In memory of George Bradley (Brad) Cook
|Gift: $250.00||By: Peggy Cook / Carolann Cook / David Risener|
|Obituary||Click here to see obituary.|
Eulogy By Daughter Carolann Cook
Today I lost the most important man in my life. A man who has been there and supported me in all that I do. He gave me a wonderful sense of humor, the love of aviation, and a killer poker face. His love of sports built me into the Chiefs fan I am today and his innate desire to travel lead to many fun and exciting trips together. My love of seafood, photography, and trying new things comes from this man.
I miss my dad a lot. He was always a huge part of my life and losing him only magnified how large of a role he played. I went from seeing him 2-3 times a week and spending hours at a time with him to seeing him as the background of my phone and making spontaneous trips to his house just to lay in his bed and wish he was still here to tell him how much he meant to me.
There is so many “what-ifs” and “I wishes” and so many moments and new memories that won’t include him and I know he would never want me dwell on the hurt so I’d like to share one of my favorite memories of him growing up. There are so many but I’d probably be here until next Sunday.
I’m the monster that ate your daddy: Every day when my dad would come from work my sister and I would hear the garage door open and we’d would run to the railing of the stairs and shout down to him. We had two sets of stairs, one went down vertically then turn and went down a second floor. Normally he would flip on the light and come up the stairs and give us hugs but every once in a while he would stand there in the dark and try to scare us, like a good little father. He tried to convince us to come down the stairs and into the dark, and we’d slowly creep down the stairs or stick our feet through the railing and he’d come out of the dark and try to grab them. But as we got older we thought we got wiser too and one day i told him “Daddy I know it’s you! I can see you and tell by your voice that it’s you! And without skipping a beat he says from the dark- I only look like your daddy because I ate him, then he pops his head out of the dark and all we could see where his green eyes staring back and says “I’m not your Daddy, I’m the monster that ate your daddy!” Still sends chills but it was great! Our worlds were changed forever and that’s when I knew my dad would always be smarter than us and we’d never win. And it’s one of my favorite memories…..And that’s also probably why I get so much enjoyment out of scaring my littlest sister!!
Not only was he an incredible dad, he was also really proud of his military career. One of his favorite memories and accomplishments, and there were many throughout his life- including the ringing the Liberty Bell as a kid.
While he was in the Army he worked in intelligence- and don’t worry, what I’m about to say next has been declassified ?? – but he served during the Cold War and would listen in on countries that the US deemed as a threat. He listened to a lot of teletype, voice and Morse code messages and one day He realized there were some irregularities that were getting overlooked. They soon discovered that the Russians had reversed the polarity of their Morse code, essentially sending information backwards and what the US thought were normal factory shipments to Cuba actually ended up being missiles heading to Cuba. And from then on they were able to decipher Russia’s hidden messages and found some very important shipments.
Not only did my dad have a devotion for his country but also deep respect for General George Patton. General Patton has a famous speech that he spoke to the US 3rd Army prior to the invasion of France. My dad wasn’t a man of much emotion but while we were watching the documentary I saw a rare sight of him tearing up during his speech. I knew then that I wanted to frame the speech for his birthday so he could hang it up on his desk. At the moment, I didn’t realize how much it would actually resonate and intertwine with our lives.
During the last few years of his life he wasn’t able to leave the house very often due to his severe knee pain, he no longer had any cartilage in his knees and it was to the point where it was just bone on bone rubbing together and any walking was incredibly difficult. Since he mainly wheeled himself around the house any type of physical exertion caused a lot of strain on him as well.
For the longest time we would just go over to his house and hang out, being in each others company was enough. it was just the three of us- Dad, my sister and I.
After we found out about dads diagnosis we became a team more than ever. Now with his radiation treatments he had to be moving 4 days a week. Even though he knew we loved him, I don’t think he knew how far our devotion actually went. At first he didn’t want to bother us and even mentioned taking an uber to his treatments- which was obviously unacceptable. He’s was the type of man that never wanted to bother others but loved helping countless people. He was afraid that he’d be bothering us with the task of helping him up and down the stairs, getting him in and out of the car, pushing him in a wheelchair and waiting for him during his appointments. But that was never a thought that crossed our minds because we were his cheerleaders, he deserved nothing less. Also, we wouldn’t have had it any other way and we actually enjoyed wheeling him around. We even played tricks on him like he did to us as kids while in the grocery store. He’d put us in a grocery cart and push us down an aisle and quickly hide behind another one. So now, we’d push him forward down a hallway and pretend to let go. “Look Dad, no hands!”
After his radiation treatment failed we become stronger than ever. When dad was admitted into the hospital we never left his side, and when he went back for the last time we literally lived and breathed together. Nothing mattered but supporting him through the toughest battle of his life. Then not much longer after that, what we thought would be at least a couple years together disappeared when we were told that he only had a few more days. We couldn’t understand it because every obstacle, everything the doctors said he couldn’t do, he did. We always felt like our father was invincible. But as we watched him become more tired and his kidneys began failing we knew too soon that our time together was coming to an end. So I called my very close friends Chanel for a favor. I asked if she could print out the George Patton speech for me and bring it to the hospital so our dad could have Father’s Day and his birthday before he passed. She had recently lost her mother and knowing I couldn’t leave his side she didn’t hesitate to come through. It was beautiful and he was so proud and honored to have received it.
So I’d like to read a couple excerpts from Patton’s speech and He uses some pretty colorful language here and there so I will work around it so bare with me.
In his final weeks we realized how much he trusted and looked up to us. He had so many doctors coming in and out from cardiothoracic surgeons to oncologist to gastroenterologists to internal medicine. So many medications to keep track of with ever changing dosages. With his rapid decline in health there were so many changes that the nurses and doctors weren’t always properly recording them so it was up to my sister and I to keep track. We wanted to be by his side and it was crucial that we were there. When a new doctor or nurse would come in and ask him questions he would defer them to us. There were times where dad would comment that he didn’t know where he’d be without his girls. Growing up, we always looked up to him for guidance and strength and now he was looking up to us from his hospital bed with full pride and confidence that we were able to give him the comfort and strength he always showed. We were by his side until he took his very last breath. His pulse was so strong and I remember because I was curled up next to him on his bed with my hand on his chest and the other playing with his hair and Carolann was laying on the other side of him with his hand in hers. The doctor had come in around 11 am and said he had until the end of the day. We hadn’t slept in days and barley slept the past 3 weeks. We told him that we were going to take a quick 20 minute nap next to him and my sister asked if that was ok. He wasn’t conscious to respond at this point but we felt he could hear us from time to time. Not long after I felt something, either him or God telling me that is was time. I looked at my sister and told her this was it, Dad’s going to take his last breath. I was able to feel him in those last moments and tell him how great he has done and how proud of him we were. I kept telling him he did great and it was ok to go, we love him so much. I watched him take that breath that sent him to his loving Father.
He took care of us, and then we got to take care of him and now his journey here is complete.
Most of all I hope he left this world knowing how much he was loved.