He was a remarkable man, and I was so blessed to have his love for forty-six years and to be married to him for forty-five years.
I still live in the house where we spent our entire marriage. Jack designed and built the house and lived in for three years before we married.
Near the end of his life, we drove by a senior living community. I mentioned that if I were ever left alone, I would consider moving into such a facility.
Jack became very upset (extreme agitation was one of the symptoms of his Alzheimer’s disease). He said, “Promise me you’ll stay in our home. I built that house for us to live in until the last one of us dies.”
“You didn’t even know me when you built the house,” I reminded him.
“No,” he said. “I didn’t, but God did.”
Jack often said, “I’m glad that everything in my life–good and bad–happened exactly as it did. Otherwise, I would never have met you.”
I’m so grateful for my life with Jack, and I thank God often.
In the months following Jack’s death, I dealt with my grief by compiling a book of stories that Jack often told, anecdotes and memories from family and friends, and my own recollections. I published Jack Stories: Favorite Memories of Jack Jordan Ammann Jr. in time to celebrate his eightieth birthday with a book party.
The final story in the book is “Jack’s Final Goodbye to Lillie.”
I dreamed that I was standing at the kitchen sink. Something caught my attention and caused me to look over my shoulder. There stood Jack—young, healthy, and strong with a huge smile. He radiated pure joy. Suddenly I was in bed and Jack was standing over me, smiling and handsome and oh-so-happy.
He never moved or said a word, but his smile and radiant joy said it all.
How can I be sad when he is so filled with joy!