I am going to try something here….
I realize that some of Michele’s and my co-workers are here today out of respect for us and we both truly appreciate this deeply.
These remarks are directed to those that knew my son, Jordan.
Mom & Dad, Please stand up for a second and face those assembled here today.
My Dad is 93 years old and my parents, who live in Florida, do not fly to NewYork/ New Jersey any more. They do NOT know over 98% of you and may never see you again once they return to Florida this week. I want to show them something.
By a show of hands, how many of you knew Jordan?
If he touched your heart, can those that loved him for the wonderful person he was, please stand up.
You see Mom& Dad…you are not alone. Thank you….kindly be seated…..
Ok everyone….stop your crying and tears for a moment.
This is NOT a time for discussing why my 23 year old son died at the peak of his life. If I did that, I might not finish until tomorrow. This is not a time for grief…it is a time for celebration… of Jordan’s life. Jackie Robinson, the Dodger Hall of Famer’s headstone reads:
“It’s Not How You Live Your Life,
But How You Impact The Lives Around You.”
The Rabbi yesterday asked Michele, Nuri and I to share a little about Jordan’s life. We asked him how much time he has. After one hour, the Rabbi asked us to stop because he was on ‘overload.’ He said Jordan didn’t just live ONE life. “Based upon what he has accomplished, he crammed 4 lives into his 23 years of living.”
So let’s mention some things that characterized his life.
He loved alcohol and was a heavy drinker. (sarcasm)
He used drugs whenever he could. (sarcasm)
At an early age I had to constantly warn him about the dangers of eating too much meat. (sarcasm)
He was a mess. Fortunately, he cleaned up his act. (sarcasm)
Early in his life, Jordan exhibited a rare gift. He could make people laugh. He carried a spark around that his aunts, uncles, relatives, and friends could plainly see. Jordan made it easy to like him. He also had a habit of doing things that got him into trouble. When he was 14 years old, the principal called on Jordan’s 1st day of High School to tell me my son was in a fight. When he arrived home, I inquired what caused the fight and he said a big kid was picking on a smaller kid. Did you know the little kid, I asked? He said “NO….does that make a difference?” That’s when I realized how special he was… and would become a leader among his peers..
There are many instances where he helped people that touched his life as well as those he did not know. They are too numerous to share with you today. Those that know him will have their own special stories to remember him by. Jordan’s legacy might be summed up in his last remark to our friend, John Dahlquist, whose 25 year old daughter, Janelle, was in a coma a few weeks ago from a freak horse accident. He said to John….”Call me if you need help.” Jordan was ALWAYS available to help those in need.
While in High School he was elected school President and when I asked him his plans, he said “I wish to change this school for the better.” He found ways to increase school spirit and raised money for charities thru the introduction of a cafeteria juke box. He was the only non-actor to travel to the prestigious Thespian Fringe Festival in Edinborough, Scotland, and made many friends from all over the world.
While trying to get into college, he applied for a $4,000 scholarship and had to write a 500 word essay ….on “Who do you most admire?” Many might pick their Mom or Dad, their religious leader, George Washington, the Pope, Albert Einstein, or whomever. Jordan won this scholarship by writing ….”The person I most admire is BUGS BUNNY”….because he makes little kids smile. What better job in the world can there be than seeing the child’s face go from fear to love in a split second…he wrote. While working at Great Adventure….who do you think was Bugs Bunny?”
In his senior year at college, he returned to England for a semester and when his dozen other international students there handed out nicknames, based upon their personality characteristics, they gave Jordan the nickname “Father” for his ability to be the glue that kept everyone happy and together. He was loved in England and he was loved by everyone that came in contact with him…. Everyone here today is blessed to have known him and be a small part of his wonderful life.
Following college he joined the International AFL-CIO organization and went around the country working as a recruiter and union organizer. So, if you really want to know why the Angel’s took Jordan… It’s because they needed to get all the Angel’s Unionized!!!. Go get ‘em Tiger!!!! We will always remember you and love you!!!