My grandfather, Ed Carton, passed away on Friday. I am posting a short bit that I read at his funeral. I’m posting this for posterity. More within…
I have no tears of sadness today.
Edward Carton, my grandfather, was a great man. In a time when tough and gritty is stylish, where a strong offense is a good defense, where manners and courtesy are a throwback to another era, Ed was an agreeable, firm, patient gentleman, a rare breed. More than anything, he cherished and cared for his family. He leaves behind a family tree that reaches nearly across the country. So I cry tears of respect. But I cry no tears of sadness.
In an era where even coffee talk is controversial, Ed was liked by everyone. In a world where the politics, the Middle East, and terrorism polarize the crowd, where it’s a challenge not to take a stand and fight til ya bleed, Eddie had friends around every corner. In the last few days, it’s been apparent that my grandfather’s definining quality was likeability. No one can recall Ed as anything but amiable, friendly, and pleasant. So I cry tears of pride. But I cry no tears of sadness.
Eddy was a medic in World War II. In Normandy, he served his country proudly, and returned to a new world energized. He was often quiet and reflective about those days, but shared a few tales about his company and experiences. His often unmentioned heroism was representative of his personality; he did good things, but never for the recognition; it was just in his humble character to do the right thing for the right reason. So I cry tears of honor, but I cry no tears of sadness.
When I think about the fact that Eddy was married to the same woman for almost 60 years, raised two successful daughters and two grandchildren; when I consider that he was loyal and committed to his job; when I realize that for most of his life, he was healthy and happy and able to participate; when I remember him as a fantastic listener, a thoughtful man, and a voice of wisdom; I cry tears of admiration. But I cry no tears of sadness.
Because tears of sadness aren’t befitting of the memory of Edward Carton. Just as his life wasn’t sad, his death is no tragedy. Rather, It’s rare a man lives a full enough life so that even others can look back upon his legacy and beam with positivity and smiles.
Join me today, not in tears of sadness, but in tears of celebration of a life well lived.