simply could not comprehend it. I could not imagine a fear great enough to be equal to what I found in the remains of the Lancer. I could only think that I would find it completely mind-blanking, that it would make me completely incapable of feeling or thinking about anything other than what was happening to me.

And yet my mother told me of the last few moments of consciousness my father had left before he collapsed into a coma he would not return from. She described how he had struggled desperately, heroically, to force out a few words to her, past devastating head injuries caused by the collapse of the door and roof. Those words were "I Love You."

I can think of no greater praise my father could have given her, to be thinking of her while he lay dying on the roadside. I can think of no greater praise I could give my father than to say that this was also a statement of his character, and his strength, and his love for my mother. I can only hope that I too can someday find the courage, the fortitude, and the ability to look beyond myself in this, the hardest of times to do so. I can only hope that I can live up to the glorious standard he has set. And I can only add that there is no man that I could possible be prouder of calling my father.