My father, Edward Frank Manuel Sr., passed away this past September 11, 2014 after 91 years of a full and varied life. He grew up on a farm during the depression, served in the Civilian Conservation Corps and in the Army, put himself through college and became an accountant, and raised four children with my mother. He and I didn't always see eye-to-eye, but he taught me about as much as a father can teach. I don't believe I can actually write something that would honor him as touchingly as the following poem by my niece's daughter, his great-granddaughter.
The Great Man
I saw a great man once, walking all alone.
I asked where he was going and if I could come along.
He said, "I am going where you cannot follow;
Indeed, I am leaving, searching for tomorrow."
I asked him where tomorrow is and how we would get there.
He said, "I will walk, so long as I get there,
As for where it is, it's never really far,
It's always nearby, close to our hearts.
I hope that I find it, I really, truly do,
For when I find tomorrow, I'll be happy."
And then he turned and left, and
Never since then have I seen that great man,
Searching for tomorrow.
We are gathered here to celebrate this great man
Who never again will have to go looking for tomorrow,
For he has found it, and now he is happy.
Obituary - Edward Frank Manuel Sr.
Rest in peace, Dad.