Yeew! That greeting is synonymous in my family, as I’m sure it is for many of you, with Jack. Bursting with energy, life and enthusiasm. In fact in my house Jack actually became ‘Yew’! As in – ‘I saw Yew down the road or ‘Mum, Yew called for you’.
Now I will never be able to hear that greeting without feeling loss. The loss of someone incredible. The loss of someone who lit up any space he was in. The loss of someone who, once met, would never, ever be forgotton, even if that meeting was only fleeting.
We are forever changed for meeting Jack – and how lucky are we to have had Jack in our lives.
He was a beautiful ray of sunshine who lit up our lives after we lost his dad, John.
John was unbelievably proud of his son. When I was pregnant for the first time, John would regularly bring this beautiful, white-haired baby around to our Mullum home, ostensibly to get me prepared and to ‘give me practice’ but really he was just showing off his gorgeous son. John honoured me by asking me to be Jack’s godmother.
Over the years, many of us got to bathe in the light of Jack: Regular time with my dad, Peter, at Crabbes Creek as a boy; Easter, Christmas and sulky races with his cousins; Fishing on the local beaches and Yamba with Hamish; and then Dad took Jack as a young adult on a trip overseas to Turkey.
As an adult, Jack continued to embody that joy of life we knew in him as a child and I was lucky enough to experience this with him at the Teepee forest – oh yes, Jacky Boi knew how to party!
But it was his mum, Debra, who always had Jack’s heart. A friend messaged me the other day with memories of Jack. They had reconnected recently but it was something he had said when he was younger that really stood out for her.
He had told her that he is who he is because of his mum.
I will never forget how much he loved you Deb.
Vale Jack Paris! May that beautiful light of yours shine on forever in our hearts.