Moments of Silence

A eulogy for my Father.

Justin Zack
5 min readNov 23, 2020


Me, my Dad and Snoopy.

I had the pleasure of traveling with Dad to Tampa in July. I’ve taken many trips with him over the years, but this was a trip I won’t forget.

The trip to Tampa wasn’t like our fishing trips to the bush in Alaska chasing the salmon run, the snake river in Montana in search of the big browns, or learning to spey cast a fly rod in Scotland.

The trip to Tampa wasn’t like our drive across the country to move me to Colorado for a winter of skiing and working or even the countless trips that he dragged me to the home depot to find the perfect solution for his home project.

No, this trip was different.

It was under difficult yet hopeful circumstances.

Dad was 3 years into his battle with the blood cancer, lymphoma, and after several remissions his doctors recommended him for a clinical trial that was being run in Florida. He wasn’t in good enough condition to drive. He needed a ride. I was available. So, off we went. Another trip together.

Dad did his usual boy scout things, packing water, flashlights, snacks and for this trip hand sanitizer. He was always prepared.

We spent more than 16 hours in the car together. It gave us time to have some pretty deep conversations. I remember one conversation in particular.

It went like this .….<silence>…we could be together for hours, never say a word, but yet communicate so much. …you want to listen to some music Dad? Sure he’d say, “the moody blues” sounds good right now.

This was our relationship in a lot of ways. We connected in that silence.

This trip was different because in the most insignificant of moments, including that silence,I saw Dad, not just as a Dad but as a curious boy, a family man, and a brave warrior.

I saw him as a child as we drove across the state line, Dad scrambled and reached for his camera to get a picture of the welcome to Florida sign. He told stories of driving there as a kid to see his family and remembered the two lane road with roadside signs and oranges.

At one point, Dad read the bumper sticker on an old orange Datsun 240z. “Honk if parts fall off”. Straight face no laughing. No…



Justin Zack

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