Jim could always put a smile on my face. He is the husband of one of my dearest friends . Jim always has been a smooth guy, he could make anyone feel at home when they visited him. I remember calling my friend M and Jim would answer. No matter what the day brought to Jim, he would say to me, "Hey you look great today!" I fell for it every time, even though he couldn't see me, he knew how to make my day! One time he said, "You look great in that red dress!" I was wearing a red dress--how did he know? Just the luck of a smooth guy!
Jim and M are hospitality king and queen. They love to entertain. They like it no better than to have a house full of guests. Often they provided bed and breakfast for many of their friends. I got to know them best when they had a small waterfront home at a lake development in Mid-Mo. This was the gathering place for lots of friends and relatives. We ate, we drank, we girls "cackled", the guys sat and chewed the fat, the kids fished, we swam, we rode the pontoon boat, we stayed up late, we drank coffee on the porch, we enjoyed the beautiful sunsets on the lake. Those memories will live on forever in our minds.
We were sad when they decided that Mid-Mo wasn't working for them. You see, Jim had contracted polio as a young boy, and although he was affected his whole life by it, as he aged, he was less able to get around. He used his "green machine" lawnmower as a conveyance for years at the lake, then that got harder and harder. Finally they made the decision to move to a different lake development, one closer to home and family, and all on one floor!
My Mr and I loved the lake so much that we bought a home there. Then we moved a little further away to a home on its own lake, and loved the country life. But as my Mr. got sick, country living and being far from doctors wasn't working for us either, so we moved back to the city.
Jim found out in January that he had cancer. It was an insidious, rare, fairly unheard of cancer, and to treat it would be an assault on his body that his doctors didn't think he could survive. So Jim, in his usual cheerful way, accepted his fate and went on with life. But life kept throwing him curves, taking away the remaining strength he had left, and laying him low with more and more physical challenges.
I got the call last night. Jim was in his last days. He became unresponsive and seemed to be in some sort of prolonged sleep, unable to be roused. Luckily, one of his sons from out of town was there, and his two daughters also. Many friends and relatives have come to visit. Another of M and Jim's friends, who used to be my next door neighbor went with me to be with the family on the watch by Jim's bedside.
We know not the hour or the day when death comes to our door. It seems like Jim will be meeting his God very soon. Again, how it makes us realize the importance of each day in our lives.
So, make a resolution, if you have a sick friend or relative, don't wait til tomorrow to call or visit...we are not promised tomorrow. Again I say, CARPE DIEM....pass the ice cream!