Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Coming and Going


A Happy Arrival!



       Another grandchild!   She is my sixth grandkid (I can hardly believe it) and my fifth granddaughter.  This is the second child of my youngest daughter, Angelina, and her partner Ray.  Logan Maria Lego was born in the afternoon on Monday November 6th.  Though it will after New Years before I can see her in person, I am excited to meet her.




     According to my daughter, the inspiration for Logan's name comes from the character Wolverine.  I guess Ray and Angie must be fans. 



    Everyone is saying that Logan looks like either my daughter, Angie, or her big sister, Marley.   Either way that would certainly make sense to me, but I've never been able to tell much who a baby looks like.  I'd say she looks like herself--beautiful!

On a Sad Note...

       In the early hours of the Wednesday morning November 8th, my youngest brother, Jeff, passed away from a heart attack.  He had been living in Nashville, Tennessee for many years.  I had been looking forward to visiting him on my way to New Jersey during the Christmas break, but now it looks like I'll be picking up his ashes from the mortuary where he will be cremated.    Then I'll take his remains to be interred next to our parents in Maryville, Tennessee.  He'd been wanting to go back to Maryville.  Now he will be home at last.

       Born in San Diego on Halloween of 1962, Jeff had just turned 55.  As a small child he was one of the youngest jugglers in the world having learned the skill at age three.  By age five he could juggle five objects, which is no easy feat.  In later years he developed a passion for music.  He had an amazing talent in all sports.

       In high school Jeff began displaying signs of mental illness.  He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and moved through a number of of care facilities throughout his life.   This was a burdensome heartbreak for my parents and especially for my mother after my father died in 1991.  My mother faithfully visited Jeff on a regular basis when he was living nearby and as often as she could when he was housed farther away until her death in 2014.  At that point I became Jeff's conservator.

        It was not easy for me to visit very often, but Jeff and I spoke via phone on a regular basis.   I will miss those conversations.  He would usually talk about CD's that he wanted me to buy for him or about his favorite musical artists.  However, there were those times when we had interesting conversations about life, death, and family.  Jeff would at times have unique outlooks concerning what was in his head or at other times absolutely crack me up with his odd sense of humor.  He too enjoyed a good laugh when I would connect with him with my own humor.  Yes, I will miss his calls.

        Something that he frequently told me was that he was saved by Jesus Christ and someday he would be in heaven.  I guess it sounds cliched, but I do believe he is in a far better place where he has peace and clarity.  Just as he never failed to end our conversations with "Love you Lee," I will leave him with that same thought:   "Jeff, my brother, I love you."

Jeff Jackson at about age 9






46 comments:

  1. Hi Lee - I'm so pleased to read this about Logan - congratulations ... yet of course sad to read about your brother and his challenges through life - he will be peace soon ... when he finally reaches your parents and he's back in Maryville. Take care and with thoughts - Hilary

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    1. Hilary, Jeff deserves some peace now. He's had a life that I find difficult to fathom.

      Lee

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  2. So happy for you about your new arrival, I'm sure you must be looking forward to holding her.

    Sorry about your brother, what else can one say.

    Take care Lee and hope your weekend is all you wish it to be.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I'm very excited about seeing all of my grandchildren during the holiday season. A new baby is a bonus.

      Lee

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  3. Lee, I'm really sorry. Prayers for you and your family. The one blessing is that he knew Jesus.
    Congratulations on your granddaughter. Logan - what an awesome name.

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    1. Alex, Jeff mentioned Jesus frequently--he'd heard a lot from my father.

      I guess Logan is kind of awesome from the pop culture perspective. I'm getting used to the name and I'm sure Logan will make her name something special in regards to herself.

      Lee

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  4. Oh, she's adorable!

    But I am so sorry about your brother, Lee. I wish I could do more than pray for him.

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    1. Pop Tart, at this point I guess prayers are more for the living. Jeff is in greater hands now.

      Lee

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  5. Congratulations! on the new arrival, wish her many blessings.

    So sorry to hear about your brother, it's a particularly difficult loss to cope with when a younger family member passes away. Peace to you and to him.

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    1. Nilanjana, for many years Jeff was essentially out of sight, out of mind for me. I'm glad I had a chance to reconnect with him more in his later years.

      Lee

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  6. Wonderful news about the grand baby but I am so very sorry about your youngest brother.

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    1. L.Diane, maybe it was good that the two things happened close together.

      Lee

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  7. Congratulations on the new grandchild, and condolences for the loss of your brother.

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  8. I'm so sorry to hear about your dear brother's passing, but I'm happy to hear about the arrival of your new grandbaby. Joy and sorrow are such conjoined twins, often occurring together or in close proximity.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, it's much worse when there is a concentration of sorrow all at once. The new baby represents optimism and future to me.

      Lee

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  9. Congratulations on the new baby but so sorry about your brother. Your post is really a "cycle of life" one.

