He sits in the lobby, humming a song only he can hear. He is slight and frail, but his greetings of “hello sweety” or wave for anyone who passes are all the proof you need to know that he is gentle and strong, a matriarch of wisdom and old fashioned goodness.
The celebration of his 100th birthday last month seems to have been both a milestone and the clearance of another life hurdle. Yet, as any over achiever will attest, such victories are usually followed by a sense of loss and uncertainty. What next? For Jack the answer is death.
Not the grim extinction of a life unlived, but the natural culmination of a task completed. He is ready soon. He is tired of overcoming blindness, loss of hearing, declining mobility. He is alone in a population of 100, he misses his one true love and longs to be with his angel in heaven.
This time last year he was whistling his way to the market. He saw sunshine through the clouds, and spread brightness and optimism everywhere he went. Now he sits.
Is he a man without purpose, though? It might take some reminding from time to time but he still has the power to deliver joy to anyone who walks by. He fills my spirit bank every day; I collect it and invest it as long as I can, so I can share the wealth of Jack after he is gone.
So, let me tell you about Jack. Jack is the mold. You know how people say god got it right and then he broke the mold so it could never be repeated? Jack is the mold.