Friday, November 4, 2011

My Brother, Jim

Sometimes life throws you a curveball that smacks you in the face. I received such a curveball last night when my brother, Mike, called to let me know that my brother, Jim,  passed away. Jim was 54. Certainly too young. 

Jim was the second of 5 boys in my family.  I am the youngest. He was a very unique individual. Growing up, I remember he LOVED the Beatles and baseball. He was huge into music of all kinds. He worked for a music store called Licorice Pizza for years (I don’t think they are even in existence anymore). He then worked for distributing company in their music department until he was let go a few years ago due to downsizing.  He also loved trains and history. He could remember things in great detail. He was a collector, both of things and trivia.  He was always interesting to talk to because he was knowledgeable about so many things. He wasn’t very sociable, however. He was shy and could have been considered quite grumpy and he made no bones about sharing his opinion about things, popular or not. He never married. After my mom passed away, he and I formed a pretty strong bond. We always called each other on birthdays and holidays and it was like we had just talked last week. Jessica shared his birthday. Unfortunately for me this year, I didn’t get to call him on his birthday. I was caught up in my volunteer commitments and Jessica’s birthday. He understood (I had sent him a card and emailed him), but I will regret not calling him that day or even a couple of days later.  I am grateful for the 2 hour conversation we had on my birthday however. It was a great one and I told him in his birthday card how much I appreciated that chat.

I hadn’t seen him in years, but this past summer he got to meet my girls when we took a side trip from South Dakota to Minnesota, where he and Steve’s aunt lived. Steve’s aunt is ill and we wanted to visit her. Of course, we had to stop to see Jim, too. We had a great lunch. I’m so glad now we made that stop, even though it made for an extremely long day.

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Jim, I love you and will miss you terribly, but will take comfort in the knowledge that you have met up with Mom and are probably catching up, big time.

My dad seems to be doing okay so far. He’ll be heading out to Minnesota and my brother Jeff (the oldest) will most likely head that way too, to help him. I don’t know for sure anything beyond that.

Thanks for reading, if you got this far. Hug your loved ones tight while you can. Please don’t get too busy to make a call or send an email/card.  You just never know.