Today was the day family, friends and work colleagues said farewell to our dear IT Manager, Adrian Jeffers.
Truth be told, since I left the company in December 2012, I haven’t spoken or seen Adrian a lot, but he certainly left an indelible mark on me and many others during the years we worked with him.
The magnitude of Adrian’s loved ones and colleagues that filled the large chapel to celebrate his life, was testimony that his presence was indeed felt and appreciated.
I have never in all my years been to a funeral and experienced this kind of love and harmony after the ceremony. Yes, there was weeping, but it was like a happy days reunion of his entire home and work circle.
It kinda gave me a little insight as to what heaven would be like (hopefully I’ll get there one day…far away after a well-lived life!).
The eulogy and tributes hit the nail on the head – some more than others, but there are a few things that stood out for me and I will paraphrase and add my thoughts.
Adrian (or Jeffers/Jeff as he was commonly endeared by us) had this sense of humor that softened the blow of his sharp wit and sarcasm. When he told you something whether in jest or what-not, you know there was a large ounce of honesty therein.
In some cases, it made you pinch yourself, or just laugh yourself silly. You couldn’t even get angry with Adrian (even if you wanted to), because he had this jolly laugh like Santa which was contagious.
I recently got reunited with a few co-workers and we were all reminiscing a few months ago about all the fun memories and funny moments we shared that somehow had been forgotten and trapped in our collective history.
I’m glad I took the time to find out some interesting things about him and his family’s history…
- His aunt was Audrey Jeffers (who had the highway named after her).
- His family had a wonderful pharmacy and rich legacy behind it.
- He migrated to the US as a child.
- He worked as a US Marine for many years.
One of his family members shared sentiments that I always talk about:
Don’t wait for someone to die to appreciate them. Tell them how you feel and show them your appreciation while they are alive. Try to remember the good things they did and try to forget about the bad.
(My additions would be, if that person has been extremely good to you, don’t give up on them, put yourself in their shoes, be patient and observe patterns for change.)
The deacon (who I believe was the [Catholic] deacon) also said something interesting:
When you look at Adrian in that coffin, think about if it was you and if you would be ready when your time comes. You won’t see anything with him and you won’t be able to take anything with you either. Not your house, not your bank account, not your car.
To paraphrase: Live to leave a mark on the world, by how you make people feel, even in your state(s) of imperfection or confusion.
Adrian was many things to us all: Father, big brother, uncle far removed, teacher, pharmacist (I forgot the story) and well boss to some, and bossy to others (smile).
I could still hear him laughing and smiling with all 32 pearly whites showing his glee.
I remember rubbing his bald head on the odd occasion I came back to visit and hearing him saying something that was 12 kinds of funny.
Adrian was a funny man (in a ha ha way).
He was a wise man.
He was a fair man.
He was an honest man.
He was a hardworking man.
He was an industrious man, always researching and looking for solutions.
He was a helpful man.
He was a fun-loving man.
From what I heard today, he was a praying man. And upon hearing the news of his death last Saturday and reading his WhatsApp status, he wrote almost a year ago (December 31st 2016), I knew that he sensed his time was near and was preparing the way…(Ironically, same as my Dad).
“YOU. May enter and experience it now. No need to die first.”
Rest well Adrian, until we meet again. Daddy, please take care of him.