Do take a moment today to read this beautiful letter from a devoted son to his late father. The young cleric in the photograph is Father Jim Eisele, now pastor of Saint Michael in Grand Ledge. That’s Father Jim on his ordination day at Saint Mary Cathedral in 1988. On the right is his late mom, Mary, and on the left is his late dad, Raymond Eisele. Raymond was a dairy farmer near Fowlerville. He died in 1996. Mary died in 2004. May they rest in peace. As we approach another Father’s Day this Sunday, here’s Father Jim’s very personal letter to his late dad. He writes:
It has been a long time since I sent you a Father’s Day card and as I recall, I kept it short: “Dear Dad, Happy Father’s Day! Love, Jim.” I welcome this opportunity to write a letter of thanks to you.
At your funeral 26 years ago, we shared with those gathered, “Wisdom from the Milkhouse Walls of Raymond Eisele” sayings you had written on the walls of the milking parlor you built in 1957 and where you milked cows daily for the next 29 years.
Those sayings included: “S+S=S (Sweat + Sacrifice=Success)” and your formula for making purchases: “1. Determine need 2. Buy quality 3. Low price” as well as “Don’t criticize your neighbor until you have walked a mile in his moccasins” and “If you don’t like farmers quit eating.”
You did your best by word and example to teach your six children practical wisdom. But the wisdom I remember most from your funeral was the quote we used from the prophet Micah: “This is what God asks of you: only this, to act justly, love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Thank you for putting those words into practice for me. Thank you for being a man of integrity who worked hard but who also knew how to celebrate with joy the life God has given us.
Your son, Jim.