Toughest guy I've ever known. My boss's brother can attest to that fact. HE got body slammed twice on the same day (just because he thought it was a fluke the first time around). My boss's brother is no slouch, you see. Not nearly as smart as I, because I KNEW I'd end up on my ass, just like Tony did, so I never broached the subject.
Tough guy has a name. Jeff Janosky.
Tough guys have limits and breaking points it turns out. People don't understand tough guys much, or like them very much, you'd think. "oh he's a hothead, a reactionary, a d***head...." you know, you've said them about me, I'm sure. Jeff has about as much tolerance for laziness, stupidity, or silliness, as your basic radical Muslim cleric has for ecumenical harmony. If you did something stupid, it didn't take too long for him to let you know. No, he wouldn't win any corporate go along to get along contests, but you know where he stood and where you stood in relation. I say that after having said something stupid on a jobsite which caused Jeff to walk off the job and head home. Oh, and we were 30 miles from home.
AFTER we kissed and made up weeks later, the friendship and respect grew between us. Oh yes I can say that. I have the gift of discerning tuff guys' feelings, y'know. He liked me, and I sure as hell liked him.
Not for the obvious reasons many of us now remember about Jeff..... working in a physical job 10 hrs a day, THEN going to school to get a degree and better his life, THEN going home and renovating an old house for his family. No, those are the obvious reasons. I liked Jeff for reasons I already stated. You knew what he thought and he wasn't afraid to state it. Sure it made situations uncomfortable from time to time, but hell, what person you know DOESN'T???? Even the most diplomatic amongst us are faulted, they just are more camouflaged.
Jeff buried his very best friend who died suddenly, and freakishly tragically at a very young age. Then , not long after that, buried another friend who died at own hands, due to tremendous stress and sadness in his family life. That's a lot to ask for even a tough guy.
Today, I stood at Jeff's casket and used up all my strength just to keep from completely breaking down. Jeff was the toughest guy I knew, but not impervious to pain.
This much I know, because that could have been me lying there instead of Jeff. I was a mess in that funeral home, and about 50% was because I will miss Jeff tremendously and felt such sorrow for his wife and son, and the other 50% was because I KNOW what he felt.
My God I know.
If not for a short list of people who came to my aid when the darkness was both overwhelming and suffocating, I would not be here. I wish I could have been there for Jeff. I wish someone could have been there for Jeff like those few precious people were for me.
Jeff isn't here anymore, and I believe the difference between him and me is a few texts and a few phone calls at the right time, by the right people.
I will miss him terribly.
I was talking to a co worker about Jeff, and he said "Jeff seemed a bit volatile, which caused me to shy away from him...."
Yeah, he was like gas on prairie fire. Volatile times 10.
But he had a crapload of people who came to show their respect for him.
Bet your run of the mill go along to get along guy doesn't have that to look forward to. People liked Jeff BECAUSE of who he was, not in spite of it. I only wish he knew that while he was alive.
May god bless and protect his family.