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    1. JoJo, I had actually thought about incorporating the "cycle of life" phrase into the post title because really this week has represented that so much to me.

      Lee

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  10. If I were a believer in such things, I'd say that was a real "Lightning Crashes" moment. As it is CONGRATS!!!! ...and condolences.

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    1. CW, the birth was expected, but the death came as a bit of a shock.

      Lee

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  11. A new baby! And then, loss of your brother. Delight and sorrow.

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    1. Susan, strange how life works sometimes.

      Lee

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  12. This is a beautiful post. You welcomed Logan with joy. And, you wrote a wonderful tribute for Jeff. You did this perfectly. Hugs.

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    1. Annie, thank you so much! Right now I needed those encouraging words.

      Lee

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  13. Sorry to hear about your Brother, LEE. But if he trusted in Jesus and believed he was saved by Christ, then he most definitely WAS!

    Honestly, I myself would rather be on THAT side with Christ Yeshua than on this side... waiting.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. STMcC, I totally get what you're saying. This old world is getting more disappointing day by day.

      Lee

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  14. So sorry to hear of Jeff's death Arlee, may his dear soul rest in peace. You've mentioned him over the years, his particular sense of humour is one I recall. He will be missed for sure, may you and family be at peace too.
    Many congratulations on the birth of Logan! She looks too beautiful. Imagine meeting up with all of them soon!

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    1. Susan S, I will probably have happier memories of Jeff now than I would have if he had wasted away in an institution. The quality of his life had been diminishing despite the fact that he was getting good care.

      I'm anxious to see all the grandkids.

      Lee

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  15. I am so sorry for your loss, Lee. It's hard to deal with, even though your brother had a difficult life which I'm sure was worrisome for you and your parents.

    That baby is beautiful! You must really be looking forward to that visit.

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    1. Patricia, the new addition is the bright spot for the future.

      Lee

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  16. My dearest Lee, My thoughts are with you and the rest of Jeff's siblings. I hope you will send in a tribue to Jeff for publication in the Jackson Brigade quarterly to John M. If you do, send in some pictures. I always loved the one showing all of you juggling. Also let him know about the birth of Logan. I love you. Aunt Nancy

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    1. Thank you Aunt Nancy. I'll try to get that tribute done soon.

      Lee

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  17. Such a beautiful granddaughter! You must be a proud Grandpa, Lee. Sincere condolences on the passing of your brother Jeff. May he rest in peace in Tennessee.

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    1. Debbie D, very proud Grandpa! Proud of all of my grandchildren.

      lee

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  18. Lee,

    First, congrats on another beautiful grandbaby! What joyful news! Oh, my heart aches for you, my friend. I know what it's like to loss a brother. I hated reading this sad news. I know you're going to miss him but you're right, he is in a better place. That doesn't take away the pain but in time it'll get better. You're in my thoughts and prayers, my friend. God bless!

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    1. Cathy, prayers are always welcomed no matter what the reason.

      Lee

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  19. Congratulations on a beautiful baby girl! She is so precious!

    I am so sorry for your loss, hope you're okay! Sending love your way!

    http://tropicalcolours.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Colours, Thank you so much for your sentiments.

      Lee

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  20. What a bittersweet post. Hearty congratulations on the birth of your sixth grandchild! Logan is precious and beautiful.
    And deep sympathies on the loss of your brother. It sounds like you two had a very special bond and you no doubt were an important and significant part of his life. Now he is at peace and I'm sure he and your parents had a wonderful reunion.

    The cycle of life... bittersweet.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, yeah, it really was a "cycle of life" kind of week.

      Lee

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  21. I want to offer both my congratulations and my condolences. While it's no true comfort, it's definitely the sad truth of life. I wish you the best and hope you cherish your granddaughter.

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    1. Robert, thank you so kindly. Plain truth is that we are all destined for eventual death.

      Lee

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  22. It's always amazing to me - one new life comes into the world and another leaves. Congratulations on your beautiful granddaughter - what a cutie!

    So sorry to hear of your brothers passing. My sister passed in 2015 at age 56 and I still have my days. Life does go on - enjoy your visits with your growing family.

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    1. Debby, it's tough to see a loved one leave us so early, but as you say life has to go on. Life is for the living.

      Lee

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  23. Logan Maria is a beautiful baby. Her pictures are wonderful. I know you enjoy looking at them.

    I'm sorry to read of your brother's passing. I have a sister with schizophrenia and it is a challenge. I'm still a Baptist but the disease changes how you look at the world. Eastern religions teach that people like your brother and my sister come here to teach the rest of us something. I think that is true. I also think he is in a better place.

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    1. Ann, mental afflictions are a tough challenge, but they are life lessons for all of us. We all see things in different ways and mental illness is very different in some ways, but also the same in others.

      Lee

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Lee