This is Jack. He’s Emma’s older brother. At the start of the weekend of his 10th upcoming birthday he, his dad and mom were busily redoing his bedroom in preparation for his birthday party to be shared by family and friends. He was very excited and really looking forward to it.
Jack and his dad had just finished putting up the new shelves on the walls in his room when his dad got a call from someone. They needed his help to move a larger size aquarium from their home. As always his dad (a generous and kind man) said he’d be right over. Jack, Emma, Jordan and their mom never saw him again.Just a few blocks away he was struck and killed by a meth using driver who failed to yield.
When I wrote “Ethereal Life” and spoke of …in a heartbeat it can be gone… it was true and extremely personal. Just a few days ago Jack had picked the puff ball and was demonstrating to me how quickly it could be blown away, that was when I got the inspiration to write the poem.
I have watched this family struggle for the past two years since the most devastating day of their life.
In Jack’s case it was particularily hard. It happened during what would have been a celebration of his birthday. Jack is a very special boy. He is highly sensitive, he see’s most things in black and white. Borderline Aspergers, intellectually off the charts, but in a few areas, emotionally immature. Prior to his dad’s death he was well on his way to overcoming many of the characteristics common to his type of personality. After his fathers death there was a reversal, but slowly he’s progressing forward again.
On the day of his dad’s eulogy, the family’s church was packed with people. Hundreds. His dad had been well loved and admired in the community for his many acts of kindness and giving. The pastor standing in the front of the gathering had asked all those with a special memory of this man to stand and share. Many did, one after another. Towards the end the pastor asked if there was anyone else who wished to share.
And then amazingly, young Jack who is not an outgoing boy at all, solemnly stood up and turned to the very large group of gathered family & friends and stated … I have some things to share about my dad. And then the most heart breaking, soul wrenching words came forth from him. He held himself upright and spoke quietly and with dignity about the dad he knew and loved.
He spoke of his love and about all the things he would miss and why he loved him so much. In closing he said he was glad his dad was in heaven but he was really going to miss him. Then he quietly said “that’s all” and sat down. The silence in the large filled room that day was broken by the sound of many – crying tears of sadness over Jack’s earnest young words.
As I said Jack is very special. He’s introspective about people & life. If you’ve been following my blog you met his sister Emma recently when she posted a blog of her own. Jack watched and the other day he approached me and asked if he could post a blog too. Of course I said yes. For him to reach out and share is a sign of some very good things happening in his mind.
For those of you who have commented on Emma’s Post, she is most grateful and I thank you. In a little while soon I will post Jack’s first blog. He is as excited about it as I am for him and his wanting to reaching out to others. I will be most appreciative of all who read this today if you can take just a few minutes to come back, read and comment to him when Jack’s Post appears. Again thank you.