He had a way with words and somehow knew humor could help ease the awkwardness. Besides that, you never had to pretend he was a one-armed man. He flaunted it. Not that he liked it, mind you, but it was what it was and he kept moving forward. So did we.
He reminded us, however, through his poetry, that life is made up of changes and filled with unexpected turns.
Through his own awareness that life could be brief, he reminded us to live it fully.
I laughed when his longtime friend from childhood, Stacy Curtright, told me Jim had the highest ranking score on Facebook’s "Word Challenge” of anyone she knew.
"I used to try to beat his score for HOURS and couldn’t even come close, and he was playing with limitations (one handed!).”
From the first time I met him, I have been moved by his writings because they often express what I am feeling and thinking. One of those says much of what many of us are feeling today. It is titled "Time.”
"If you could only grab it and hang on, buy a carton of the stuff, or slip some into your front pocket.
"If you could only reclaim that moment, revisit that stupid mistake, or swallow that unfortunate word.
"If you could only see him again, or tell her goodbye, or reach out and hold her hand.
"Violins are quietly tuning up. The sun takes its usual spot. Opportunities skip right on by.
"If you could only smuggle a smidgeon, pinch off the left-hand corner, or sample a sweet slice of once more.”
Just once more, I’d like to sit across from him having a cup of coffee. Just once more, I’d like to hear him read poetry to me. Just once more I’d like to hear him brag on LeAnn, Maddye and Ford. Just once more I’d like to share a hug.
Those of us who knew him are changed now, not because he has left us, but because he touched us.