When I think about Jack I’ll remember all the fun times before his stroke.
Jack was both like a dad and a teenager keeping up with our small enclave of friends outside of the club. Andrea, Elaine, myself (Pauline), Brian, and Jack, were the core group with some additions here and there going on our own outings and usually out for Chinese food afterward. Andrea, Elaine and I (Pauline), Jack said, we were his girls (daughters).
He was all in for some mischief when it came to pulling a surprise for Elaine’s or my birthday or for Andrea’s first grandchild or coming to visit me when I was in the hospital.
We had great club outings together as well. We had the five of us loaded in Jack’s car for the Iron Butt a few years back in Oct 2012 when we drove over the new Jockvale bridge and through Manotick and then over to the eastern Ontario side for dinner in St. Isidore to meet up with the rest of the Iron Butt gangs and to celebrate Andrea’s grandma surprise.
Here we are enjoying lunch together on our Iron Butt outing.
Afterward, Jack emailed us all to thank Brian, our navigator, saying that we did get there and back. He said, “I got used to being called ‘where to go’ LOL.” Then he told Andrea, “‘grandma’ that bonnet looked so good on you… LOL!”. He told me, Pauline, “Looking for bakeries is one reason we were late getting to St. Isidore… LOL! Yeah, we had great fun with that one.
We were looking for a cake for Andrea and couldn’t find any so we ended up getting a piece of cake from the restaurant. Andrea didn’t have a clue why we were looking for baked goods in every town we went to and Jack was great at running interference driving us looking for that cake.
In the end, we arranged with our waitress that if Andrea ordered cake to switch her cake for ours and we had the restaurant put our candles on for us.
Jack was great also running interference when we were all taking turns to sign the card earlier in the parking lot and in the restaurant so Andrea wouldn’t know.
He told Elaine, “glad you ‘butts’ survived the trip squeezed up in the back seat.. Didn’t hear any complaints….of course women love to be squeezed… LOL”. Then he wished all of us a great day and signed off as “the ‘pilot’”.
This was just one of the fun outings we all had together with Jack.
After the stroke, Jack stayed strong for us. He wanted to see us and laugh. He laughed at my jokes.
He understood what we were saying but couldn’t speak and we knew he understood because of his gestures and his chuckle that he understood and wanted to see us.
We each took our turns going to visit Jack in pairs of two keeping him entertained and his mind off of his situation. I didn’t get a chance to send out a summary of what our last visit was like as I could see his time was very near and I was quite taken aback.
John Elliott had sent me more pictures of beautiful icebergs and an update on the Osprey family with pictures and the northern lights from his cottage in Newfoundland. He had acknowledged these like he had before. He really appreciated them. He liked hearing the news of our lives and of those closest to us.
Jack was in a lot of pain and he, unfortunately, had problems with some of the implements that were used for his survival. We all tried to get his spirits up and encouraged him to get better but it was obvious that the stroke was taking Jack away from us.
I’m glad that Jack isn’t in pain anymore and is with God.
Rest in peace!
About the above photos: The first was taken on the suspended bridge in Renfrew as part of a 2007 Nature outing and the last two were taken in Limerick Forest (near Kemptville) when our little group visited in 2013 (of which one shows Elaine in the Viking hat she wore for the occasion). That last photo is one that I especially cherish and has extra meaning for me now that Jack is gone. Jack was a very kind and giving person, who enjoyed Nature and other people. Even in his later years when he couldn’t go far from the car when we stopped to take photographs, he nevertheless enjoyed being there, in the outdoors and with other people. He never rushed and was always calm and cheerful, even when we got lost on a trip, which happened more than once. And once, when he and Elaine took a wrong turn and ended up being an hour late for lunch with the rest of us, we laughed together about what had happened and chalked it up to another of life’s little adventures. I see Jack now as calmly walking forward to meet the next adventure that awaits him. He will be missed.
Post submitted by Pauline Aubertin.
Photos by Elaine Hum Sim and Brian Mazur.