For the almost 30 years that we’ve known him, he was “our Danny” to me and my girls. Even after he married my mother in 2004, he was still “our Danny” and it always felt awkward for me to call him a step-father or grandpa. He was a huge influence on me as a young adult, a young parent. I am eternally grateful for the life he shared with my mother and my family.
Thank you all for coming today to honor Danny Harris, a remarkable man, a devoted husband, father, brother, son, grandparent, uncle, cousin, and friend to many.
We watched Danny suffer through the last 2 years of his life and we saw the illness take away his ability to enjoy almost everything in his life that he loved to do. Yet even through this difficult time, Danny continued to live his life with the same positive attitude that defined him.
Each of us have memories of Danny and I’m sure there are more than a few stories that will keep us laughing for many years to come. I thought it might be helpful today for us to focus on how Danny approached his life. Maybe if we follow Danny’s guide, we too can enjoy as happy of a life as he did.
So, for us today, I started a list — we’ll call it the Danny-list — a list of things Danny did every day.
- Set goals for yourself
- Laugh at yourself and make the people you love laugh as often as possible
- Get to know something about everyone you meet
- Ridiculously spoil your pets
- Love your country
- Challenge your brain every day
- Make it a priority to take care of yourself
- Tell the people you love “I love you” in many creative ways
- No matter what you’re doing, give it all you’ve got
I’m sure there are many things each of you would add to the Danny-list as you reflect on and remember his influence in your life.
While we are deeply saddened by Danny’s sudden absence in our lives, we carry him with us in our hearts. Danny’s legacy, what he taught us about living, will continue through each of us. Thank you again for coming today to honor him.
August 26, 1945 – March 23, 2017