Preston Cathcart born 8/18/31~died 1/26/10
My grandfather, passed away last week. This is the eulogy I gave at the funeral.
I'm not really much of a public speaker, in fact it kinda terrifies me. But I was thinking about this the other night. And when Pastor John & any of you who want to get up to speak today. You'll tell about Pres Cathcart. Friend, coworker, ball player, leader in the church. And while those are all important, I thought you would be missing out on the most important parts of him. Brother, husband, father, grandfather, & great-grandfather. And while I can't cover all of them, I'd like to tell you about my Papa.
I'm the oldest of 9 grandchildren, spanning down 17 years to my youngest brother. So as each of us came along we had different perspectives, different memories, & different stories to tell. But there are a few things he taught each of us.
Papa was a great ball player,& he taught us all to play. Some of us excelled, some of us not so much, but we all knew how to play the game. And we all knew what we'd hear if we didn't make the play. "What in the Sam Hill'd ya throw it over there for?" & "If it hit your glove ya should'a had it!" But he always had time for a round of pepper or to come to our games.
He taught us to tell a story. Man could he tell a story. And you didn't even care if you'd heard it before, because you knew it would always be better the next time through.Now here again, some of us picked up the basics & some of us excelled.(pause for the finger pointing to die down) But we learned that sometimes a story is facts & sometimes its entertainment, & how to tell the difference.
He taught us the art of the snappy comeback. I've always told people that in our family we learned sarcasm before we learned to walk. And Papa was our greatest teacher. He was never so pleased or so proud as when one of us zinged him back. We had a little tradition among us grandkids & I don't remember who started it. One day Papa said some outrageous thing, as he was inclined to do, and waited for the reaction. And this sweet child with a perfect dry resigned tone, turned and said. "Yes Papa, whatever you say Papa." We all quickly adopted this phrase, because it never failed to make him laugh.
He taught us that family is family even when you want to ring their necks. You tease & you fight, but at the end of the day you are there for each other. When I was younger I didn't realize that not everyone's family was like that. I grew up with family dinners & cousins that were as close to me as most people are to their siblings. I think I was in high school when during a conversation a friend said, "That's my mom's family. We don't speak to them." and I thought. "That's an option? Why didn't someone tell me sooner?" Just kidding. We kids always looked forward to family get togethers.
My husband tells the story of how at our wedding, Papa came up to him before hand & said "You can still run for it." & then after the ceremony, when we were in the recieving line, Papa shook his hand, leaned in & said. "To late now." I think this pretty much summed it up for him. We're all in this together, always.
As you've listened to me ramble on you might have heard things like sarcastic & stubborn. And let's face it Papa was a bit of a rascal. But I hope you also heard honest, generous, loving, teacher, friend, family. Because those are the things I want you to know about my Papa. What better things can we say about someone then that they were loved & they will be missed.
This is where Papa would tell me to quit my yappin & park my kiester, so we can get this thing moving along. And with a well practised sigh, i would say. "Yes Papa whatever you say Papa."