September 9th, 2013 – the day my Step-Dad took his last breath…at 9pm to be exact. I love you, Mark. Always will. Remember I told you he was diagnosed with cancer? Well, here is his obituary, and as a matter of reference, here is his picture…it was taken when he was awarded “Fireman of the Year”. He was so proud when he won that award…
Below is the eulogy I wrote for him, and read at his funeral on 9/13/13….
Eulogy for my Dad, Mark (aka Buhdda), written by his daughter, Christina:
For the first couple years of my life, it was my father and mother who cared for me.
For the next couple years of my life, it was just my Mom and me.
I am so thankful that Mom and Mark found each other. They were soul-mates, and destined to be with each other. When they got married, Mark made me his daughter without even asking, or questioning…
And now…for the past 18 years of my life, it has been the three of us…Mom, Mark, and I, and we have been inseparable.
Mark was the man in my life that raised me. He was the best Dad I could have ever asked for. Mark was many things…a firefighter, husband, EMT, friend…the man that everyone knew as “Buhdda” had yet another side/layer to him – and to me – that was a DAD.
He was a caring, loving, self-less person that served his community, but somehow always made family come first. He remained calm in stressful situations, he was strict when he needed to be, and taught me many things throughout my life. He attempted to teach me how to fly fish. I lacked the patience, but I’m thankful that he was able to teach Ray and his son Matthew. He taught my mother and me how to crab… He taught me how to parallel park, in a HUGE suburban, in the back parking lot of the Ambulance Corps… He brought us to Yankees games… He played the best Santa that Ramsey has ever seen, and he loved every minute of it…
He and Mom got me through high school and band camps…he was there for every band competition, concert, and practice. And in the summer of 2004, we had a graduation party to celebrate the ending of that chapter of my life. We had a blast at that party.
When it came to college, he and Mom were the ones who drove me out there. Now I’ll be the first to admit…I didn’t have it all together in college, so when I made that phone call to tell them that I got kicked out and needed to come home, they drove out AGAIN to come pick me up. Mark never once reprimanded me for that part of my life. He knew it was tough… and he helped me through it.
In early 2005, Mark was the one who sat me down, and told me what I was going to expect with my father’s passing. He helped me through what I thought was the toughest time of my life.
Throughout the years… as a family… there were countless vacations… on a Cruise to the Caribbean… Wildwood… Ocean Beach… Maine… Camping almost every weekend in the summer, and many, many more. Many memories were made in those vacations, and I will cherish each and every one.
Now…I thought 2005 was the toughest time of my life. Its not…it’s actually now. Losing you, Mark, as a DAD…will be the worst part, and sometimes I wonder how I’ll be able to make it through.
Mom…it looks like it’s just the two of us again…and I will always be there for you, and you can always count on me. We do have a pretty amazing angel up there watching over us. Let’s hope he’s keeping Pumper and Forrest Gump company for us in the meantime…