Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brotherly Love and Loss

I lost a brother last night. We shared no blood, we weren’t stepbrothers, not related by marriage. But if any man could truly be called a “brother from another mother”, it was him. He was the kind of person who was always there for you, whether it was to have fun, or to listen to your troubles or to help you out. His last name was Jones, and we called him Big Jones. Physically, he was a huge SOB, it’s true. He got tagged with the name for obvious reasons. However, if you were ever around him, you knew that his presence far exceeded his physical size. He walked into a room, or hell – into a bike rally, and you just KNEW he was there, even if you didn’t hear him speak with that naturally loud, booming voice he had. But he was THERE.

He was a Sergeant At Arms for his chapter of our club, and I know good and well he was capable of carrying out the less pleasant functions of that office, but he always projected a happy, smiling face. The funny thing is that with his size, he could have easily been intimidating if he wanted to, but I never saw him try to be. Matter of fact, once you got to know him, which didn’t take long, you stopped noticing that he was so big. You just saw the smile. Big smile – you never stopped noticing that. He was a happy man who wanted everyone around him to be happy, too.

If you were lucky enough to get to know him, you loved him. Period. End of story. He became part of your family. His family was your family. His door was open to you simply for the asking. He and his wife Stephanie once handed over their house to me, my infant daughter and her mother when my wee one got overheated and sick while camping at a bike rally. They stayed at the rally, but they lived a half hour away, and they just took us to the house and trusted us with their home; no questions asked. Big heart – you always knew that about Big Jones, too.

I’ve spent the day in pain, hurting, crying with the loss of a beloved brother taken from this world far too soon. But I’ve also smiled, remembering good times, fun times, and always that big fucking smile, and his voice saying “How YOU doin’!?” or “What ha’ happent wuz……” Or the times that his work related travels brought him to Austin, and he’d text a lot of us to invite us to meet him at Twin Peaks for happy hour. Which he’d usually end up paying for. I really hate it that he did that a couple weeks ago and I couldn't make it because I was at work. Funny the things you don't think about at the time that you regret later.

The one solace I take is that he went out doing something he loved doing: riding.  At least he got that. I only hope that when my time comes, I can go in a similar way.

This should remind us, and of course it does, like all unexpected deaths do, not to take life for granted. Not to take those we care about for granted. Take the time to really appreciate what you have. Appreciate the people in your life – don’t just say you love them, take the time to feel that love, and to tell them what you feel. I don’t mean to sound all mushy and touchy-feely, but seriously – what’s wrong with telling someone that? If you love someone, then they’re your family in some way, and since when is it wrong to tell your family you love them?

Jeff “Big Jones” Jones. Devoted husband, loving father, dedicated Gypsy, beloved brother-from-another-mother to so many. My brother, I raise my glass to you and wish you well on your transfer to the Forever Chapter of Gypsy MC. I’m honored to have known you and to have been your brother.

I love you and will miss you.

GBNF (Gone  But Never Forgotten)

GFFG (Gypsy Forever Forever Gypsy)

LL&R (Love, Loyalty & Respect)

(November 25, 2013)

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