Eulogy for Carlos Vota

2003 > America

My Dad is at peace now

I miss you
Your sister Janet misses you too
And so does all of AA
Hello everyone. I’m Wayan, and like my father, I’m a little shy up here on stage.

Now I wanted to tell a story today because that’s what Dad loved to do. We’ve all heard them, and we all loved his tales of amazing adventures in far-off lands that made us all laugh.

I wanted to tell the story about the time I lived in Moscow. How I schemed for two years to steal a cobblestone from Red Square. An ancient and historic cobblestone. One that witnessed all the blood, sweat, and tears of Russian history. A cobblestone that was under armed guard, guards who would shoot you first and then send your body to Siberia.

Every day, while I lived there, every day for two years, I thought about those cobblestones and how I could get one. And how Dad, within 24 hours of arriving, on his first trip to Red Square, swiped this very stone from right in front of Lenin’s Tomb. How he did that because he knew exactly how much I wanted one.

But we all know about his adventures and yet not everyone knows about his strength. How strong he was, every day of his life, to the very end of his life. How he is the strongest man I’ve ever known.

See, he didn’t do what I would’ve done. He didn’t do what Mom would’ve done. He didn’t do what many in this room today would do. When Dad was diagnosed with Stage 3B lung cancer. When the doctor underlined ‘No Cure’ three times. He did not go for a drink. He did not die drunk. No, he went to a meeting

Here in the Newport Club, he found strength to face life, and then death, sober. Here he found strength to find pride in his past, and in his present. Here he found strength, like John D, Enis P, and Joe M, before him.

AA gave him strength. The fellowship gave him strength. Everyone in this room today, we all gave him strength. To die with dignity and at peace.

May we all be so lucky.