This blog grew out of reflecting on our family’s lives after my husband Jim, outwardly in perfect health and no known risk factors, was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.
At his memorial service only months later, the Reverend urged everyone to “live their lives as though they knew this man.”
Of hundreds upon hundreds of people who attended what Jim called his “Closing Ceremonies,” many knew him well. Some had known him for most or all of his life. Four were his younger sisters; others were like brothers to him. Some knew him because they were his colleagues or patients, or had called him “Coach” at Little League games. The Boy Scout troop he spent years mentoring and showing the wonders of watching the stars in clear New Hampshire skies presented a solemn color guard. Some came in support of me and our children; some, indeed, had never even met Jim. My mother’s mechanic closed down his business that day and came up to my husband’s service, just because he could read in my mother’s sadness what a fine man her only son-in-law was.
I believe the way Jim lived his entire life, not just the fraction of it during which he knew he was dying, is worth knowing.
Jim’s and our family’s story is also very much one of friendship–of the compassionate friend he was to others, and the unbelievable friends they have been to him and to us.
Comments and thoughts are welcome.
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