Eulogy for my Son
Daniel Vincent Staib
May 15, 1983 to June 20, 2006
I know that some of you have heard this story before, but I want to share it with you one last time. It is the narrative that I would tell about how Daniel came to be.
Many years ago, my dad was in the hospital dying of cancer. One day near the end, we had a special talk. I asked him that after he died, would he send me a "sign" that he was in heaven.
Soon after my father's death, I found out that I was expecting a baby. This was quite a joyous event and a real surprise! After all, it had been almost ten years since the birth of our first child "Duffy" (Donald). We were all so thrilled!!
Because of that special talk with my dad, I always believed that in some exceptional way, he had sent me Daniel. Maybe he thought I had said send me a "son" instead of a "sign" from heaven. But for whatever reason, I felt so blessed and grateful to have Daniel come into my life!
After my dad's passing, my mother came to reside with us for awhile. She was here when Daniel was born. Because she was living here during Daniel's early years, she was able to share a special bond with him. She shared that exceptional connection to him for the rest of her life.
Today at the Gardens of Faith, Daniel is being buried next to his wonderful, loving grandparents. I know that it is the perfect, forever, resting place for him.
Two months before my mother died, she had sent Daniel a Happy 19th Birthday card. This last card from his grandmother was special to him. He kept it and until this morning, it had still been displayed in his room.
For him and to me, the verse in the card had a very meaningful message which I would share with you.....
You have a forever place
in my heart
Where every happy memory,
proud moment, and joy
you've brought to life
is tucked away
I'd like to think that this last message from his grandmother would be the same thoughts we would be saying to Dan now.
We are all here today because we loved Daniel in some extraordinary way. I pray that he will have a forever place in each of our hearts where love is eternal.
Daniel was a beloved son to us, a caring brother to "Duffy" and David and a fun uncle to Cierra, Alyssa, and Delaney. He was a loyal friend. He was strong and physical, smart and intuitive, artistic and creative, neat and orderly. He was so good looking with his physique and beautiful, blue eyes. He always took pride in his appearance. He was loving and
loveable. And Daniel could be so much fun!
I will really miss his wonderful, spontaneous sense of humor and how he could make me laugh. Even while having strong words, Dan could break the mood by putting his hand on my shoulder, telling me to calm down and maybe go have a milky way.
His whole life, I have heard about his unique sense of humor from his teachers, classmates, employers, coworkers and friends.
I remember how he almost had to miss his brother's wedding due to a Saturday detention for a fun video incident at school. Or how about the time he was holding the teacher's pet tarantula in science class when someone screamed and hit it off his arm and then it was stepped on by another student. Or how about the time in the middle of Mass, Father came down off of the altar to talk to Daniel who was making faces at him through the sermon. Or how about the recent time he broke Cierra's scooter riding it in the basement.
And now from some of the pictures and stories you have shared with me through this, I realize that many of you have special "Daniel Stories" too. That is good because after the tears, you will be able to smile when you remember Daniel.
It just seems so hard to believe that Daniel will no longer be with us. He won't be calling to see whatz up. He won't be asking to borrow money. He won't be looking for a ride or as he liked to say..."come scoop me up". He won't be here to "chill" with. But I hope that all the happy times we shared with Dan will endure.
Daniel came home this last weekend for a cook-out at "Duffy"' and Lisa's home to celebrate Father's Day and several family birthdays, especially Alyssa's 3rd birthday.
We were all so happy to have him with us because that does not always happen. It was an ordinary day that now has become an extraordinary day.
For all us there, it will be a day to treasure. Though we did not know it at the time, there were last moments, last laughs, last hugs, last words, and finally, last good-byes.
We were so happy to have Dan there with all of us. And now unbelievably we have to let him go....
I have always loved the scene in that picture that used to be in Dan's room but is in with him now. It is of Jesus embracing a young man and welcoming him Home.
The poem says....
"When I Come Home
When I come home to Heaven
How joyful it will be!
For on that day at last
My risen Lord I'll see.
No greater happiness than
To see Him face to face.
To see the love in His eyes
And feel His warm embrace.
I've done nothing to deserve
That perfect home above.
It was given freely through
The grace of Jesus' love.
Then why should earthly cares
Weigh down upon me so?
They'll be a distant memory
When Home at last I go.
To me, that picture and poem represents how I hope it is for Daniel. I pray that now he is loved and in the arms of Jesus and welcomed to his heavenly home!
But here and now, we look at Daniel one last time. We realize that he will be forever young, forever beautiful, forever loved and I believe, for him, the most important thing... forever saved.
Good-bye Daniel. I hope that in life you knew how much I loved you!! A mother's bond to her son is special and everlasting.
My world can never be the same without you in it. How can I move on without your presence here with me? You blessed my life with your life. My love for you is eternal and I will miss you forever.
I know that many times you felt in a difficult place and less favored as the middle son. But I hope in your heart you always knew that with me you were second to none.
I think back to so many special moments that I shared with just you! You have helped me and been strong for me. You have counseled and consoled me. I have seen your creative and artistic touch. You have laughed with me and made me laugh. You have brightened my life in so many, many ways. And most importantly, I have loved you and been loved by you.
I will always hold on to the memory of how you hugged me and talked to me about your feelings on that day in March when you were in the hospital. The closeness we shared , the meaningful words that were spoken, and the love expressed during that vulnerable time for you , I will keep in my heart forever.
Daniel, my son, thank you for being in my life. Thank you for being you!
My heart is broken as within my being, there is that place that only you could fill. I will miss you forever.
Goodbye Daniel.... my strong, beautiful, loving, precious, beloved son.
And now I must end this talk the way it began. I told the story of my dad sending me a "sign" from heaven which was my special son, Daniel.
Now, I ask you Daniel to send me a "sign" that you are in heaven!
To end this eulogy today, I want to call to mind a Last Will and Testament that Daniel himself wrote in May of 2001. It was a Senior will as part of their graduation preparations. To do that was a tradition at Joppatowne High School.
In his own words, the following were some of his requests:
To my Mom and Dad:
I leave you many memories.
I could never recite them all, but thanks for always supporting me.
To my two brothers:
I still hear all the crazy stories about when you were here at school.
People still remember you after 10 years!
Good luck to you when you get to JHS in 2 years.
Keep up the great family traditions here and
I'll see you at your Graduation in '07!
Then Daniel made special requests to Erin, his high school sweetheart, and some special friends like Josh, Wink, Watsy, Gus, Drew, Fonso, Tom.
At the end of that Senior will were his final requests. I believe what he wrote in 2001 would be the same words he would say to all now.
To everyone else:
DON'T FORGET ME!
My heart is broken until we meet again.
I will miss you always and love you forever.
With eternal love to my son,
Linda Ann Staib
June 24, 2006