CC and G'Pa's Eulogy for Jackson

Good morning.

On behalf of the Garcia and Clark family I will take the opportunity to welcome all of you to the celebration of Jackson Antonio Clark's life.

I will start with my last comment first, just in case I somehow find myself reduced to an emotional puddle which has been the norm for me for over a week.

That message is this: Make it a point to reach out to someone you care about today and tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them. If given the opportunity for a hug,  take it.

Jackson was very much part of all our daily lives. I think back to pre-internet where you would see an occasional photo or spend time with someone after gaps of weeks or months and think of how much that person had changed. With today's technology that seldom is a thought. Daily sharings of photos, videos and Skype meant we saw Jackson's daily changes in appearance, language skills and social engagement. He was with us always. Being digitally recorded meant we could share with anyone or binge watch when we needed a reason to smile.

When Jackson was born the families came together to celebrate and to convey upon ourselves a chosen name.  Special names that our new family member was to call us.  Maritza chose to be called Abuela; Manuel chose Abuelo; Manuel Jr.  Tio; Adriana Tita, "Chwis", Jordan became Jo-jo and a James, always the formal one, remained James.

Cary became Grandma CC, adopting the mantra "Grandmas: moms with no rules".

Now, I quickly went to Google Translate for how to pronounce "the favorite one" in Spanish, thinking I could quickly displace everyone else in Jackson's life, only to find myself ruled out on using “el Favorito” as Jackson's term of endearment for me.  Next choice “Your  Lordship” was also ruled out. So I was assigned "G-pa", a name I accepted with pride.

Cary and I had our first weekend alone with Jackson at Camano just a few weeks ago. It was a chance to make quarter-sized pancakes and for Jackson to confirm my brown-sugar-based maple syrup was the best. We shared a bowl of popcorn and cartoons after his afternoon  nap and to spend time on the floor playing legos and cars. It was a chance to re-live what it was like to be a parent again.  Sitting on the floor next to the bathtub, feeling sorry for what I didn't realize was a collection of really lousy bath toys, to snuggle him up in a fresh towel and once in new diapers and PJ's a chance to quietly read books.  Setting him into his crib I shared with him my secret phrase I said to Bryan when he was little. “You are wonderful, terrific, special”. That weekend was a chance to see what the future should have been.

The last week plus has been completely surreal. The flowers, food, cards, phone calls and hugs have been a gift. We thank you for reaching out and reaching in to our lives.

So my last comment for all of you is to make it a point to reach out to someone you care about today and tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them.

September 23, 2015.

One day old. September 12, 2017.

Camano. July 2, 2017.

Camano. July 8, 2017.