Valerie Underwood

As a believer, to be in the presence of a truly faithful, holy person is awe-inspiring. This was Jack. When I looked into his eyes I knew he was touched by and a man of God. Jack exuded love, kindness, gentleness and compassion. He walked a life of devotion to God and his faith and by doing so, showed many of us the way. Not by preaching or judging, but by just being. The differences many Catholics and Protestants have never became a point of contention between us. Jack accepted me as a friend of his wife Trish first, then folded my family and I into his life calling us “friend” as he did all that crossed his path. And isn’t this what we all want – to be accepted as we are, where we are? Wow – how inspiring is that?! Even in death Jack inspires me. His Godly existence inspires me to better walk the life of a Christian. To do more for and in my community. To be a better mother, daughter, wife and friend. As he has shown me that I can, and must, do all of this. Jack has left a legacy of love that has made an enormous positive difference in the life of so many. So it isn’t surprising to see the outpouring of grief from so many at his tragic and sudden passing at such a young age. To us left behind it seems he had so much more to do, so much more of God’s love to share and so many more people to touch. It is here where our faith is challenged to understand the “why” of it all – why was he taken now? To which there is no concrete, definitive answer. So when remembering Jack I will endeavor to try and not ask the “why”. Instead, I will try my best to remember the “who, what and how” – who he was, what he showed me and how he did it. For when pondering those questions is where the peace lies. I find peace in knowing Jack had a glorious life well-lived full of inspiration. And the thanks: Thank you God for giving us your faithful servant Jack. Thank you oh Lord for showing us through him how You want us to live and to be. Thank you Lord for allowing me time to spend with him and the lessons I learned from him. And when sadness overcomes me for the loss of his body, help me feel the glory in knowing he is with You and that I too, with Your grace and mercy, will see him again one day. Amen.