One year ago tomorrow.
December 23, 2011.
Old man Jack left us.
To be with his beloved wife Carol…and his comrades who were left behind “on those stinkin’ islands”.
Life is so fleeting. Some people go through a whole lot. Some of us don’t.
Old man Jack was one of the former. I need to find the time to write more of what he experienced as a young man.
So that at least those that read this blog will know…and appreciate.
Old man Jack had his health problems in his last years.
But when he was a young sailor, he had malaria, dysentery…leeches between his toes, all from fighting on those damn islands in the Southwest Pacific during WWII.
And in 2009, he nearly died from a horrid intestinal infection. His abdomen had swollen. Fat Albert would have been jealous.
He was in ICU for a couple of weeks. After they transferred him to an extended care facility, I made it a point to see him every day…even if it was for brief time.
He looked forward to it as did I.
But soon after being transferred, he went into a depression. He wouldn’t eat – especially what he called the “Army slop” they had at his hospice.
Man, he complained about the chow – but his eyes lit up when I (secretly) took him a Mickey D’s burger and fries once in awhile. He’d smack his lips. But I’d make him eat the chow when I didn’t bring him his hamburger and as usual, he’d get pissed. But not really.
One evening, he was really weak. He wouldn’t raise his head off his pillow.
I told him, “Jack… What’s the matter? Haven’t you been eating?”
He never answered the question but he was off in a different world. While he realized I was there, he said to me softly, “Carol came down to see me last night. She sat right here,” gently patting the mattress on his gurney. “She said, ‘Honey, its about time now. I’m waiting for you.'”
Carol was his wife. He loved her greatly. She had passed away eight years before. I think he wanted to be with her.
Well, I pushed him to get better. And he did.
He finally consented to get into a wheel chair a couple of weeks or so later. I can’t exactly remember but it was June of 2009.
Perhaps you can get a flavor of Old Man Jack’s true character although my Blackberry did a lousy job of recording:
Soon after that, in spite of his pissing and moaning (which I loved as it meant he was getting better), I forced him to use his walker:
It was his way of saying, “Get lost,” by the way…but didn’t mean it as usual. He loved the attention.
Old Man Jack was on the road to recovery.
Well, the recovery was short-lived.
He is now with his beloved Carol and eating her wonderful cooking. She cooked things exactly as he wanted.
Hamburger patties burned to a crisp. Scrambled eggs WELL done.
He never complained – as he knew he wouldn’t eat if he did.
Deep down, he knew who was the boss.
I miss you and your hollerin’ and moanin’, Jack.
And I knew you never meant it.
And as sad as I am, I also know you are now free of those horrible nightmares from combat that you endured for 70 years…and that you and Carol are on your second honeymoon.
You deserve no less.
You were a helluva representative of the Greatest Generation.
Merry Christmas, Jack.
Koji, Little Jack and Brooke
25 thoughts on “Jack, I Miss You”
Merry Christmas Jack.
Thank you, Pierre. You can bet he heard you. 🙂
This is a beautiful tribute and I’m sorry you miss your friend. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Thank you, buckwheatsrisk! And a Merry Christmas to you, too.
A salute to you, old man Jack. And to you, Koji, for keeping his memory alive.
Happy holidays to you, atticexplorers! I am sure Jack returned the salute…
Merry Christmas Old Man Jack. Happy Anniversary of returning to your beloved Carol. Koji….your heart is wonderful. I bet Jack misses you just as much.
…Not as much as I miss him… and your heart, Chatter Master, is royal.
Good job, you made me cry! Merry Christmas!
I hope they were tears for happy…and Merry Christmas to you and your family – past and today.
A fine rememberance for Jack.
I missed. On replying to you, too. My apologies. 🙂
An outstanding post for a worthy veteran. Excellent.
Thank you so kindly, gpcox, and Merry Christmas. Your blog on your father’s 11th A/B is even more interesting. In some very remote way, his and my uncle’s paths may have crossed.
As always…….a great rememberance for a wonderful man. Good job Koji and Merry Christmas Jack and Carol!
I’m sure he is looking upon us and has heard you. You are always the gentleman, Gar! Merry Christmas and thank YOU for reading and the “official” cap and mug – the latter of which is being used right now!
Merry Christmas, Koji, Jack, Brooke.
Peace to Old Man Jack and loving wife, Carol.
Thank you for sharing. Touching.
I missed replying… 😦 My apologies…
I’m teary….Good job! He loved you very much and you do him a great honor with your stories! I hope you had a Merry Christmas!
Thank you! And I also wish your family had a “warm” (meaning feelings and love) and Merry Christmas!
excellent information. i bookmarked it for future reference. thanks a lot!
Jack … my Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas are a little late but still full of good cheer. I am sure that you and Carol are snug and warm and looking down upon Koji with a watchful eye. 🙂
How sweet and kind of you, jeannerene. We appreciate it greatly…
Very lovely post.