As a career professional, volunteer, mom, wife, and friend, I focus on the positive aspects of life, even when the road is rough getting there. Life is funny. How you treat others, how you handle situations, and how you live each day is your responsibility ... so are the outcomes.
I find myself struggling sometimes with the loss of family and friends at such young ages. It hardly makes sense when there is so much more life to live, adventures to experience, and roads not traveled. I try to be optimistic, yet it is difficult, when the past three years, I have been to more funerals than birthday parties.
There are greater goods, which have resulted from these funerals, though at the time of attending, the vision or thoughts were not there. It is a coming together of people, some known, some not known, and some whom we now call our friends. Through these events, I have grown to know the impact I and others had on the lives of the friends and family passed, yet when they were living they were unspoken words...you just knew you were always there for each other.
Greater was the impact they had on me. I had the wonderful opportunity to have "The Waterman" Jon as a friend. The first time I met him at Kips Inn (our Cheers); we talked about a number of things from family to playing pool to Snoopy and the Red Baron. My husband had never heard the song. Jon & I could not believe he had not. A week later, we ran into Jon and guess what? He gave us a CD of Snoopy's Red Baron Christmas. "The Baron then offered a holiday toast. And Snoopy, our hero, saluted his host. And then with a roar they were both on their way. Each knowing they'd meet on some other day."
For those of you, who are not familiar, Jon was the truck driver, who died in the semi-trailer/car accident on May 26th in Caledonia. His final act of kindness was swerving to miss the car. At age 45, he was in the prime of his life. His world revolved around his daughters Julie & Jill and wife Christy of almost 25 years. He was the "shirt off the back" kind of guy, who would drop what he was doing for you, if you needed him to. He never had an unkind word to say about anyone. His dry, corny humor always made you laugh.
Jon was also a KC-135 Crew Chief for the Wisconsin Air National Guard. He took great pride in his ability to help and be there for people. Since he can no longer physically be here to take care of his daughters, he will be able to take care of them through us. A college fund called "Jon Schweiss Memorial Fund" has been established and donations can be made at any US Bank location.
July 21, 2012 from 1pm - 5pm, there will be a fundraiser held at Kips Inn, 837 S. 108th in West Allis. All proceeds will be donated to Julie & Jill's college fund. The continued celebration of Jon's life will include a 50/50 cash raffle, bucket raffles for numerous gift certificates, grills, a family pack for the WI Dells, and much more. We hope you will join us and pass the word on. Let's help Jon, help his family.
If you would like to donate a raffle item, please drop off at Kips Inn with any of the bartenders, care of The Waterman.