Sunday, July 21, 2013
Tuesday, my son, daughter, and I drove 2 hours to Columbus for the memorial service for my friend Jack. Jack had passed away the previous Friday. It was rough. Originally, the plan was to spend a half hour at the service then head home so I could make work on time. Things changed as soon as we walked through the door and Jack's daughter saw us. The look in her eyes was one of immense relief. As soon as I saw that, I knew I was going to be late to work and immediately texted my boss.
Tuesday was tough. On 3 hours sleep I made the drive in sweltering heat (the a/c hasn't worked for years) and went on into work after getting home. It wasn't until I got home from work today that I started feeling human again.
Here's the thing: Jack had a bigger than life personality. His whispers could cut through the loudest, most chaotic environment. He had an incredible ability to know when to act mature and grown up and when to act like an immature doofus, and he had the discipline to switch back and forth between the two states as the situation dictated. He could tell the rudest, crudest, completely unacceptable joke imaginable and follow that up with the most insightful, thoughtful comments about a sensitive subject. He was also incredibly flawed and he knew it. He dealt with those flaws the best he could. When he talked about his family, whether he was angry at them or not, there was a twinkle in his eye and tone to his voice that let you know they were the most important thing to him.
I honestly can't believe he's gone. When my dad passed, he was almost 91 and had lived an incredibly full life. Still, it hurt bad when he passed. Jack, at 60, seemed to just be getting going. Jack was younger than my sisters. Maybe it's because of that, that it brings mortality that much into more into focus, somebody just a tad older than me passing, that has shaken me up. Maybe it's because I was 33 when my mom passed and 54 when my dad passed and I look at Jack's 20 year old daughter and realize that she, at a much younger age than I, is getting hit with something I had an incredibly hard time dealing with at a more mature age.
It's been a rough week. I'm glad it's over. However, I have a 91 year old honorary step mother and 91 year old aunt (the last of the adults in the family). I get the feeling there are going to be more rough weeks to come.