I rarely read a newsletter that stops me in my tracks.
Yesterday, it happened.
I consider Dr. Kate Mangino a friend. She is also one of the people I look to for guidance to better understand how I can be a good husband and caregiver.
Sadly, Kate's father passed away this week.
She shared in her newsletter the eulogy she read aloud at the funeral. I finished reading her words, feeling inspired to be a better father and husband, with a profound clarity about what that looks like.
Yet, what was missing from her words spoke the loudest to me.
What was missing from Dr. Mangino's heartfelt words about her father was how much money he made, the career he chose, or his professional accomplishments.
Her eulogy reminds us to never unnecessarily sacrifice ourselves as partners or caregivers for a career replaceable by countless others. Parents and spouses are never replaceable.
It's up to us to be intentional about being great husbands and caregivers. A good place to start is with the end in mind. And the words shared by Dr. Kate Mangino about her father do just that.
Eulogy for a Good Man
A tribute to my dad.
(Read aloud at Marvin Buban’s funeral on December 4, 2023.)
Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy III? There’s a scene at the end, where a group of people, who have just heroically saved hundreds of children, are talking about what they are going to do next – now that the battle is over. One character turns to another and says, “Today I saw who you are. You were not born to be a destroyer. You were born to be a dad.”
I love that line in the movie – because, like that Marvel character, I think one of Marvin’s superpowers was being a dad.
I remember my dad telling me, at a young age, that he didn’t buy into what he referred to as the “macho thing.” My dad wasn’t loud; he didn’t demand the attention of the room. He didn’t feel the need to be tough, cool, or to prove himself. At least for the 47 years that I have known him, I think my dad was truly comfortable with who he was. He didn’t try to be something he was not. He was a caregiver. And he was really, really good at it.
I had the kind of dad who wasn’t afraid of hugs and kisses. I don’t have to hold onto the memory of the one time he told me he loved me – because he shared those words generously and frequently. Work was never his priority – growing up, I always implicitly understood that his priority was his family – and he always made time for Dan and me.