My sisters, Gina and Mary, did blogs for each other because they were "Joined in January", so it is only fitting that I write about Jim and I being "Meshed in March!" Jim wrote such a wonderful tribute to me on my birthday and I hope to come close to the same level that he is so skillful at!
I remember 44 years ago, on this day the 31st of March, 1970 being told by my grandma that a beautiful baby boy was born to our family. I remember my Dad was so excited to have a son and so proud of the fact that his new bouncing baby boy had a dimple in his chin...just like his father. I remember seeing Jim for the first time and I was in awe of the bundle of love brought home from the hospital. My sister Lora and I had to share our bedroom with Jim. He did have a mean and loud cry and it was hard to get a good night’s rest during those days we all shared a bedroom. We did move to a different home, soon after Jim was born! In this new home, Jim had room to grow into this darling little blonde boy with the bluest eyes I have ever seen; however, he still have the loudest cry I've ever heard. I remember hearing him cry through the whole neighborhood at which point my Mom told him that if he continued to cry like that, he would not be able to keep his friends. Jim looked at her with those huge beautiful blue eyes, and tear-stained cheeks and said, "OH!" From that day on, Jim consoled himself and not much crying was heard from the little blonde bomber again!
I like to think back and remember Jim's growing up years! He was always so willing to do just about anything. Jim was never lazy and full of energy. One memory I have was when I was 16, which would have made Jim about 10, and he just loved his camera. I just had finished up a date and was saying good night to the guy at the front door...waiting for a KISS! Just about as our lips were going to touch...Jim jumped out of the closet near the front door with a camera in hand saying, “ Battle of the Lips!” and then a click and a flash of the camera...and Jim was off again. I was so mortified...I hoped that was the beginning and end of Jim's camera antics...but realized shortly after that, it was just the beginning of Jim's Candid Camera Period. I really wanted to kick his bootie when one day...having just got out of the shower, Jim jumped out from under the bathroom cupboard and with camera in hand, click and flash....and he was off! Once, I remember singing in my bedroom and at the time my bedroom was in the basement of our home. I had a window well that I could see outside and Jim, thought it was really funny, to moon me from the window well outside...too bad I didn't have a camera!
As the years went by, Jim grew into a very handsome young man and did well in everything he ever tried! He works so hard, and to this day there are not many of us that could work like he does. Jim succeeded in installing sprinkler systems, he was a wonderful waiter at JB’S, he has worked for UPS and was a great success at that too! I remember seeing Jim, after working a long, hard day delivering packages for UPS and his hair was soaking wet from sweat! Jim achieved his goal of becoming a private Pilot, he graduated with a business degree, he is scuba certified, and he is a dental hygienist. Whatever it is he decides to do, he does it 100% and works his guts out til he gets it done!
This past year has been a year of big changes in my, and my family’s, lives. Last summer, when my daughter decided to move out on her own, I was talking, and crying, to Jim about all the side affects of empty nesting I was experiencing. Jim said, “Sounds like your brother needs to come out and visit his sis!” I was ecstatic...Jim flew out to visit me and once again spent his time listening to my concerns for my daughter. I told him how worried I was about her new apartment... it became very hot in her apartment in the summer and I didn’t want her to have to open her windows at night...leaving her vulnerable to break-ins. My daughter also desperately needed a new bed. Jim visited me for only a couple of days and in that time my daughter got a nice window air conditioner installed, windows were tightened down and secured, and a comfortable new mattress delivered to her apartment! My brother Jim showed me love and understanding in my empty nest syndrome and I remember the day he left us from that particular visit, my daughter, Jim and I were all hugging in a circle! We broke away and Jim, with tears in his eyes, said "come back here dang it...I am not done hugging you two!" We three stood there hugging and crying again. Just this past week my wonderful brother flew back to visit me again and this time, brought me a new computer for my birthday...which I am typing away at to create this blog post...and while he was here, once again Jim also helped my daughter with a few things she needed help with. I heard her say, “it is so nice to have you here, Uncle Jim...especially since we don’t have a man around here to help with some things!” My daughter loves her Uncle Jim and I know he takes time from his very busy schedule to check on her and just let her know how much he loves her. I just love that about him!
This past November, as most of you know, our mother passed away unexpectedly and I have to tell you that Jim flew into action to once again help me out! He called me and said, "I will get your airplane reservations for you, and your girl, to fly home for mom’s funeral." Jim planned it all and made it happen for us to fly home to be with the family!
I have the best brother in the world. I owe him everything! He has been there for all of the family and Jim's greatest desire is to help, and serve, his family....he is ALL about family! I am crying thinking of the love I have for this man and the unconditional grace and love he has for all of us. To know my brother Jim, is to love him and all those who have called him friend, I am sure, feel the same as I do about him. I am so honored to call him my Brother! If this world was blessed with one family member, like Jim, in every home...this world would be a little piece of Heaven! I love you Jim...and because of you, have hope and love for this life! Happy Birthday today and wishing you many more in the future!