Armand Jordan 1938-2006
We lost him today. For months he fought the odds. His life force wouldn’t let either himself or us give up. Conversations were held when there was no windpipe. The man in the hospital bed delivering words of encouragement to the people for whom he made life complete. Does it seem impossible?
Not for Armand Jordan.
I fell in love with his son. Armand folded me into the family. Unconditional love from the second meeting and trust from the first. Sure it took Monty Python and Billy Connelly’s fart jokes, not to mention a shit load of Mexican food but Armand had two perspectives, good and not good.
Monday morning grunts of approval from Jon’s Dad came to mean as much to me as weekends with the son. Strange? probably. Unusual? Certainly. But no one who knew him will be surprised by the declaration.
This is a man who upon seeing his first child buy a house was too happy for words. He was a man who once told me his second daughter could paint anything, and when she decided what she wanted to paint no one could touch her. Of Jon he often said, “he’ll make it happen.” and of the first daughter, he said “she can write words that reach other people.”
He’s so proud of them all. Paul and Jon and Jen4 and Dianne. His eyes twinkle as he discusses them. They’ve come to realize dreams and they’re not half done yet. the world is full of possibilities and he’s raised this group to reach for the stars.
For Karen he has only the deepest love. “Marriage isn’t easy,” he says on those Monday mornings. “But it is the best thing in life if you love the person you’re married to.”
“You love Jon? Don’t you?” And for a second I see papa bear. Promise to myself I’ll never let the father down. I love the son. I’m happy I got to love the father. Tonight I love Jordan. Period. Memories, future, and now. We are who we are in no small part due to this man. He has taught us all to reach for what we will become and we will be more for what he gave us. He is here. Always. I love him and so he continues to be.
Is it memory if you see the eyes twinkling or the grin that means trouble? Those are here now. Armand will be here always.
There are many things I take for granted. Every time I pick up a wrench or a screwdriver I have every confidence that what ever I take apart will go back together and be better than when I started. Ever time I pick up a wrench or a screwdriver it’s my Father’s hand that is guiding it. He started teaching me early. Not just mechanics, but about life and people and the world around me. Not a day goes by that I don’t have his influence driving something I do. He told me never start a fight and never loose one. So far so good. He taught me that if I wanted to do something all I had to do it. Trust God he said.
He was there to teach me lot of things. He was also smart enough to know when to let me learn some of life’s lessons the hard way. And if I stumbled or fell he was there to pick me up and dust me off. No judgment, just acceptance.
He worked eighty hour weeks when I was younger, coming home and falling asleep before dinner. Yet he still had time for us. Every Sunday the family went somewhere and he made the day special. He would later tell me he wished he had spent more time with us. He spent as much time with us as he could, and the truth is there would never have been enough.
In the past 6 months I had a bit too much time to think about things said and unsaid. Too many what ifs and whys. And now what’s said is said and what’s done is done. I know my father was proud of me and my brother and sisters. I just hope he knew how proud I was of him and how much respect I had for him. He did some pretty amazing things in his life time. Not change the world amazing or cure cancer amazing, but amazing none the less. He touched a lot of lives and made a difference to a lot of people.
I know he was happy for who we had become. I hope he knows that who we are is because of him.
Who am I?
Armand Jordan’s son Jon