Jason TNT

Jason TNT

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

As I’m sure you all know by now, our quick-witted blogger and my husband, Jason Beaird,  passed away on March 14, 2013.   His cancer had been worsening as of late, but his passing was quick and unexpected. He fought hard to the very end.  We are all heartbroken, but know that he is now in a better place. His passing was peaceful, surrounded by those he loved most.

A loving tribute was held on March 19 at Degusipe Funeral Home, followed by a beautiful Funeral Mass on March 20 at St. James Catholic Cathedral.   Jason touched many lives in the too-short time he was with us and both services were overflowing with attendees.  We thank all of those who were able to attend and those who sent blessings from afar.

At the request of many of Jason's friends, we have set up a Memorial Fund to support many of the passions that Jason held near and dear to his heart.  The website for this Memorial Fund is:  http://www.youcaring.com/other/jason-beaird-memorial-fund/50059  and we have collected over $3,000 to date.  Thank you so much for your generosity. 

Please know how much all of your prayers, support, and love mean to us. We feel blessed to have so many wonderful people supporting us.   Please remember to spend time with your family and count your blessings daily.  Love – Jennifer, Aaron and Shannon

The following was obituary was posted on the Degusipe Funeral Home website at http://www.degusipefuneralhome.com/obituaries/Jason-Beaird/#/ :

Jason Daniel Beaird, age 42 of Orlando, Florida, passed away after a courageous fight against cancer on Thursday, March 14, 2013, in Orlando, Florida. Jason was born on May 28, 1970, in Lakewood, New Jersey.

Jason is survived by his wife, Jennifer; two children, Aaron, 10, and Shannon, 7; mother and stepfather, Jeanne and Rich Terio of New Port Richey; father and stepmother, Jim R. Beaird and Kathy Vawter-Beaird of Palm Harbor; paternal grandmother, Avril Beaird of Palm Harbor; brothers, Jim P. Beaird of Orlando, Rick W. Terio of Bushnell, Matthew Vawter of Denver, Colorado, and Andrew Vawter-Beaird of Clearwater; and sisters, Holly Saia of Lutz, and Jean Neumann of Houston, Texas. He was predeceased by his brother, Patrick Vawter-Beaird of Palm Harbor. Jason is also survived by a large, loving extended family that includes many aunts, uncles, cousins and godchildren.

Jason grew up in Pinellas County. Upon graduation from Clearwater High School in 1988 he attended the University of Florida where he played baseball for the Gators and was selected for the All SEC Academic Team. At UF, Jason met many people who would become life-long friends, as well as his future wife, Jennifer Lynne Brown of Tampa. Jason attained his Master’s in Accounting in 1993 and, after graduation, moved to Orlando and began working for KPMG as a Certified Public Accountant. On December 9, 1995, Jason and Jennifer married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida. Jason progressed in his professional career and in 1997 he began working at Marriott Vacation Club International (currently, Marriott Vacations Worldwide (MVW)) as a financial analyst. He worked at MVW for ten years, seven of which he was joined by his brother, Jim. Jason finished his career by joining Hilton Grand Vacations in 2008 as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Analysis. He enjoyed working there and was known to check emails, edit presentations, review legal documents, etc. even from his hospital bed.

In 2002, Jason and Jennifer welcomed their first child, son Aaron Joseph, and shortly thereafter, accepted an expatriate assignment with MVW in Cork, Ireland. They spent a wonderful two years in Ireland - traveling around Europe and Asia and made many special memories with the numerous friends and families who visited them. One of Jason's fondest memories was watching the Tour de France in a small village in Provence and running into a former University of Florida Gator baseball player. It was just after returning to Orlando, in 2005, that their family was completed with the birth of their daughter, Shannon Elizabeth.

From childhood on, Jason had always been an avid athlete and he continued to enjoy competition through the sport and social clubs in Orlando, work softball teams and even some time in an adult baseball league. In addition, he began training and competing in triathlons, the culmination of which was his completion of an Ironman Triathlon in November 1999. His passion for triathlons was lit and he continued competing in them even after diagnosed with cancer. In fact his diagnosis, this helped fuel his passion and he began competing in triathlons to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation - earning multiple fundraising awards.

Baseball continued to be another passion of Jason's and he began coaching Aaron's baseball teams at Delaney Park Little League (DPLL). He coached at DPLL from 2008 forward - encompassing numerous Rookies and Minor League teams, winning the Minor Division Championship with the Dodgers in 2012. Jason carried his coaching expertise into St. James Cathedral School and helped coach Aaron's Catholic Youth League (CYL) football and basketball teams - winning the CYL 3rd grade basketball championship and the 4th grade football championship. Some of his most cherished friends were fellow coaches and teammate parents.

As a part of Gator Nation, the Beaird family attended many University of Florida Gator football games - both at home games in Gainesville and on the road. Many fun memories were made during road trips to Tennessee, Kentucky, Jacksonville and, of course, New Orleans - one highlight was attending the Gators First National Championship. The Beaird family also attended Gator baseball games and Jason relived fond baseball memories with many of his teammates by participating in the Gator Baseball Alumni vs. Current Team baseball games.

Jason has been a lifelong Catholic and a parishioner of St. James Catholic Cathedral since moving to Orlando in 1993. His family are regular attendees at the 9AM Sunday Mass and both children attend St. James Cathedral School. The family has developed many close relationships through the Cathedral and the School and have continued to receive many blessings and support from this wonderful community.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back in "The Joint"

In private, we all do things we'd never do publicly.  I won't judge, but I know some of you (OK, maybe it's just me) like to sing Depeche Mode while knocking out household chores.  Passing out was something else I liked to do privately.  Even though my previous passing out episodes were serious enough to have landed me in the hospital, at least I had been spared the embarrassment of anyone else seeing it happen. It had either happened at night when everyone was sleeping or during the day when I was the only one home.  Like singing along to bad 80's synthesizer music, I felt better knowing that nobody else had seen me in my moment of weakness.  That all changed this week. 

