Merry Christmas to all! Today’s post is not about food, but about a very dear friend, who passed away this week. I had known him my entire life, and he had been as close to my family and I, as any one can be. I just wanted to pay tribute to his impact on my life..
I have been fortunate enough to have known Jack Dawson my whole life. He has been my friend, and a mentor, since before I was even a “wee gleam in me faither’s eye”, (spoken with a full Irish brogue). He was one of the pillars of Ebenezer gospel hall, long before it became Rosemount bible church. My Granddad and Jack , were great friends, and if memory serves me right, Jack was present at the sod-turning of the original building that houses RBC, with Granddad! Jack and Kay, would often find themselves making their way south, during “that” season, that Montreal gets the odd snowfall…Just to visit with Gram and Gramps.. As I sit here, pondering what to recount to you, there are a myriad of memories racing thru my head.. I think I will attempt to convey just what Jack Dawson meant to me. If I had to describe him in 3 words, I think those words would be:
GODLY, FAITHFUL, REAL
GODLY, in the way he raised his children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The way he conducted himself, the way that he pastored his church. He lived a GODLY life, in the fear of the Lord, and The Lord found favor with Jack.
FAITHFUL, He was faithful to his congregation, faithful to his family and friends. Above all, he was faithful to his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.
REAL, This is the aspect of Jack that I , in my life, have been most impacted: It is what that little boy, with the patch over one eye, found so special about Jack Dawson. When he spoke to you, it was if there was no one else in the room. You had his undivided attention, and you FELT it. He listened, didn’t pass judgment, and always offered to pray with you, and for you. I suppose that I saw a lot of my Grampa, in Jack. No wonder he affected me so.
I remember, as a child having Sunday dinners at the Dawsons. In those days, when I still wore a patch over one eye, it was Jack and Kay, or auntie Kay, to us. She was very much like the current Mrs Dawson, joyful, ebullient and thankful to be alive. Usually after dinner, David (before he was a doctor), would ask me if I’d like to see some old hockey photos. Jack had worked for the Montreal Star, forever, and had a treasure trove of old B and W’s. They were even better than I could have imagined: Action stills of Canadiens games, with the legends of the game playing in them!! Richard, Lach, Durnan, Blake, Plante. Just a few of the names in those old photos…There were stacks of them! To top it off, there were even photos from WW2, of actual bombing runs, with Jack a part of them…WOW! He suddenly became much larger than life, and almost surreal…ALMOST. I was in awe of this man. I have caught myself many a time, stating unequivocally that I don’t know anyone else like Jack Dawson….
Dear Dawson family, my heart is heavy, but hopeful. Sorrowing, but Joyful, for I know that while we will be eating turkey, and trimmings…..Jack , and mom will be singing the Hallelujah chorus TOGETHER, for another good, and faithful servant has come home, to rest. I love you, and am praying that OUR heavenly Father comforts you, as only HE can. You are in my thoughts and prayers…With sincere LOVE, ADMIRATION and HUMBLE GRATITUDE, Anthony.