Saturday, February 11, 2006

He was born during a blizzard the morning of February 11, 1986. Jonathan came into our lives that white, snowy winter day and changed things forever. His brother and sister had heart-shaped sugar cookies that I had baked , frozen and then frosted blue and decorated with his initials the afternoon he was born to take to school to announce the birth of their baby brother. His father was completely unsure he could get the Honda car up the hill from Sacred Heart in the storm still raging when it came time to take him home to 26th Avenue the next day. Truth be told, it was a time of uncertainty for us all, because we were so clear that we had been given a magnificent gift, and none of us felt particularly confident that we were worthy. Jonathan was always celebrated, cherished, and adored.

We like to say he never had a good cry until he was 4 or 5 because somebody was always willing to hold him, sooth him, love him the very second he peeped. His main discomfort as a baby was being hungry and our job was to keep him full. Not an easy task. But he was a wonderful baby, if a huge armful, and quickly turned into a darling little boy, happy and joyful at all things, and with a smile that lit up the room.

He was the one who showed great compassion and concern for his colleagues in the sandbox, when they asserted they did not believe in God. At age 4, he was telling his friends that their faith was the most important thing in their life and that they shouldn't neglect to pay attention to it. When he as 6, he told them with equal matter-of-factness that all his clothes came from the GAP because the clothes were good-looking and well-made. He always has enjoyed looking good, although we had a terrible time at about this age getting him to wear matching socks, because he though one each of green, blue, red, yellow, or orange was a better look than two matching. Jon has always known his own mind.

He loved to run and jump, but as a small child was not particularly athletic; a bitter disappointment was getting cut from his sister's soccer club, but in true Jon fashion, he turned his attention to other things he was curious about and in no time, became deeply involved in Boy Scouts, which would change his life forever. Service, faith and devotion became his watchword.

Middle school football changed his athletic reputation and destiny and his award as Lineman of The Year in 8th grade launched his high school atheltic career, one which included many achievements and awards, including those of a state wrestling champion. By this time, he was Silver Palm Eagle Scout, fully versed in the outdoors and leadership, and spear-headed ambitious community service projects for his school, his church, and his community. Jon was fully formed and on the threshold of his amibtions and values.

He now calls from many miles away, full of the week's opportunities and observations. He studies hard, in preparation for what lies ahead. He spends many hours a week volunteering in service to those sick and in need of help. He still lights our hearts and our world with that million-watt smile and holds his faith proudly up front, so anyone can see. He is a beacon, who now comforts and soothes us as we try to keep ourselves full with the things that bless and give our lives meaning. His light is firmly in the world these days and will disperse itself further, before it comes back to focus on where it all began 20 years ago today.

He is a magnificent gift, still.

The 'Kan EWA


Pixie said...

Oh myyyyyy. *swallow that lump Shell* That is the most beautiful tribute to one's child I think I have ever read... and he just "looks" like a great kid!

Good for you proud Mama (and aren't you pretty!!!!)!

Happy Birthday Jonathan!!!! Keep making your Mama proud!!!!!

Bre said...

Beautiful as usual J. =)
Is this one moving to London?

Julie said...

Great tribute, Jahn. He must be a great kid. Did you know he looks like you?

PDXPup said...

yaaaaaaaaa, happy birthday little brother!

stebbijo said...

Your son reminds me of Matt Damon the actor, wno in turn looks like my son. Uncanny.

jb3ll3 said...

People say that alot, Stebbijo. And at different times, we'll look up and find people staring and then we realize, oh THEY think....yup, Bre. He moves to London in the fall.

JoeMontana said...

Like JBelle said, it was our job to keep Jonathan fed, which was not an easy task. My job, was to get him to burp. It took some doing, but once he decided to do it, you coulda heard him in Seattle. WOW! That was just a sign of many good things to come.

Not too long ago, Jon told me he was going to an EMS meeting. They were trying to figure out a way to raise money to buy a new ambulance. The university decided that helping EMS with this purchase was not in the university's budget. I turned to JBelle and said "you know, 35 years ago, his Grandfather was raising money to buy the first ambulance for their town. The city nor any private individual had the money to buy the much needed vehicle". WOW! I'm sure this is another sign of many good things to come.

At dinner last night, our family friend said, "I hope Jonathan becomes President soon. I want to be a Chief Justice before I retire."

Jon, we love and cherish you. Keep up the good work and remember what they say in Montana, DON'T TAKE ANY WOODEN NICKLES!

BX_boy said...

Thank you for all the wonderful words. I hope the next twenty are as wonderful as the first twenty.

Take this as you will, but twenty years to the day, I am caught in another blizzard. Spookey....

jb3ll3 said...

Where will you be when you turn forty? If it's not in a blizzard somewhere, I don't think you'll be on the right track....xom

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be right unless I was late to this party....

Happy Birthday little brother.

Remember, though, if you ever get confused, or disoriented about the situation... I'll always be the bigger, stronger, smarter, and better looking Schmitz/Harrison brother. MmmKay? All righty then. Good Talk. See you in a few weeks!

You turned out ah'ite though.

;) Happy Birthday man