Jack’s Caregiver Coalition was born in the coldest Minnesota winter in 30 years. ¬†It was 2014 and specifically it was in the Lucky 13 pub in Bloomington, Minnesota in a conversation that was fueled by two pints of Fulton’s Sweet Child of Vine¬†IPA.
Justin and I’s first meeting was like a bizarre blind date. Neither of us knew what the other looked like. But it didn’t take long for the awkwardness to subside.
There Justin and I were, at a bar drinking beer while our terminally ill wives were at home taking care of our children.
But while those around us at that bar discussed sports and politics, Justin and I were talking about things we had never talked about with anyone. Watching your spouse suffer everyday, what to tell our young children about their mother’s future, why we can’t let our needs compete with our ill spouse’s, what it’s like to feel guilty for feeling good, and why it’s so hard for us guys to understand that we’re struggling.
This was powerful stuff.
We laughed together. ¬†We cried together (like guys do in public places which means slightly reddened eyes).
And as Justin and I met every month, month after month, and as winter turned to spring and spring into summer we both realized we were changing.
We were becoming better fathers, better husbands, and better caregivers. Never near perfect of course, but a little better all the time.
And suddenly our purpose crystallized right before our eyes. We had to build an organization that could bring this experience to as many people as possible. And with a toast to the future our beer glasses clanged, Jack’s was born!