I attended a funeral today. It was for a longtime family friend Christopher Dion (Chris), who battled a brief illness, was on the mend and beginning to fight cancer when an infection occurred and he passed away on January fifth. My Dad had been visiting with Chris regularly while he was sick and had spoken to him just the night before. Chris’ death was a shock to me and to many. His funeral was a very emotional one because he had made such an impact on not only the lives of his family members but everyone who is part of our Church.
When I was growing up I often worked with my Dad. Chris worked with my Dad too until he started his own business. But he and I worked together many times. I remember Chris as a guy with a ready laugh, a pleasant disposition and he was always up for talking. When I was in High School and college I’d go for skiing trips with my Dad and Chris. We had some great days on the slopes and even had a not so great day when I attempted to learn to snowboard. But I remember those trips as a lot of fun.
Over the years as I grew up and spent more time away from home Chris started a family and had three children. I’d see him at Mass when I was home and say hello and catch up a bit. He’d always ask me how I was doing in school or what I was up to. He’d be at Church every Thanksgiving collecting the donations for the Saint Vincent De Paul Society. I brought over a couple bags this year in fact. Always with a ready smile and a big laugh and really interested in what you were doing. That is what I remember.
I don’t really know his children but they impressed me to no end as they eulogized their Dad. Two high school aged kids and a freshman in college. Composed, thoughtful, funny, reverent and loving. Their words and shared memories certainly spoke to the type of man, type of father Chris was. I can only hope that one day my own children will have such love and memories of me that they’d speak as well as Chris’ kids did today. It really was a testament to a father who was gone too soon. He will be missed greatly.
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