Sunday, February 20, 2011

What I learned at Monte Gee's Funeral

My friends' father recently passed away.
He was also my neighbor for roughly 10 years.
I attended the funeral a week ago today.

It was incredible.
It was also clear that Monte Gee touched many, MANY lives.
It was even more clear that he was an incredible father.
How do I know?
Well, because his kids are amazing, for starters.
They don't usually get that way all on their own.
{Well, their mother is a class act too, so, they sort of didn't stand a chance of being anything short of completely awesome...}

The talks were inspiring.
The music was beautiful.
I know this is sort of coming off like a five-star-rated review
of someone else's funeral...
and that that is sort of bizarre and all...
I am just putting pen to paper {so to speak}
in hopes of processing a lot of thoughts & feelings.
Thoughts which have left my mind reeling...
and feelings that I hope will linger with me
for many years to come.

Here is what I learned at Monte Gee's funeral:

When it comes to your kids:


your time='s love
your undivided attention ='s love
your kind words ='s love
listening ='s love
going to your kid's baseball game ='s love
taking your kids hiking/camping/hunting/4-wheeling ='s love


Encouraging your kids to serve others ='s they will be thoughtful people when they grow up.


Loving your kids in a such a deep and abiding way that they cannot mentally or emotionally comprehend it ='s they will be equipped to love their children in the very same way. It creates a pattern, or cycle, and with so many "bad" or "abusive" cycles perpetuating themselves in the world today, this is a refreshingly good one.

When it comes to your spouse:

Loving and respecting your spouse ='s a happy spouse who loves and respects you.
Loving and respecting your spouse ='s happy children who feel secure.
Loving and respecting your spouse ='s children who will grow up knowing how to love and respect their spouses...which ='s their children growing up and knowing how to love and respect their spouses...and so it goes. Another lovely, self-perpetuating cycle that pays huge dividends for your posterity {and the world at large} for generations to come.


Loving and respecting your wife ='s she will feel wonderful about herself, take good care of herself, take good care of her {a.k.a. your} children, and will probably look like Jackie O at your funeral... okay, maybe that last part only applies to Monte's wife...but still, it's worth a shot, right?

When it comes to your grandchildren:

Taking time to adore and love your grandchildren ='s they will feel and remember that love.
Taking time to adore and love your grandchildren ='s your kids will interpret your love for their kids as your love for them.
Taking time to adore and love your grandchildren ='s you will be wisely relishing and reaping your rewards for all those times when you wanted to kill your kids, but didn't.

When it comes to being a good neighbor, and/or citizen of planet earth:

Stopping on a dark canyon highway and having your high-school-age kids and their friends clear boulders from the road after a rock slide because even though you were lucky enough to "miss them" you would sure "hate to have someone else catch them." ='s you are pretty much just a great person...and there is a good chance that that goodness will rub off on your kids, and they will do good things too.

There is also a good chance that one of your kids will mention that story at your funeral, and people will totally bawl because they will be so touched by the fact that so much goodness could reside in just one person, and they will have a desire to carry on your legacy now that you are gone. {Now, while that's certainly not why you do such good things in the first place, it's nice for others to have a reminder and good example to look up to and strive for.}


So, yeah.
I walked away with a grocery list of Monte's characteristics that I would like to better emulate.

I also walked away feeling grateful for the knowledge that Monte will be with his family again someday.

There is no greater gift {or comfort} than this.



Lisa Miller said...

I'm shocked! I didn't know he had passed away! That's heart breaking.

I didn't know the Gee's that well but I always thought they were a great family. My heart goes out to them during this difficult time.

Amie said...

And this is why I love your blog so, so much! What an honor to have you do a post about the funeral. I love a five star rating that commemorates Dad and hopefully inspires people to be a little bit better in memory of him. Also- my Mom is positively glowing over your "Jackie O" compliment. Just thank you so much for this post and for being there. It's no wonder why people are drawn to this blog and to you.

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