February 27, 2010

When I saw my mom calling at 9:17am on February 16, 2010, I knew the news wasn’t going to be good. It wasn’t. I was at the airport 4 hours later. Sitting there waiting for my flight, I remembered my thoughts not quite 6 months earlier…that I would do anything to be with Jim when he passed. After a long day of traveling due to delays I finally got to Jim at 2:30am. Seeing him was emotional and I was reminded of the last time I saw my grandmother Ruth before she died…I knew then that I wouldn’t be going home without going to a funeral first. But our time together was special, he knew I was there and I told him everything that I wanted to say, he looked me in the eyes, he kissed my hand and he still had plenty of orders to give in typical Jim fashion. 1, 2, 3, 4, again. I stayed up the rest of the night and just absorbed our time together, remembering all the little moments of our life.

As a child I spent a lot of time on his lap, never having to walk much because I always had a ride. He taught me at a young age to make his tea, pull at his knees when he needed an adjustment and put his vest or coat on when he was headed out. As I got older I was his hands, he directed me in putting together a bicycle and fixing a stereo, I happily washed his van and pretty much any other task he gave me. He always said to me, “my little girl”, even when I was 34 years old and placing the chemo pill in his mouth…I can still hear him speaking those words.

On the morning of February 17, Tim, Terry and my mom left the hospice house to take care of some things on their own and I stayed with Jim…I watched as his breathing changed, it scared me. I almost called them to tell them to hurry back, but I didn’t…I knew Jim would want to be surrounded and given a proper send off, I knew he would wait. That evening we shared in Jim’s last “social gathering”. Charlie, Bill and Gram said their goodbyes on the phone; Zach, Jackson and Lauren came by to spend time and say their goodbyes. Tim, Terry, my mom, Papa, Kelly, Laura and Peter (who saved Jim, and is the reason we’ve had him for the past 30 years), myself and finally my brother, Jim Joe (who arrived from NYC, I had been giving Jim updates as to when he would be arriving) were left. We surrounded Jim and that was when my mom realized that he was really on his way and it was hard for her, but Jim knew what to do. As his last voluntary act he opened his eyes, looked at my mom and reached out to her. And with that, his soul left his body and surrounded us. He gave each one of us a gift that night.

I’m feeling selfish right now and am sad that we no longer have Jim with us physically…but I’m trying to take solace in the fact that he is no longer in pain and he is finally free of his body…now he can run and jump and fly. And he’ll never truly be gone…his impact on this world was too great. He fills up the hearts of everyone that he touched.

I love you Jim. You will fill my heart for all of my days. Thank you for giving me the gift of your love.


5 Responses to “56/365”

  1. mommy23ms said

    Such a beautiful tribute Sarah.

  2. oma said

    What a beasutiful relationship you had with Jim and you were far from being selfish then or now. He is with his Creator, true love. Pat

  3. Beh Beh said

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful memories with all of us. I always think about the amazing people you have had in your life and the wonderful ways you continue to keep them alive today. I am here for you whenever you need me, Sissy. xoxo

  4. Lainy said

    I am sorry that you lost such an important person from your life, especially one so young with so much more to give and achieve. My thoughts are with you during this terrible time. He will be missed by everyone who was lucky enough to have met him and spend time with him. I consider myself lucky to have been able to call him family.

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