What made Jeremy Wainland tick? I wish I had spent more time with him to find the answer to that question.
Jeremy’s sister had a great idea which she mentioned during Jeremy's funeral – and I am taking her advice and writing down many random thoughts and memories that dear Jeremy has filled my head with.
I first met Jeremy way back during high school in the late 80s. I got to really know Jeremy during Boy Scouts. He was, in my mind at the time, a really loud person who always charged forward with his debate “lifestyle”. Jeremy took it to extremes, always letting you know why and how he was right and you were wrong. I was not such a big social person in high school, and did not participate in debate, but was in band instead – which Jeremy loved to make fun of. Our circles in life were not quite close at that point in life, but I was always aware of this guy who was really open about every subject imaginable (and sometimes unimaginable), kind of rude sometimes, and very loud.
As I mentioned, Boys Scouts is where our circles in life came closer. He sometimes got this really serious look in his face, kind of tightening his lips to show that he meant it. He held various leadership positions over the troop, and would get very upset if people did not listen. His speeches were a combination of yelling at you, but also patiently explaining how it should be and why.
He called me Mr. Gonzalez…always drawing out the “a”..perhaps it had something to do with his New York roots. Now that he has passed on, I’ve been hearing a lot more Billy Joel music. Not by choice, but by chance. Something that broke my heart even more was this morning on the radio during the ride into work, having the song “only the good die young” come on. Jeremy was so good – so clear and direct, so smart, so alive, so full of energy, so full of wisdom. I believe this song now more than ever.
Any recent phone conversation would turn into a business / life lesson of some sort. With his new Peru project, he asked for me to think of anyone in my family in Latin America who could work with his company. I think that was part of Jeremy’s core in being successful. As a friend, he was still able to naturally bring business into the picture. He was such a great person, always moving forward in business without hurting a friendship. Jeremy also mentioned about taking natural products for getting healthy. I mentioned how I had high cholesterol, and was about to start taking a medication called Lipitor. He told me he would be trying out a natural method himself, based on a friend of his who knew about natural healthy solutions. If it worked for him, he would let me know more so I could try it. I thought it was very nice and thoughtful of Jeremy to try something himself first before giving me a chance to try it.
The last time I saw Jeremy was when he came to West Boca Medical in late March to visit us because my wife Laura had just given birth to our first baby daughter Gabriella. It was really really really nice of Jeremy to think of us and stop by for a visit. He took pride in showing us the recent pictures of Skylar. The pictures were very very cute. Jeremy had to leave and left his cel-phone behind. I don’t remember, but I know we spoke to someone via the cel-phone, to let him know that he had left it in the room.
Pausing and looking back on this letter, it does not do a good job of covering all that Jeremy did with me, and how he impacted my life. These are only a few tiny bits and pieces that are coming to mind during this sad time in my life. It is so hard to believe that he is not here, physically anymore. No matter how much I write, I could not properly represent all that Jeremy was in my life. What an unexpected thing to happen. I miss Jeremy and can’t believe I won’t be hearing him call me Mr Gonzalez any time soon.
As Jeremy’s sister said, we should weave our thoughts together and keep Jeremy’s life alive. That is the purpose of this letter. He is an unforgettable human being. I will be praying for his soul and will be praying for his family and friends. I am very lucky to have known him, and to have gotten to spend some time with someone who was always full of energy and wisdom. I look forward to the day when I get to ask him for the answer to the question that will always be in my mind during my time here on earth…Jeremy, what makes you tick?
Andres GonzalezKira Pladl
Jamie and David Wainland