Mom and Jim. My brothers and sister have used that phrase since I was about 9 years old. We call him Jim, but Jim is more than his name. For us, J I M spells Dad, in every way and for every reason a Dad is a Dad to children who need one. And we needed him more than we knew when he came into our lives, fell in love with his soul mate Marsha and became the man who guided us thru our young lives and into adulthood. And they have been some interesting lives - along with the joys and trials of any young marriage, Jim added the lives of five young kids to his own three. And he led us all, taught us all and loved us all, every day of his life.
So many memories, so many lessons, over the years and all punctuated by Jim's clear and simple perspective on what matters - family, integrity and love.
Winning us over with his guitar; Singing by the fireplace; Getting the tree; Decorating for Christmas; Fishing - anytime, anywhere; Sounding like a goat when a child would tug at his beard; Celebrating every birth, birthday, graduation and marriage that blessed our lives; Forcing him to wear a tux at our weddings; Working in the garden, which grew in size every Spring by just a couple rows; Singing in a band on a Saturday night; ; Pop-starting the VW Bus to get us where we needed to go; Standing by our Mom and taking loving care of her to the very last breath;
So many memories, so many ways Jim shaped us and guided us at each step on our own journeys. Jim was never complicated by the profoundness of each of those moments, but he knew the power and responsibility he had in keeping us on the path - or pushing us back onto it when we veered.
Jim is an uncommon kind, gentle, patient soul, strong enough to handle anything that came his way with a steady, quiet force. He taught us the value of an honest days work, of a job well done and the meaning of commitment and the importance of a man's word. He showed us what it means to truly love a woman and to treat her with respect, and to be her partner in all that life brings. He treated us as his own and did everything for us that a father should do. He made our Mom happy - truly happy - and for that, we are eternally grateful.
And now, Mom and Jim are together again, reunited, and at peace. And for that also we are grateful, and happy.
We love you, Jim, and today we celebrate your spirit, your love and your life and we say thank you for the gifts you gave us and the indelible mark you have made on our lives.
After a full life of joy and sadness, highs and lows, work and play, family and friends, now is your time for you. We watch you take Marsha's hand, and walk with her to your rest. We love you.
August 11, 2011