I'm lucky enough to work with a fantastic team of smart and dedicated people who had sacrificed time with their families to put in 60+ hour weeks to finish off an urgent project.  On Monday, we went to lunch at a nice restaurant to celebrate the finish of that project and to catch our breath.  As we got up from our table to head back to the office, my head started to evaporate and a slow, but unavoidable, journey towards the floor began.  Clearly, passing out in public was my destiny and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  Luckily, my colleagues managed to grab hold of me and steer me to a chair before I hit the ground completely.  As my vision regained focus, I found myself face to face with a confused and concerned restaurant manager.  This guy was more than a little anxious.  He was used to comping an appetizer or desert if someone's soup was too cold...he was not ready for someone who needed CPR on top of table 5.  That said, I was feeling pretty clever when my first newly-coherent words were "it must have been something I ate".  The manager missed the humor.

And thus, the dynamic had completely changed.  Not only had I now passed out publicly...I had completely bypassed my family and passed out in front of work friends/colleagues.  As I told them, I must be one hell of a leader because I just took team building to a whole new level.

So, as it turns out that we're not completely past my low blood pressure problems...my BP was 60 over 40 when I got to the doctor's office later in the afternoon.  Not only do those numbers represent Lane Kiffin's IQ over the SAT score of his average player; they also represented my ticket back to Florida Hospital.

I was admitted on Monday and had some fun experiences along the way.  I spent the first night in a cubicle in the Emergency Room with what seemed to be a gang member right outside the curtain that served as my doorway.  He was brought in by police and paramedics. For several hours, he alternated between demanding pain meds and jumping off his gurney to try to escape...only to be dragged back by the cops and paramedics.  Good times.  I was then moved to a "holding pen" in the Central Transition Unit (CTU) and had the good fortune to land a neighbor with two things on his mind...watching old movies at volume 11 on a scale of 10 and demanding Percocet every 30 minutes on the dot.  The best thing about my little cubby hole in the CTU was the toilet hidden within the sink cabinet.  I actually had to open the cabinet doors and pull the toilet out to use it. 

I finally made it to a real room at about midnight on Tuesday...or 32 hours after my journey started.  We quickly learned that my gallbladder was in poor shape and had produced a ton of "sludge" (the doctor's medical term) that was likely contributing to my low blood pressure.  Despite some risks because of my compromised immune system, we decided the best course of action was to surgically remove the gallbladder.  That procedure took up most of Wednesday and went well.  It turns out the sludge was worse than thought so everyone was happy that we got that bad boy out of me.

After spending Thursday under observation and watching my blood pressure results improve, I was released from the hospital on Friday.  As always, it was great to get back home to see the kids, the dog and my own bed.  There's nothing better than scraping off the hospital funk and escaping the staff who want to wake me up at 4am to take blood. 

Thanks to my Dad & Kathy who came to Orlando to help while I was "on the inside" and of course thanks to Jen who was right there with me every step of the way.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy Holidays

I hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas.  The Beaird family loves us some Christmas and this year we continued a number of our traditions: watching a live performance of Dickens' "The Christmas Carol"; attending the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT (this year our narrator was Gary Sinise...Lieutenant Dan!!); driving around looking at Christmas lights; watching the movie "Christmas Vacation" on Christmas Eve (while drinking Pa's loaded eggnog); and of course the St. James Christmas Eve children's mass (Shannon had a choir solo this year).

The best Christmas gift of all was spending time with all of the family and friends who came through our house.  We are truly blessed to have so many grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and out-laws who live close enough to visit.

Things are going pretty well on the medical front although I continue to battle low blood pressure.  The good news is that there have been no more fainting episodes, but I do get tired and light-headed quite often.  The bad news is that the doctor won't let me drive.  It's like being 14-years old again and waiting for Mom to take me everywhere.  Not much fun...but even less fun for my chauffeur, Jen.  The "no driving" rule sometimes extends to a "no a lot of walking" rule and I used a wheelchair at EPCOT when we saw the Candlelight Processional (Aaron did a great job pushing me). 

Perhaps the weirdest impact of the low blood pressure is the seriously swollen ankles and feet I get because there isn't enough pressure to fight gravity and my blood pools down low.  There are times when I can't wear shoes because my fat little sausage feet have swollen up so big.  If this was a fairy tale, deep in the dark woods a hungry wolf would be drooling over the visions of my ankles in his mind's eye.

Now that the calendar has turned to 2013 and we're in college football bowl season and NFL playoff season, I've noticed a few things:

-  Why does ESPN need 40 different NFL analysts?  If they only had to pay 10 people, would there be fewer commercials and would my cable bill be cheaper?

-  What's with the trend of football players with long dreadlocks?  I don't like it because I can't read the names on the back of their jerseys which means I can't fool Aaron into thinking I know who all these players are.

-  Why did the Gators decide not to show up against Louisville?  I'm glad we were watching the game at a great party (thanks Tyndalls!)...it made the sting of an embarrasing performance hurt less.  Good thing we're a basketball school!

- Who's going to win...'Bama or Notre Dame?  It's hard to root against the SEC, but I have a number of Notre Dame friends and wouldn't mind seeing Darth Saban come up short...it should be a great game.