Below are the reflections shared by the other speakers at Jack's Celebration of Life.
BRIDGET (Jack's cousin)
Hello, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Jack's cousin Bridget, and up here with me are some of Jack's cousins on his mother's side of the family.
Growing up with a large extended family, your cousins are usually your first friends and like every friend, they are in your life for a reason and have something to teach you. Every family has a different vibe and those who know our family might describe us as intense and assertive. And we are intense, we are intense in our love for one another and assertive about what we think is right. We’ll be the first to tell you, we would agree with your opinion, but then we would both be wrong. Many of us have strong personalities and do not have a problem voicing our opinion. Like grandpa always says—lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way. Jack was unique in that his expressions spoke louder than words ever could.
A family is not measured as one unit, rather it is measured by the sum of its parts and each person within the family helps define and shape its dynamic. As our cousin, Jack has influenced our lives in immeasurable ways. By having Jack in our lives we have learned that one can get his point across in many ways and that laughter truly is the best medicine. We have all spent time with Jack and he has affected all of us in different ways. Some of us, like myself, spent the summers with him just after he was born, while others were there as he was growing up. But no matter how we spent our time with him, each one of us had our own unique relationship with Jack.
ANGIE (one of Jack's home health nurses and my friend from the Trach Board)