Friday, December 11, 2009

a place for you, my love

Also posted on Widow's Voice



I've struggled this past year and a half to find the 'right' words to mark Jeff's life and his person on a commemorative bench on the West Coast of this island, in a the small fishing village where we met, fell in love and started our life together.
I needed to find something that would bring 'him' to life in a phrase for those who knew him and for those who didn't, a taste of who he really was. I poured over letters and cards he wrote me, his favourite songs, poems, common phrases, even his funeral program. In frustration, I asked our very good friend, Jimmy (aka Dad) how he would describe my love. Without hesitation, he said, "Jeff Chandler - A Truly Loving and Irritating Man"
In those brief words, he summed up Jeff for those who knew him. He hinted at his persona to those who didn't.
I was concerned that some may feel offended or feel that Jeff had been insulted. I called his family for their feelings on it. Everyone laughed. Everyone remembered Jeff as he was - 'loving and irritating'.
He was a pest. Those he loved, he loved ferociously and protectively. He laughed often. He joked always. He was full of hugs and kisses (and licks to the face) even for his buddies who hated it - and he loved that they hated it.
I am pleased that those of us who knew him will conjure these images when we read those words and sit upon his bench. I am so glad, as well, that those who didn't know this kind, loud and humourous man will read the inscription, laugh and wonder. Even in his death, he is making others chuckle....And I think that is right. I think that it so fitting.
So with a fond smirk and eternal love for the man who could love and irritate like no other, a bench has been placed upon a point of land overlooking the sea that he so adored. I hope that it offers some solace for those of us who are missing him and a giggle for all who read the inscription.

22 comments:

The Jagow Family said...

Perfect! Although I have never met you, nor Jeff, I have been a follower of your blog for a long time. When I clicked on your blog this morning, I read that and silently giggled. Perfect sums it up for me. Perfect! :)

Marissa said...

Oh honey, i honestly just choked up upon reading it. its so perfect for how you've described jeff. i'm sure he'd laugh a big belly laugh over it. PERFECT.

ryanandjoesmom said...

From what you have described to me and what I have read through your words - this is the perfect summation of your Jeff!

leigh in the sav said...

perfection.

Mrs. Spit said...

Thank you for sharing Jeff so freely with us. When I read this, I thought back to some of the photo's you have posted, and I nodded my head and smiled.

Amber said...

That is a fabulous inscription, it really is. It makes me smile, I bet it would make Jeff smile, too.

Miss K said...

Love it.

Jen said...

Wonderful! It made me laugh, and better, it left a sweet idea of the man Jeff really was. Good for you for not shying away from the best and not so great.

Bonnie said...

That is so AWESOME!
I love it.

Anonymous said...

I am a mom of 3, wife, teacher, breast cancer survivor and lurker. I love this. It made me smile. I am so sorry Jeff is not here to see this or the wonderful job you are doing with your 2 beautiful kids.

Mel

Jenn said...

This is so great. I have never met him, but through your words, through your writings, I feel like I did. This made me smile and laugh out loud.

darcie said...

Awesome! I cannot say enough how much I love that you went with your heart on this one instead of picking the 'traditional' plaque that would go in such a place - that wouldn't of been you, and it certainly wouldn't of been Jeff.
How awesome! I hope one day to sit upon this bench and look out over that sea myself! xoxo

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! JEFF to a 'T'!!!!

Amber said...

I love this, and can imagine that people for generations to come will read this inscription and laugh. From what I've read about him here, this is just perfect.

Caroline said...

Awesome!!!!

Poppy and Mei said...

Brilliant...XXxx.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Makes me feel like I knew him.

Nan

Roads said...

That's excellent, Jackie. I'm writing about memorials just now, and this one made me laugh.

There's an easy temptation to turn our lost loved ones into saints. And much as we miss them, I think it's healthy to keep a perspective on them as a person.

This inscription hits it perfectly, and with humour. And that's a rare achievement.

Ashley said...

That is so so great Jackie!

Kelly said...

Love it!

SillyCon said...

Love it! So not contrived, so real. I laughed out loud when I read it, just beauiful.

Rach said...

I think its wonderful. xxx