Sunday, November 12, 2006

Eulogy for my nephew Mark Goik

Dear Mark, well it has been two weeks now since I was informed of your death. I received the news from Kevin while he and Mary were at your mom's apartment. Mary was outside when I called and I felt sorry for the hesitation I sensed in Kevin's voice. He told me you were killed on the turnpike at about 1:30am Friday morning. My immediate reaction was one of passive acceptance as though I had just heard something but my mind had not had time to grasp it. I spoke with Mary briefly and then immediately headed to my computer to notify your friend Lebron of what had happened. I needed to put my pen into action because I was powerless to do anything else. It was just after I sent the email to Lebron that sadness began to overtake me. It was then that Grandpa called and began to leave a voicemail when I picked up the phone and told him I knew what happened. He, Alice and I all began to cry very hard. It was perhaps the hardest I had cried since Grandma died. My initial feelings were that this was so unfair. You had been born deaf naturally and had to not only endure the difficulties of your handicap but also the ridicule of your peers. You also had to endure the pain and uncertainty of a broken home headed primarily by a mother with two handicaps {of her own} and the responsibility of three other children. Still in all, your mother persisted with you {much like the relationship of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan} to help you stay at the academic level of your classmates. And guess what? She succeeded. In fact, just prior to your death you told her you were finally beginning to come into your own. I cannot see the fairness of someone of such good character with a genuine love for other people who had to struggle so much only to be cut short just as they were starting to gain some confidence. It sickens me.

I have spent the better part of this week thinking about my relationship with you. I remember one time in Hinckley when you were a baby lying on the floor and I began to gurgle you. You smiled and just as I looked up I saw your mother smiling proudly. You were a very beautiful baby. Thank you for asking me for help on one of your homework assignments from history class. I was overwhelmed with pride that you would seek my assistance. I never knew what grade you received but it must have been good enough for you to make it to the next grade level. Thank you also for asking me to be your confirmation sponsor. That too was a great honor even with your mother shouting instructions to the two of us across the church. Most importantly thank you for being you; a person who in such a short lifespan has inspired me to continue to persevere through life's trials and tribulations. You have fought the good fight Mark, you have finished your course you have kept the faith. Today and tomorrow I will morn you but the next day and the day after I will miss you and will always fall back on your example when my cross seems just too tough to bear.

Love,

Uncle Joe

Ps: Say hi to grandma for me and tell her it won't be too long before we all see each other again.