Soon ... we all feel it. It is inevitable that we all come to the impasse in life which teaches us that we're not on this rock for an infinite amount of time. Most people, the lucky ones, will have to heed this education over and over as each of their loved ones escapes the grasps of earthly living. When the time comes, there is no preparation. Even those who spend time by the side of the souls searching for the exit cannot prepare for what's to come. And the powerless feeling that you must allow to rot within your gut. I couldn't be there for a family I love and hold dear. I couldn't say a final blessing to a man who I connected with on more levels than many before. So I've just got to let my head hang, and hope that the nooses be at bay.
I saw so much of myself in the man who was, and will forever in our hearts be Jack Tokle. A wise, and funny man. A quiet, and subtle human. Forged by the life of a hardworking man, Jack did everything he could to provide for his family. He loved unconditionally, and cherished each member of the tree. It stings. Knowing that the world is now without one of the finer people I've ever had the pleasure of coming in contact with. For a strong, large while, he was Grandpa to me. Papa to some. But good ol' Jack to most. I'll never forget the time spent with the man, legs flung up on the recliner, pish-poshing about the bullshit smeared across the local cable televisions news station. Playing cards until the end of time. Smoking in the laundry room with the fan pointed out the window because "screw outside". I could listen to him explain and articulate on nearly any subject. Gladly. I'd sign up for a lifetime of audio diaries today if I could. But much like the heinous destruction of all good things, Jack fell victim to the cruelty of the health game. A man beyond words in kindness, heart, and wit .... and he's taken from this realm before anyone has had their fill. That's always the case.
You never get a call, or message saying "hey! remember that person you hated, and never got along with, and hoped you'd never see again?" .... *pause* ... "Yeaaaaah, well they passed away." And it's torture. I credit the worthiness of life on the fact that we as humans have a higher understanding, and range of emotions. But this one. This bastard of war. It always cuts, and in that moment you have no faith that the bleeding will cease. This horrendous sensation is only trumped by the realization that the bleeding never actually does stop. There isn't enough coagulated hemoglobin the world over that will make your heart let go of those you love in your lifetime. And again, for the umpteenth time in a short life (so far)... I've got to say goodbye to an incredible person. Making it worse is the fact that I didn't actually get to say goodbye....
Thank you for being so kind to me. For letting me into your home, your family. For showing me a shining example of how to be a man, father, and papa. No one is perfect. I doubt you were. But you never showed me your demons, no matter how hard they attempted to breach the skin come the end. I will forever thank you for the comfort, and honesty you bestowed on me. And know that your grandchildren are all stronger thanks to your time, and love. Watching you with little K restored so much faith in the human race, and fueled the desire for children myself.
You were honest, hilarious, and intelligent.
Thank you for your time.
It would be nice if there was a fair, or pleasant way to say farewell to the champions. Letting go of warriors that prove their metal through sword. Paying the iron price as some might say. But for now. For the foreseeable future. We have to deal with it. Fight through it.
For those of us who can't stop thinking about useless things, it's hard not to weigh the pendulum of justice attempting to decipher who gets the grimmer deal in all of this? Those who leave us? Possibly cruising through painful sensations highway after highway. Or those who are still trying to catch a ride, desperately raising their thumb to every passer-by, maybe even showing some skin. These souls destined for the same intersection, have to endure every day following the loss without their beloved family, friends, or lovers.
For Jack however, I hope the sweat poured into the hallowed halls of the education institute, and the catacombs of the G-Tire doesn't stain your views on this version of earth. We all loved you, and it just won't be the same without. I look forward to seeing you again sir, stay wise.