While some knew him as Jonah and others as Mac, we all loved and respected him. And we miss him dearly.

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Double Date

Valentine’s Day. Jonah’s birthday.

I always loved that the two went hand in hand. When he was younger, Jonah’s positive attributes were kind of difficult for many to see, but I did. And I’d always believed that he’d someday grow up to become a person who’d be easy to love. During his tumultuous middle school years, I would tell him, “Jonah, if you’d just show the world the sweet, kind, funny kid we get to see here at home, everyone would fall in love with you.” He always eyed me skeptically when I’d say that but, in time, he figured it out.

That big, playful, loving heart of his had room for everyone in it. And he was so good at opening it up. In our family alone, how many times did he (willingly!) help around the house, regale us with silliness that made us double over with laughter, give us gigantic hugs? I can only imagine how much moreso he did these things for others.

Our Forever Valentine February 1997

Our Forever Valentine
February 1997

I love that Jonah’s birthday fell on Valentine’s Day. When he was a little boy, I thought about how much his girlfriends would enjoy celebrating this day with him. Two for the price of one. So much romance in a single day. Once girls stopped being yuck, he’d agree with me.

That he only got nineteen of these very special days is a tragedy of course. But he wasn’t one to squander the good stuff, and once he got the hang of it, Jonah used every one of each year’s 365 days to share the beauty that was inside him.

I miss him, of course. As the memories grow more distant, I’m saddened to think they’re already fading a bit. But all I need do is think of the times he’d punch my arm, or squeeze the breath out of me, or just smile that magnificent smile of his … and my heart fills up all over again. Gone, but most definitely not forgotten.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. I may never have been your valentine, but you sure did win my love. Double.

Forever,
Dad

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