R.I.P. My father: Wayne Monroe Jorden
There are times in life that seem stressful in the moment – but if/when you “survive” them, they provide material to laugh about. The morning of October 5, 2014, I had booked a taxi to take my father to Leeds Railway Station. He would catch a bus to Huddersfield (renovations were being conducted on the track at that moment), where he would turn board the train for Manchester Airport. The taxi was supposed to arrive at my house at 5:30 a.m., and he would arrive at Leeds Railway Station in plenty of time for the six a.m. bus Unfortunately, the taxi didn’t show up at 5:30 a.m. Ten minutes later, no taxi. Frustrated and nervous, I called the taxi company, who quickly dispatched another cab. That cab arrived at roughly 5:50 a.m. Fortunately, due it to being an early Sunday morning, there was no traffic. However, instead of reminiscing about our time in the U.K., I spent more time looking at the time on my mobile phone – freaking out that we would miss the bus, which would be a major inconvience (Considering the ticket windows wouldn’t be open at six a.m. on a Sunday morning). Dad made the bus by one minute and he made the train to Manchester Airport. I didn’t e-mail immediately but I eventually did. He responded by saying I was a great host and if I ever got a job in London, he would come visit me.
But as it turns out, the taxi ride would turn out to be something that I would not laugh with him about later. The sight of him getting into the bus would be the last time I saw him. It just so happened that I was in London earlier this week when I got some frantic e-mails from family: Wayne Monroe Jorden, my beloved father, had been fatally struck by a car. I can’t express the pain I feel in words. I throughly enjoyed his visit and I am really glad he could make it to the U.K. Unfortunately, I couldn’t show him everything I wanted during his time in the country. But it meant a lot to me that he came and enjoyed his visit. I was really looking forward to coming home and seeing him in January 2015.
I will miss my father. Among other things, I will miss the confidence he had in me to succeed, his vast knowledge of diverse topics, his idiosyncracies, his presence at track meets and his cooking.
Like everyone else, he experienced his share of heartbreak. But although he mentioned to me while he was in England that he felt like an old man, there were still so many more good times for him to have, deep conservations for him to engage in and amazing moments to enjoy.
However, I will always cherish the memories I have of him being a presence in my life.