On Saturday, August 11th, 2001, dear friend of 22 years, Jon Andres, died as a result of injuries sustained in a dragbike crash at a Spokane, Washington dragstrip. Jon was President of Jarz Racing in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.
Jon was a kind, keenly accomplished professional and above all else, exceedingly humble... a very novel achievement given his superman status in the world of drag racing. At 41 years of age, he made performance Harley Davidsons happen on a daily basis. He was a loving, caring father of his two children and devoted husband. He and his wife Cindy did it all together and that "all" was racing. She said several times in my conversation with her that he died doing what he loved and she regrets nothing in their lives or decisions.
Cindy is amazingly tough and although the magnitude of her loss is inconceivable to the rest of us, she and their two children, Dustin and Karli, will survive and hold dear all those great times. To his family and friends (which were also family to Jon)... deepest sympathy and condolences. He has left a huge void in our lives which will never heal, but be dealt with, as it must, with the passing of time.
Remember that he loved and celebrated his life every day and would surely endorse us conducting ourselves in no other fashion. Thankfully, it was quick, sudden, without lingering pain, paralysis, loss of cognizance or other life limiting measures.
He wasn't ready to leave us. We certainly weren't ready for it to happen. But if it had to be his time, I know he wouldn't have written it any other way.
Godspeed, dear friend.
A cool, crisp night with a gentle north wind, my friend. A supper of venison stew and a glass of pungent red wine raised in your memory, Sir. My evening has been flooded with the sweet memories of "old times". I so miss you. May God wrap his arms around your spirit and hold your loving family securely... always.
We have a new son, Jon. Today he rode with Daddy for the first time mowing our lawn. A fittingly wonderful beginning on a sad day of remembrance, my friend. It's so hard to grasp that it has been ten years... we miss you every day, Sir. God bless you and your loved ones.
His absence never strays far from my thoughts. At times, the painful reminders border overwhelming. I force myself then to remember all the good times I had the honor of sharing with Jon. His hospitality, concern and involvement in the lives of his family and those he cared about, his ever present warm smile and soft spoken humility. This was my friend, Jonathon Andres.
Each and every person dear in one's life contributes bits and pieces to what we become, what shapes us as human beings and how we treat and relate to those around us. Jon's patience, deep thought and reasonable overviews of each situation he encountered stand as clear markers and reminders of what I choose to aspire to. From each good person, a little bit of that "good" can be transferred to us if we stay aware and mindful of it. I am forever grateful for the discipline and tenacity my friend Jon has inadvertently shared with me. He was such a fine, just and good man.
I believe in the eternity of the soul. Regardless of what one might believe comes after "life", we as human beings are HERE, REAL, CONSCIOUS and PRESENT... We have SOUL. These things, in themselves, are amazing and undeniable facts. I believe that Jon has returned to the earth and wind from which we all came and, therefore, his soul is forever all around us. The appearance is different, but he will always be by our side. That is a great comfort to me and one which I pray is shared by his friends and loved ones.
He rides Forever Free now. God comfort your good soul, Jon, until we meet again.
Karli, Dustin and Cindy... You're always welcome at my door. Any time at all.
So long away, and I often wonder what you would say of the madness you stare down upon. Up is down, wrong is right and everything traditional, orthodox and proven through generations... is questioned, altered and re-written. It seems we periodically must re-explore and re-test that which we already knew.
I know your answers and opinion. Unlike the minion serfs you now watch, your beliefs were rock solid and surely remain so to this moment. There was no waffling or wavering in your spirit or your convictions You'd muster a belly laugh at the fool that would suggest otherwise... the simpleton who obviously didn't know who he was talking about.
I respect the values we agreed upon and shared through the years of our friendship. I find satisfaction in frequently remembering them.
Your influence and effects are never forgotten by those who knew you. God bless, Sir. You are so forever missed.