Funeral for Joseph Zaki Badros
The pages from the service book at the wake and the funeral.
Over the last few days, I've thought often about how lucky I am. My father was first diagnosed with cancer almost 6 years ago. Although that day inevitably led to this one, it also gave us the chance to prepare. I'm grateful I had that opportunity to make the very most of these last years together with dad. I even went so far as to teach him how to use email so I could share photos from my travels and adventures.
For holidays, though, I always resorted to standard US Postal Service -- "snail mail" as my generation calls it. A week ago tomorrow, I sat down and wrote my father's day card and dropped it in a San Francisco mail box. It arrived in Salisbury on time for Father's day, but too late for my father to read for himself. My simple message to him contains only what he already knows:The Card Itself
You have now, and have always had, all my love and respect. It is thanks to you that I'm the man I am today and I'm proud to point to you as a key influence in my life.
I'm grateful for the last years we've had together — though more than we thought, it's far less than we hoped.
You are with me always and I love you very much.
First, I'd like to thank every one of you who is spending time with my family and me to remember and to honor my father. I truly appreciate the great distances that many of you have journeyed to be with us here today.
I'm going to be very brief. The friends, patients, colleagues and family who have talked with my brothers and me over the past several days have eulogized my father's life far better than I can today.
My father's example has always been an important guidepost for me – a standard of what a doctor, a professional, a gentleman, a friend, a husband and, most importantly, a father can and should be. It's hard to imagine life without his guidance, his wisdom and his example. Over the last few years, and in particular the last couple of months, he provided yet another example – what it means to be someone who bears illness and pain with strength, patience and dignity. A man who had dedicated his entire life to the treatment of disease and the care of patients had become the patient and, unfortunately, the available treatments were unlikely to succeed fully. So my family and I had the luxury of time with him – a gift which lasted longer than it seemed reasonable to hope for.
My father was intelligent, warm, kind, funny (in a dry way). He could be unyieldingly stubborn but was unfailingly generous. He was generous of spirit and generous with his time. He was always eager to share in my successes and those of my brothers and always there to listen when things did not work out.
The price of love is grief. And today we grieve for the loss of my father, whom I especially will miss dearly. All of us loved him so very much. Thank you.