A father, a mentor, a teacher, a great man has left us here in this place.

His leaving diminishes the light in our lives yet brightens the tapestry of stars in the skies above us. This man was a special man to many. I’ve known him all of my life. He was a neighbor and best friend to my father and mother. He was a tutor and mentor to my brother. He was a wise and kind man to me. He was a loving husband to his wife. He was a caring father to his children. He was uncle to many; a teacher to all.

His life was a testament to who he was. His accomplishments were numerous. The lives he touched were countless. After an extended illness, this man who had faced the terrors of the beach at Normandy on that June day in 1944 and survived to return to his beloved home and family, has finally succumbed to that which we all eventually succumb to… mortality. He is with us no more, yet he is always with us.

As my own father is always with me, this man will be with me also till my last breath is taken in this place. He will live on in my heart and my memories just as he will in the hearts and memories of so many others who knew and loved him. That is as it should be. On this day, his family and friends all gathered together and celebrated his life. They exchanged stories and reinforced their memories once more in the retelling of those stories.

I knew this man as uncle Phil for most of my life. I cannot remember a time when he was not in my life. I love him and will miss him dearly. I didn’t always say to him every day that I felt this way, but I know that he knew. I’ve lost my own father. I’ve lost my mother. I’ve lost many who were close to me. Each time I’m a little more armored against the next loss. I often feel that there won’t be anymore tears for the next one. Yet, my eyes are tearing up as I type this.

We who remain live on. Those whom we love who leave this place before us live on within us. Life is fleeting. Live every moment. When your mortality catches up with you, I hope you’ll continue to live on in as many hearts as this man will. I’ll think of him every time I see the twinkles of those numberless lights in the night skies. We were stardust once; to stardust we all return someday. It’s a magic beyond understanding. Goodnight, uncle Phil.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~Dylan Thomas

Philip Rosete – 24 June 1922 to 3 March 2012

Yo te amo, viejo.

~Eric

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About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

2 responses »

  1. comhack says:

    Sorry for your loss Eric, he sounded like an extraordinary person.

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