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My Dad's Hands

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BI: His son Gary shared: My Dad's Hands While sitting with my Dad in the nursing home I couldn't help but notice his hands. They looked so worn and tired. At first I blamed the way they looked on his condition but oh the things these two hands have done. A man of little words, he let his hands do his talking. In the last 91 years Dad's hands have held on tight to things he believed in. When he was born his Mom and Dad held his small hands and guided him. At the age of 22 these hands went to war, but returned to take a young woman's hand and raise five children. These hands pointed me, my brothers and my sister in the right direction. They also nudged us back when we strayed. His large, but gentle hands held all of his children, his grandchildren, and all of the great grandchildren he could catch. :) In fact, over the last 65 years he usually had a baby in his arms. These careful hands, although sweaty, taught me how to drive a car, drive a boat and sometimes drive my Mom crazy. His patient hands also taught me how to hunt, fish and love the outdoors. And yes, he also taught all of us how to pull his finger. These hands have been shaken thousands of times and helped many people. I swear Dad knew everybody. Dad’s spirited hands could hold a beer without spilling it all the while slapping his knee with a joke. Dad's hands could also come together in a prayer. Dad’s hands taught me how to hold on tightly to people and things I love. The most remarkable thing about my Dad’s hands is how they held my Mother for a remarkable 65 years.

FI: I don't know where my grandfather is now or what he's doing, but I hope that he's made it through his orientation to Heaven in time join us here today. I say this because there was nothing he loved more than being with his family. To see us all here together would warm his heart like nothing else in the world. It has been noted that he was a quiet man, but I would rather think of him as a social genius. He may have been quiet verbally but the smile on his face when he was spending time with his family spoke volumes. His granddaughter Megan said: I always had sticker wars with Grandpa when I was little. One time in the car, I stuck a sticker on his ear. He walked into and around Target without noticing. He only realized it was there when Grandma later asked what was on his ear. As he pulled off the green sticker, he shook his head and said, "Brat." His granddaughter Abbey said: The only time Grandpa ever made us cry is when he was tickling us, because he NEVER stopped. The only time he raised his voice was when there was a squirrel in the bird feeder. We all knew it was dangerous to walk by him because he would slowly reach out and grab us just to make us squeal! We all definitely got the "goofball" trait from him, and honestly I think it's our best trait.

BC: Angler's Prayer God grant that I may live to fish, Until my dying day, And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray, When in the Lord's safe landing net, I'm peacefully asleep, That in His mercy I be judged, As big enough to keep.

FC: A Tribute to Ben Kosiorek December 5, 1920 - December 18, 2011 A few days ago I asked a friend, who had recently eulogized his grandmother to give me a few pointers. He said that his grandmother worked in a flower shop and so he used her work as a theme and compared parts of her life to different parts of a flower. I told him that was a great idea, and I probably could have used it had my grandfather not worked at the Neenah-Menasha sewage plant for 40 years. :) Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion described today as “the moment at which the deceased is brought close, and a time when he steps away. It is at once a greeting and a letting go.” If you had the chance to choose how your life would go before it happened, what are the most important things you would include? A long life? A large, loving, healthy family? A wonderfully strong, beautiful spouse at your side? Ben Kosiorek had them all. My grandfather was the quintessential Father Figure. We know he had five children. He had eight, wonderful, great looking, smart, talented grandchildren and he will wind up with even more great-grandchildren. But what made him extra special was the ease at which his children's spouses inevitably ended up calling him “dad”. “Dad” wasn't a title he was given, it was one he earned. And he earned it with each and every one of them. His Daughter-in-Law Bonnie wrote: My own father passed in 1984 and Ben coincidentally came into my life shortly thereafter. Maybe I didn't have that father-daughter relationship with him since birth, but other than my own father there is no one else in the world I feel more proud to call "Dad". He never talked much about the fighting in the war, but rather shared stories about some good times they had, specifically when they came across a winery and "liberated" the contents. There will never be a time when I go deer hunting and not remember him. After all he did introduce me to the blackberry brandy tradition. He certainly lived by the teachings of the Bible: A father is not to foster negativity in his children by severity, injustice, partiality, or unreasonable exercise of authority. Harsh, unreasonable conduct towards a child will only serve to nurture evil in the heart. That's probably why I never saw Dad speak a harsh word or act negatively towards anyone, especially his family. God blessed each of us that were fortunate to have Dad in our lives. Our lives will never be the same without you, and heaven is now better with you. We will see you again. Thanks for the memories Dad, and for helping to make my life wonderful. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Eulogy read byDerek Kosiorek, Ben's eldest grandson, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Menasha, Wisconsin

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