Salute!.... to a friend who was and is the epitomy of friendship in the life of my husband, Jim and to us as family. Part of the definition of epitomy is a "class act". Our time with Jack in friendship was exactly that... a class act, which came to include our families as a blended experience in the ups and downs of life. Jack lived his life in quiet courage. He wasn't one to bemoan his health issues but "pulled up his bootstraps" and determined to meet and conquer whatever ailments would try to befall his body. He had a lung transplant 13 years ago and outlived the predictions of extended life of 5 to 6 years by seven more. He saw his daughter, Kim and his son, John, marry their sweethearts and became a grandfather to four grandchildren, all within a span of the past four years. Jack's daughter describes him as her best friend and hero. That's quite a compliment and attests to the kind of father he was to his children throughout the years. His love and partner in life is wife, Niki, who became his cheerleader and championed him on to live. I can't imagine that Jack would have lived as long as he did without the loving care given under the watchful eye of Niki. We are blessed to have witnessed the spirit of this family in their encouragement and enthusiastic support that would uplift Jack in attitude and strength.
Jack and Jim had a unique friendship - they understood each other and knew where each other stood, if that makes any sense. Jack told Jim that he was more like a brother to him then a friend. They respected each others' boundaries and enjoyed their 'bull-shit' sessions (guy talk for conversation) that covered a broad spectrum of current affairs, ranching, horses and life in general. They occasionally would go on a 'walk-about', taking a break from routine and attend an event tailored for their interests, such as a farm auction or firearm show. Before Jack had his own grandkids, he became a surrogate grandad to our own grandchild and spent some pleasant times helping and encouraging. The photo below illustrates such a time when both men were showing off their skills in the instruction of the fine art of fishing....
There is a poem written by Dale Wimbrow Sr. that befits these two men as it is the creed that Jack aspired to and Jim continues to do so. Perhaps this is why they understood each other so well....
The Man in the Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for gain
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what the man has to say.
It isn't your mother or father or wife
Whose judgement upon you must pass
The one whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back in the glass.
You may be one who got a good break
Then think you're a wonderful guy
But the man in the glass says you're only a fake
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
He's the one you must satisfy above all the rest
For he's with you right up til the end
And you know you have passed your most difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down your pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.
|Jack Fisher - Jan. 19, 1940 to Nov. 29, 2015|
See you next time at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, December 21.....