Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Howard Paul Mayeaux

On September 22, 2011, Jason's dad ended his brave, 3.5 month fight against lung cancer. He was in such good spirits and still fighting to the very end. It has been a sad week for our family as we have thought back on all the memories we have of Howard and realize that his life was cut too short at age 52. Last Friday (Sept. 30th), we had a memorial service to honor his life. So many people showed up which was a true testiment to how caring and helpful Howard was to so many people. The service was beautiful and was followed by a reception at a friend's home. One of Howard's good friends began the service by singing Amazing Grace, and it was ended with Jason, Jenn, Ray, and Donna speaking. They all did such a wonderful job and made everyone laugh and cry. I never want to forget what Jason and Jenn said at the service so I have included the text below for our memories (Donna's and Rays were not written or I would have included those as well).

For most everybody, your Dads a special person in your life. And for me that wasnt any different, as my Dad was very special to me too. Of course for all the typical father/son reasons, but we really shared a lot in common. We both loved cars, motorcycles, and baseball.
Dad forgot more about cars than i'll ever know. Some of my greatest memories growing up were him and i going out on Saturday nights to watch (and dont tell Mom, but alot of times participating in) drag racing. And then we’d spend most of Sunday talking about what we did and what we saw.
I remember waking up almost every Saturday morning as a kid and feeling like it was Christmas morning. Saturday, amongst other days, was riding day. I'd be in his room bright and early to wake him up so we could hurry and load up the bikes in the truck to go burn a Saturdays worth of 2 stroke fuel. After about the ten-minute-mark of me pestering him, and him realizing he wasnt gonna be able to sleep in THAT Saturday morning either, we’d do just that.
Dad loved baseball too. He had two favorite teams, the Stros and whatever team i was on. Most parents sit in the stands and watch the games from afar. And Sometimes i wished thats what Dad did also. Instead he was usually found in the dugout pacing back and forth trying to get everyone fired up and always passing out animal crackers. I STILL dont know why he picked animal crackers.
There was alot left we wanted to do together. Go to Bondurant and spend a weekend trashing some z06's. The lakehouse is finally just about done and we were able to drive up to enjoy the place instead of driving up to work on it. Getting a boat and a couple jet skis to put in the boathouse so we could finally spend some time on the water out there together. Finally putting the stereo in the Chevelle. Going back to London with him, where he spent a good chunk of time growing up so he could show me his old stomping grounds.
Unfortunately he’s not gonna be here physically to do those things, but i still plan on doing each of them knowing he’ll be there with me in spirit.
I love you Dad, and i’m gonna miss you.

Even when you know the end is near, it still comes too soon. There are Always things you want to say or more memories to have. even toward the end of dads brave and strong battle with cancer, he was high spirits telling funny old stories or making new happy memories I'll hold on to forever.

I could stand here today and tell so Many memories of my dad like the times he'd sit with me at our cedar ridge home and look at this big blue atlas and show me all the places in the world. It's most likely what inspired my love for travel. Or i could talk to you about then countless sporting events he'd never miss and some of the long road trips we all would have to take to get to. There's no better way to get to love and know your family than in a car for 10 hours.

But those events aren't even what I remember most. It's his kind and sweet heart. It's the smile he had that seemed to come from deep in his soul. It's the light in his eyes that would warm my heart. Every time I'd walk into the room or he'd answer the phone, I could feel his love.

I'll keep that warm, sweet smile of his with me forever knowing he is still there. Knowing that he will always be part of the many wonderful memories to come.

I love you daddy.

Ray and Howard were as close as brothers, and he spoke so fondly of Howard and all the memories they have made over the years dragging their wives to the car shows and spending time in each others garages. His words were so heart-felt and made me smile through watery eyes. Donna made everyone laugh outloud while having to wipe tears from their face as she recalled all the things Howard had done to her growing up....jumping off the roof onto her barbie cars, using her first bra as a swing in the hampster cage (haha), etc. After listing all the things that mischievious boys do to their younger sisters she went on to say how Howard was always the first one in line to help her whenever she needed it. Her ending line was so well stated as she said..."Although I don't miss growing up with my brother Howard, I will miss growing old with him." It was the perfect ending to a beautiful service.

 Beautiful Mother and Daughter
  Deanna and her kids
 Family Pic
  Jenn, Deanna, and her other daughter/Jenn's best friend Amber
 The girls

 Jason, Grandma Bev, and Jenn
 Flower Arrangement from the Fam

 David, Donna, Jess, and Justin
Jason was so blessed to have so many of his friends show up for the service.  Tim flew in from Reno and Shane drove in Dallas and many of his friends took off work to be there.  It meant so much to us, and we will never forget how supportive everyone was.  The reception was beautiful, and I am so upset I did not get my camera out for pictures.  Thanks to Ross and Tami for opening up their home and hosting everyone for the afternoon.


Jenny said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. Thinking of you guys. :)

Kelsey said...

Thanks for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes to read what Jason and Jenn said about their dad. Still praying for y'all!