I knew him simply as Jeff.
When I would describe to others who he was and how he was connected to our family, I wanted to just say, “well, he’s Jeff” as if that would be enough.
There was no usual title to give him: not an uncle or grandparent or cousin – he was just…Jeff.
“Doesn’t everyone have a Jeff?”
It would be easy to call him my “grandfather,” (and I know he’d be fine with that), but how do you encapsulate and communicate everything in a person into any role? Of how magnificent and wonderful they are?
The truth is: you can’t, which is why the name “Jeff” was so perfect – at the same time, it’s simple and, to me, the name connoted so much more of who he was…
warm and intelligent,
funny, kind, loving,
compassionate, understanding, patient,
and so graceful that it just knocked you over
It was often in our family that we remarked how one person could be so amazing.
Someone who has given and provided so much for those close to him – to those who loved him and whom he loved.
He was the kind of individual that gives you such inspiration for how you want to be in your own life.
He seemed to know at least a little bit about anything, and a lot about many things.
The fact that he was a professional chef was a pretty sweet bonus, too. :-)
That was Jeff.
The description I settled on was saying that Jeff is “a family member” – it’s still not the full explanation, and yet it’s definitely the truth.
He’s as much a part of my life and my family as anyone else.
After 92 amazing years, Jeff peacefully left us.
I am so grateful that he came into our lives.
There will never be another one like him; he is truly and utterly irreplaceable.
What comforts me is knowing that now, he can truly be with me wherever I go, for the rest of my life.
All of us who knew Jeff are better people for it.
I’m also thankful I’ve met other “Jeff’s” – more extraordinary individuals that have helped and inspired me.
I hope and wish that everyone out there connect with “Jeff’s” as we all continue on – it will only make the journey that much richer.
If I’m ever able to be a “Jeff” for someone else, I can’t think of a more fitting tribute for such a great man, and a more blessed and rewarding experience for me.
Thank you, Jeff.
Thank you for all that you’ve done and for who you were.
I love you so, so much.
To Those Who Mourn
For that is the real truth;
Man is a soul and has a body.
The body is not the man; it is only
The clothing of the man.
What you call death is the laying aside
Of a worn-out garment, and it is no more
The end of the man that it is the end of you
When you remove your coat.
Therefore you have not lost your friends;
You have only lost sight of the cloak in which
You were accustomed to see him.
The cloak is gone, but the man who
Wore it is not;
Surely it is the man that you love and not
~ C.W. Leadbeater
To learn more about Jeff (someone who was TRULY Nonstop Awesomeness):
(The video above was made very easily with Google Picasa.)