Well done my good and faithful servant, John J. Jayson Sr.
After 78 years of a vibrant life, my grandfather, John Jefferson Jayson, Sr. passed away today. It didn’t come as a shock considering that he had been sick for a while, but for some reason it was something of a shock to me. I consider myself very even-keeled; I tend to be very matter-of-fact about most things and tend to not get very emotional. For some reason, this was different for me, though. I knew in my heart that my grandfather was nearing this end of his life-journey, but when I got the call that he was admitted to hospice on Friday night, it felt….different.
Unlike most of my friends, up until today, I still had both sets of grandparents, maternal and paternal. Until recently, I even have great-grandparents on both sides. In my life, death was something of a specter lurking in the distance as opposed to something that was real and tangible. My father sent me a text late Friday night while I was out with friends. Already 3 sake bombs in, I still knew something was wrong when I saw his message
When you get this, give Mom a call
Even in my sake-induced haze, I knew something was wrong. I stepped outside and called my mother immediately. We had a very matter-of-fact conversation, and I told her I would drive down as soon as I could. When I walked back in with my friends, I told them I had to leave because my grandfather was very sick and had been admitted to hospice. Even as the words left my mouth, I couldn’t really believe it. My grandfather was such a fixture in my life; I couldn’t imagine my life without him. As the words came out, no longer was I matter-of-fact or emotion-less. Out of nowhere, the tears came. I cried for my grandmother, because she was losing her soulmate of over 60 years. I cried for my mother, knowing how difficult this was going to be for her. Finally, I cried for myself, knowing that I would never see my grandfather again.
When the family was finally all together at the hospice, it was just like old times. My younger sister, who lives in L.A., couldn’t get a flight out, made a video and we played it in the room. As we all sat in my grandfather’s room, we laughed and talked, as we always have when family gets together. Some people may not understand why that was important, but even though he couldn’t talk and laugh with us, I KNEW deep down that my grandfather knew we were all there.
Quiet hours at my grandfather’s hospice start at 10pm, so when the nurse came around at 9:30 to gently usher us out, I helped to corral people so that we could leave on time. We all agreed that we would come back later on the next day to sit with my granddaddy, but somehow I knew that this was the last time i would see him.
About 2:45am that morning we got the call that my grandfather had taken his last breath. John Jefferson Jayson: Father, Brother, Uncle, Friend, Philanthropist, and all around wonderful human being left his earthly body on Monday July 23rd. If he didn’t teach me anything at all, he taught me the value of a dollar, the value of a hard days work, and above all else, he taught me how to be a living example of God’s love.
I love you Granddaddy. Rest in Paradise and I can’t wait to see you again.
“Well done my good and faithful servant” Matthew 25:21