Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Light Shining Through Tears

Last week the world lost one of the truly great individuals so often not fully recognized until too late and I lost someone with whom I’d shared the type of true friendship that if you are blessed to find once in your lifetime you are very, very lucky.  I was one of the lucky ones. 

When I state he was “great” I don’t refer to an obvious kind of greatness, but one that was so inherent it was easy to take for granted as it couldn’t be separated from who he was and so wasn’t obviously apparent on a day to day basis.  Every action he took was so automatic and so much a part of who he was it was like taking a breath.  You don’t constantly think about whether the person next to you is breathing nor consider it remarkable they are doing so. 
The difference between the greatness to which I am referring and the act of breathing is that for as long as we live we all breath, so there really is nothing remarkable about it.  Yet the qualities Jack possessed, though as natural to him as breathing, were nothing short of remarkable.  

Due to his humility and private nature, I won’t give much detail regarding these qualities, nor could I do him justice, truth be told, if I were to try.  I will simply say he was someone who saw the goodness, the positive in everyone and he reacted to only that.  For him, everyone with whom he came into contact was equally valuable, equally special, equally important and as such, of course anyone would help others as he did, couldn’t help but do so, as others were valuable, special and important. 

But we know not just anyone will help all those they see in need - in this he stood far above most of us.  Yet he never saw himself as unusual and if anything viewed himself as nothing extra ordinary, reserving that title for those around him.  

Yet there were so many people whose lives he touched, changed, improved and the manner in which he quietly modeled a life well lived served as an example anyone could benefit from emulating.  His was a life lived only within the positive, a life lived with unquestioned optimism, with joy elicited by even the most mundane.  Jack’s was a life lived fully every minute despite its ending too soon.

These are the fundamentals that testify to the person he was.  I will stop here as for those who knew him, no words need to be said and for those not blessed to have met him, no words will suffice. 

My reactions to his loss continue to speak to me at unexpected moments and I have the sense something waits to be revealed.  I will do my best to put this process into words inadequate though they may be, as I move through this journey.  Perhaps others will relate to the voyage in which I seem to have become swept up.  I welcome any remarks or reflections my posts may elicit from others who may find something in my words which feels familiar. 

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