Monday, May 30, 2011

Good Grief, Its Memorial Day (Part 2)

This last week EC and Keena each had dance recitals.  I will never go to another recital that I do not think of Jodi’s youngest brother Jordan.  In 2009 I decided to change a patch of lawn into concrete to extend our driveway.  Jodi’s brother convinced me to try it myself.  He was working as an estimator for a local construction company at the time and said he would help us do it.

When it came to helping other people, Jordan was one of the best I’ve ever seen.  Whenever I took on a project that was overly ambitious, it was Jordan who came and bailed me out with the knowledge he had and I lacked. We did some redecorating a few years before Jordan died.  I wanted to put bead board around the bottom of the room.  Jordan offered to help, and said we should do window seals and crown molding as well.  He then came over and let me help him do it.  He was an amazing craftsman, and his attention to detail was second to none.

Jordan loved and respected all that he came in contact with.  He was always happy and treated his nieces and nephews like a favorite uncle should. I can still hear the way he said EC’s name as well as Keena’s.  He was always happy and laughed at everything.
My mourning process in losing Jordan has been an interesting one.  I feel guilty sometimes for how hard it has been for me. I am not the wife, the mother, the sisters, the children of Jordan, I am just the brother-in-law, yet I miss seeing him, talking to him, asking advice from him more than I would have imagined.  The first months after the crash, I would call his cell phone just to hear his voicemail message.  I still have his number in my phone to this day. 

Today as we were at the cemetery, I thought how proud Jordan is of his wife and his children. His kids love him so much, and he remains an everyday fixture in their lives. As his 4 year old let his balloon go to heaven, he chased it as it rose into the sky and yelled, “I love you daddy!”.  His kids sang the Lonestar song, I’m Already There just like they sang last Memorial Day.

We took his kids in our car as we left the cemetery.  It was a cold and windy day today, so I had sat in the van with Little Angel while Jodi’s family went through the second year of our new Memorial Day traditions.  I asked the kids if they could sing the Lonestar song for me as I did not hear it while sitting with Little Angel.  They said they needed the music, but the 4 year old then said, “I can sing you a song I made up for him”.  I told him I would love to hear it.  Hear are the lyrics he produced as we drove as best as I can remember.
I wish you didn’t have to die Daddy 
You are always in my heart wherever I go                                                   
I know you help me all the time even when I am not at home
You are always in my heart
I wish you didn’t have go away
I love you Daddy
You’re my daddy and I miss you
I know you always help me even though you are in Heaven
You are always in my heart
Jordan, your children are making you proud.  Little man 4 year old is quite a man of the house.  They are helping your sweetheart every day, and you are, as your son sang it, always in their hearts.

Jordan is the youngest of 6 kids.  He has 4 sisters.  It is a well known fact in the family that his older sisters often dressed him up when he was little.  There are pictures of him in tutus and other ballet attire. It is not for this reason that the dance recital made me think of him.  As we were replacing the grass with concrete one day, it was time for me and Jodi to take the girls to their dance recital.  Jordan stopped working, grabbed his kids, and came to support his nieces.  This dance recital ended up being about two hours long.  Except for the 10 minutes my daughter was on the stage, the other 110 minutes had me wanting to jump off the balcony.  Jordan never complained.  He made my daughters feel how important they were to him.  I am grateful for that.

The last time I saw Jordan was on a Saturday afternoon in late July.  We all decided to go swimming at the American Fork swimming pool.  I had an homework assignment that was due the next week, and felt I had to leave as soon as possible to get to work on it.  Jodi had taken some cake as it had been EC’s birthday earlier that week.  Everyone else was staying to have dessert, but that assignment for me was pressing.  I remember as I was walking away, Jordan yelled, “Chris, good to see you and thanks for coming”.  I waved back and got in my car to go home not knowing that I should have been cherishing the remaining opportunities I would have to talk with Jodi’s brother.  I would never see him again.

Jordan, I want you to know that I am grateful you are my brother in law.  As you know, you married an amazing woman who loves you so much.  You two had the perfect love story.  Your children love you and are very proud of you.  They know because of the blessings of the temple, they will be with you again as a family.  It is not just an understanding that you are in Heaven and that they will be in Heaven too, it is a knowledge that because of being married in God’s temple, you will be together in Heaven as a family unit with you as their father.  What a blessing that is.

We miss you Jordan!  You are always in our hearts!


Jordan’s Handy work
jordanwork3 jordanwork jordanwork2
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Memorial Day 2010
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  1. I remember Jordan, and his laugh and his smile and his kindness clear back from Kindergarten. And I remember hearing about the wreck like it was yesterday, and calling my mom and crying to her on the phone. They were all great men, but I knew Jordan most and am still to this day in disbelief that it happened. I love reading stories about what a wonderful man he was, because I know he was amazing through school. :)

  2. Tonight I needed to read this (and the one before it). Thank you.

  3. This is an amazing entry. Thank you for sharing. I think your whole family is phenomenal.