Monday, June 04, 2012

The John I'll Always Remember...

Words can never express the true feelings that reside inside the heart. The jumbling of emotions is always difficult to truly depict. But, the idea of not trying just doesn’t sit well with me. These words will fall short, but they do not do any good sitting dormant in our hearts.

For as long as I can remember, he called me “Jammer”. He would always yell out my name with gusto. In my experience, he was not a quiet man. His boisterous voice would bellow out his overwhelming passion for life as his large, warm smile sat partially hidden beneath a goatee that he would often rub with a worn hand. He was a stubborn man...but what man isn’t. He was a man who probably knew a little too much…but what man doesn’t.

For me, the sight of an iron fence will bring back a smile. A game of Risk will give me a laugh. A hike through the desert will make my heart skip a beat. Pairs of worn work boots will make me think of his children. And, a summer trip to the cabin will bring out a sense of gratitude and love for a man that we all were blessed to know.

He IS a son who brought joy to the faces of his parents, a husband who brought love to two special hearts, a father who taught life lessons and worked tirelessly to provide, a grandfather that adored his little granddaughters, a brother who teased the sisters and brother he loved, and a friend that was eager to share a funny face and an unforgettable laugh.

His spirit lives on in the hearts of his incredible children and the laughs of his beautiful grandchildren. And, a piece of his heart will always reside in his labor of love, the Donnelly Family cabin. And, from Heaven, he is smiling down and making that same funny face at all of us.

He is a man of the Lord who blessed this world with his spirit. His faith and testimony strengthened others. He preached, he taught, and he learned. And, in the end, he is with his Father in Heaven. I can picture his boisterous spirit clad in camo and shouting “open sesame” as he stands at the Pearly Gates. And, he won’t stop until they OPEN! After all, he is and always will be a Donnelly.

And, that’s the John I’ll always remember…


  1. you said it better than i ever could. we were all blessed to know such a wonderful man. i pray for peace and comfort for your whole family. What a glorious blessing the gospel is to know that it's not goodbye, just see you soon. love and hugs to you all.

  2. What a beautiful post. Prayers for you and your family. Earth lost a wonderful man today but the celebration in Heaven was great!! I get sad and then I think of Liz. What a reunion that was!!!

  3. That was awesome and beautiful Jammer. There isn't anything else to say but that.

  4. Nice tribute Justin. The memory of his funny faces makes me laugh. Great family! Love you all.