Ben Taylor was such a good Man...he passed away too young. Dec 24 2012. Here is my eulogy to him:
Gracious, thoughtful, big hugs, bigger smile, a family man.
I first met Ben at age 14 at El Camino High School. We were in the same group of friends and in the same graduating class. We all affectionately called Ben the “den mother” because he was the one who looked out for us. Whether we were going to the drive in, a beach party or wherever, Ben would serve as the voice of responsibility. Thank goodness for us.
Like the day after senior prom a bunch of guys took off in two cars and headed to the Colorado River. Luckily we had Ben there to say “don’t drink and drive…we’ll never make it”, “don’t drive in to that sand dune…we’ll get stuck”, don’t try to swim across the river, the current is too strong”
Ben was the voice of reason, again, thank goodness for us. I never fully appreciated that until I grew up a little. Ben allowed all of us to grow up a little.
The summer of 1982 Ben and I along with another friend moved in together and shared a duplex in La Costa. While we all had our individual responsibilities Ben carried the weight of them. He made sure the bills were paid… on time, the house was super clean (sometimes even while guests were still there during a party) and the trash was put outside on trash day. Mother Ben.
A friend of Ben says this…”Ben was always the one who we could count on to make the right choice or decisions when we weren’t very good at doing either one.”
Another friend said it best: “I was always amazed at Ben’s ability to navigate the teenage and post teenage years in moderation and with common sense, because I can’t say his friends and I always did”.
As time went by I didn’t see Ben as much but when I did there was always a big hug, a bigger smile followed by “How’s your family doing?” He would take time to catch up on life. I didn’t feel like he had somewhere else to be. He truly showed interest in how things were going. Ben talked about his family and how proud he was of his daughters Ashley and Brooke. I knew he loved being a dad and family man. I could see his face light up every time he talked about his girls. Our memories of him are with us to stay and we are all so blessed to have known Benjamin David Taylor Jr.
I’d like to end with a poem by David Harkins:
You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him only that he is gone,
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
Be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what he’d want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
Cheers to you Ben Taylor...Thank you for your friendship! Your love of your family and friends is amazing. Your parents should be so proud of you and we thank them as much as we thank YOU, for being the man you were. God Bless You My Friend!