Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Today I said goodbye to an old friend. Well, an old friend who was a grandfather figure for most of my life. Yesterday, at work I ran out for a bite to eat before my evening class. I checked my voicemail only to recieve the heartbreaking news that Jack Willey had passed away. I knew he had been sick but death always comes as a shock to me. I felt shaken but somehow managed to make it through the class. When I got home I called my Dad for the funeral details and started looking through old photos.


My grandmother and Jack began dating in 1982, two years before I was born- so as early as I can remember there was Grandma and Jack. Those of you who know me know that I don't have a big family, so those that are sucked in become a big part of our lives. I don't have a single childhood memory without Jack. As a teenager I even lived with Grandma and Jack in Cambridge, MD for a brief period of time.  When I was 16, my grandmother decided to move out of Jack's place and built herself a small little house in the country. I'm not sure exactly what transpired between the two of them but I kept in touch with Jack. He even helped me buy my first car and went with me to test drive it.  Jack was great with cars, rebuilding classic mustangs on the weekends. Everyone in my family consulted with Jack before buying any used car.



I also remember calling him up on one trip home asking if I could stop over and get his approval on this guy I was seeing. He laughed and told me to bring him by. I'm glad Dusty was able to meet him. We spent the afternoon on the porch, talking and watching cars drive by. Something Jack did often in the spring and summer months.


Today was difficult. I've been thinking about Jack a lot recently and have wanted to send him a few of these pictures... I just never got around to it. Regret is a bad feeling to have once you lose someone. I wish I kept in better touch with him and visited with him more. I was able to spend some time with him a couple of months ago when I was home visiting. But he had just had a series of strokes so the visit was kind of sad. He smiled a lot though.  Jack was a very sweet man and he was wonderful to me and my family. I feel fortunate to have had him in my life. I will miss Jack a lot.

Rest in peace Jack. I hope you and Grandma are sharing a beer up there.

4 comments:

  1. Oh Heather, I'm so sorry, so awesome that you have so many good memories. <3

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  2. man heather, i'm really sorry. this is terrible. i hope you find peace. :)

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  3. I'm so sorry Heather. Thank you for sharing all the happy pictures (love those party plate ears!). Jack sounds like he was a great guy.

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  4. Thank you friends- your kind words mean a lot. xo

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