Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yes, it happened again

Once upon a time, I took a speech class that I dearly loved. 1972-73
We would all sit around in a circle and give weekly speeches on assigned topics.
Then everyone in the class would give input on how our speech went.

One day this guy named Jim Ray was giving a speech about his family,
and he mentioned how much he loved to watch his home movies from his childhood.  
I told him after class, that I LOVE to watch anyone's home movies. 
So he said he would bring his over. And he did, along with his girlfriend Terri.
So fun that evening listening to someone talk so excitedly and happy about his family. 
I got to hear story after story. He also brought his guitar and he sang Wizard of Oz songs....

Back then I visited him a few times at his work.

We'd sit in the little windowed area gas stations use to have and talk about life,
and what we wanted in our futures..
He said he wanted to reach out to others like his Dad always had.
He would smoke and I would say to him, "Smoking is not good for you. You really need to quit." 
He would say, "I'm not addicted. I can quit anytime I want to."
(not sure how that turned out)

School ended that year and we all went our separate ways. 
Except Terri went his way, and they got married a year or so later.  
I married 2 years later also. I thought about Jim and Terri through the years. 
Never knowing what happened to them, or where they even lived. 

So imagine how I felt a few weeks ago when I opened the paper and saw this:

I felt compelled to attend his service. I know I had not seen him in 40 years, 
but his life made an impression on mine, and I remembered so much about him all these years later. 
I think I was struck most by how much his Mom and Dad and 3 sisters meant to him.

We got to see a video of his life, and listen to his 3 sisters and his Dad, tell about it. 
Since I had not seen Jim in 40 years, all I knew was what he was like back in 1972. 
So his Memorial service to me, was like being in 1972, and then fast forwarding to 2012.

I learned that he and Terri divorced, 
and he was also separated from his 2nd wife at the time of his death.
But the 2nd wife had promised she would be with him at the end.
So she left her home and life in Virgina,
and for the past 3 months of his life, she had been caring for him.
I thought that was quite the story of love, in an odd sort of way.

Like I always say, there is nothing more interesting than people.

Who was it who said something like:
"I am a part of every person I have known." ?

We probably all feel that way, right?


Grandmotherfairy said...

How thoughtful you are...and what a wonderful memory. By the way...the name of that hotel is the Lafayette Hotel and Spa...it is a little pricey, but it was a wonderful anniversary splurge!!

Richard said...

That post belongs in the blogger hall of fame...so interesting and unusual.

Robin said...

I sure hope he wasn't foolish enough to buy any of that 42 cent gas... but then at that time I made 50 cents an hour babysitting and now McKenzie makes $10 an hour so I guess it all works out.

nrozier said...

These obituary posts are starting to depress me! I still think of you as being young so seeing all your high school chums dropping like flies is distressing.

Grandma Honey said...

Sorry Nat, but it's only 2. I'll try to put together a Fam camp post soon to cheer you up.

And Robin...I hadn't even noticed the gas price sign!

Anonymous said...

I HOPE I'm not a part of every person I have known. That's spreading me entirely too thin! But, seriously, quite an interesting post. Thanks for all your efforts to inform, entertain, and make us think.

Karen Mortensen said...

How sad. He seemed like a really nice guy.

Sue said...

I think it's wonderful that you went to the funeral, Jill. It just says so much about the person you are.


Lisa said...

I have never met anyone who looked at the section of the paper of who died. I've seen movies & read books about that but this post really shed a new perspective on that.

I'm impressed that you went to the funeral too. I don't know that quote with the "I" part. I sort of like to think of "Every person I have known is part of me"

THanks for sharing such a neat post. Totally enjoyed the recap of your life. I feel like I know you through your penned thoughts & stuff. Thanks for sharing!

Grandma Honey said...

Actually Lisa and Darlene, that is what I meant...."Every person I have known is part of me." Not sure of the exact quote,but the way you said it Lisa was more like it.

Eileen said...

Oh, another sad but beautiful post. I think it says a lot about both Jim and his second wife that she would give up her life to care for him at the end of his.
And I think it says a lot about you, Jill, to post this 'human interest' story. I love it!

And, again, I can't get over how life goes in the blink of an eye! This vibrant young man, now gone.

I loved his obituary, talking about him going on to greet his Lord.
Love and Prayers,