In Memorium: Maurits Alphons “Mark” Jansen

Mark Jansen was one of the kindest souls I’ve ever had the privilege to meet.  He could be funny and he could be serious, but I never once ever saw him angry.  And he could smile.

Everyone has smiles they use for various reasons.  We have our Polite Smile, our We’re-being-tolerant-of-your-noisy-kids Smile, our Please-take-the-picture-already Smile and so on.  Mark had one smile and it was a genuine reflection of his spirit.  If I had to give it a name, it would be a Being-around-you-makes-me-feel-good Smile.

To say that I don’t feel sad Mark is gone would be an obvious lie.  A large part of whatever is good in me is a result of Mark’s influence in my life as classmate, coworker and friend.  That part of me resonates with the pain of his passing, but in that pain I’ve begun to realize how much of Mark lives on, not only in me but in everyone who knew him.  That gives me cause to celebrate Maurits Alphons Jansen.

And it would make him smile.