Friday, December 11, 2009

a place for you, my love

I've struggled this past year and a half to find the 'right' words to mark Jeff's life and his person on a commemorative bench on the West Coast of this island, in a the small fishing village where we met, fell in love and started our life together.
I needed to find something that would bring 'him' to life in a phrase for those who knew him and for those who didn't, a taste of who he really was. I poured over letters and cards he wrote me, his favourite songs, poems, common phrases, even his funeral program. In frustration, I asked our very good friend, Jimmy (aka Dad) how he would describe my love. Without hesitation, he said, "Jeff Chandler - A Truly Loving and Irritating Man"
In those brief words, he summed up Jeff for those who knew him. He hinted at his persona to those who didn't.
I was concerned that some may feel offended or feel that Jeff had been insulted. I called his family for their feelings on it. Everyone laughed. Everyone remembered Jeff as he was - 'loving and irritating'.
He was a pest. Those he loved, he loved ferociously and protectively. He laughed often. He joked always. He was full of hugs and kisses (and licks to the face) even for his buddies who hated it - and he loved that they hated it.
I am pleased that those of us who knew him will conjure these images when we read those words and sit upon his bench. I am so glad, as well, that those who didn't know this kind, loud and humourous man will read the inscription, laugh and wonder. Even in his death, he is making others chuckle....And I think that is right. I think that it so fitting.
So with a fond smirk and eternal love for the man who could love and irritate like no other, a bench has been placed upon a point of land overlooking the sea that he so adored. I hope that it offers some solace for those of us who are missing him and a giggle for all who read the inscription.


  1. I laughed out loud at this! I love it!

  2. How perfect! Thank you for the post. It reminded me so much of my husband. Yet,another truly irritating person who gained much amusement from it. My husband too, was loyal and giving, and rehashed the same corny jokes and regardless of the several eyerolls he received he laughed heartily at himself. I miss his goofy sense of humor and how he could push buttons like no one else and then laugh when I showed the slightest bit of irritation.

  3. Love this Jackie and laughed out loud at the plaque before I even read your blog! I am sure he would love this, and it sounds like we were married to similar men! :) Fabulous choice!

  4. I love it, too!!! In just a few words you let us catch a glimpse of your husband's personality. For my husband it would be, "Just the facts ma'am!" Thank you for sharing!

  5. Great job, Jackie. Thanks for the smile with the plaque. I do feel like I knew him .... just a little bit.

  6. Thanks for laugh!! I needed that this morning.

  7. What a year this has been for me,thank you for bringing a smile to my face....I look for my husband on every corner,also miss his annoying ways that were also full of love! Hugs

  8. I so enjoyed reading your post. Sounds like what I lovingly refer to as "Mourning Joy." Here's wishing you more, always. Thanks for sharing.

    :)Linda Della Donna

  9. It is uncanny Jackie, how alike our husbands sound, down to the humor and the love of the sea. Dean had a unique way of irritating me and others but in such a funny manner, you could never get mad at him. The world lost one huge comic when he passed away last year. I have heard some widows say they would give anything to spend one more day with their husband making love or holding hands. As wonderful as that sounds, I would give anything to spend the day reveling in his quick wit and easy banter, even if it meant I had to be on the receiving end of those witty verbal assaults. Let our memories continue to make us smile and help lessen the pain we feel.