June 1, 2015

Saying Goodbye

This has been a whirlwind kind of month, with high highs, and low lows.  We had our little Henry and have been so happy to have him in our family.  But then we lost a pivotal member of the Jacobs family - Mike's dad Kendall. 
 Since he passed away almost 2 weeks ago, I've been thinking of what I could possibly say to convey my feelings on this wonderful person that I had to privilege of knowing for the past 16 years or so.  I'm not eloquent, and I may not be able to see the screen though his haze of tears, but I hope I can do it justice. 

  He was one of the first people I met when we moved to Salem when I was 17.  He came over with Michael and Mike's cousin Glenn to help us move the fridge into the house.  Since then, he made an effort to show he cared about me as an individual.  That's what he did for people - he cared.
   You could spot him a mile away with his checkered shirts, his khaki pants, his socks and sandals, and of course, the sweatband.  He was steady.  He was constant.  He was always there for you, no matter who you were.  He was on the phone here, talking to everyone at home and letting them know we were all going to go get ice cream after the park.  He was such a fun guy, and was always thinking of fun things for his family to do.
   He hated for anyone to be inconvenienced.  He would clean up the tables at a restaurant better than a team of men in Hazmat suits could have done.  He was kind.  Everyone in town knew Doc Jacobs, and loved him.  They all felt he was their best friend, and he didn't forget anyone.
   He was a family man, through and through.  He cared more for his wonderful wife than for anyone else in the world.  If he even had an inkling that she needed or wanted something, he was off in a flash.  They counted on each other, and made a terrific team.  I'm so glad Mike got to watch that relationship growing up, because I know it helped shape him into the wonderful husband he is.
   Our kids are privileged to have the best grandparents in the world.  I truly believe that.  And Grandpa Jacobs was no exception.  He LOVED those kids.  My kids had more meals consisting of potato chips and popscicles when we would visit than anything else, because he loved to spoil them rotten.  I'm sitting here sobbing thinking of him pushing the grandkids on the swing on the porch.  How many times did I see him do that?  More than I could ever count.  And he would do it until they were sick of it.  Hours.  Their time together was important to him.  And I think they knew that.
He even made time for the big kids.  :)
   All of the kids had such a great relationship with their dad.  Mike always looked to his dad for advice and guidance and was never led astray.  Since we first started dating, I felt like I was part of the family.  I really appreciated that, and always felt like he was a special part of my family.

  He always had fun with his family, and I will always be able to recall with clarity his infectious laugh and smile.  He was so interested in his kids.  Everything they accomplished was met with joy.  He truly thought his kids were the best little tykes on the planet.
Grandpa Jacobs was one of Andrew's absolute heroes.  He always found things to show and tell Grandpa, and knew he would "just love it."  And he always did.  I was worried about how he would react to Grandpa's death, but he actually helped me to see what I already knew.  At the visitation, he was looking at the casket and said, "It looks like Grandpa, but Mom, it's just his body.  His spirit lives with Heavenly Father.  This is just his body."  And that is true.

   Nothing can quite take away the sadness that I feel losing my father-in-law.  Nothing can quite take away the sadness of knowing he isn't here anymore to go to for advice or a story or to show him something that he thinks is "AMAZING!".  We all feel the loss.  But I am so grateful to have been his daughter-in-law.  I am so grateful to have known and loved him, because I did love him so very very much.  I'm happy that my husband had such an amazing daddy, because I know he took lessons from this amazing guy.

 I left the funeral wanting to be better.  To be kinder.  To laugh more.  To share my love of Jesus Christ more.  To be a better parent.  To be a better person.
I saw a quote recently that said, "I want to be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody."  I love that.  For the past few years, I've been working on trying to see people as they truly are.  I want to see them as important, no matter the circumstance.   Thank you, Ken Jacobs.  Thank you for ALWAYS being somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody amazing.  You made a huge impact for good on this earth.  You made a huge impact for good in my family.  You did a wonderful job with your time here on earth. 
I sure do love you.


Lori said...

So sorry for your loss. He sounds like an amazing person.

drew said...

I thought I'd cried all my tears...yet here I am misting up reading what you wrote and looking at the pictures. What a wonderful guy he was. It's always been joked that I'm the 8th Jacobs kid, but Ken and Barbara made me know that I really am. I sure am going to miss that guy. There aren't enough in this world like him.

kirsten said...

Oh, hugs for your family. So sorry you lost him so early.

Mom said...

Thank you, Karen. You said many of the things we have all been thinking.