Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Journey with Jim

Shortly after being asked to be a participant in the life transition of Leanne, I was asked to walk with another parishioner by the name of Jim. Jim had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Our first visit was in the hospital where he was being treated. He was there for about a week this time so I made frequent visits as we established a deeper relationship.

I had known the family for some time as their oldest son went to the school I work at and the family were founding members of our parish. Jim was a focused, involved man in the parish, and also as a husband, father, brother. He was a good guy that always looked to get the best out of every situation and person he met. Jim was never caustic that I saw through the years but supportive, caring and gentle.

I was honored to be brought into his life at this time. The chance to see where a person’s faith has brought them and how they are thinking and believing is one that is a true privilege. The love Jim had and showed for people also showed in the people that showered not only Jim, but also his wife and family with love and care in the end. Jim was surrounded by his family, his siblings and other relatives, all doing whatever they could to help Jim to be comfortable in his final days.
His funeral was a true celebration of his life. We laughed and cried and we prayed for Jim, because we now know he is praying for and helping to watch over us. As Jim slept one day while I was visiting (there is a joke in there somewhere I am sure) I did what I have starting doing, I pulled out my phone, opened the Pages app and started writing.

Jim – September 26, 1936 – August 3, 2016

For Jim

I walked in the room and said hello
He turned his head in my direction
The look was one of recognition
He was more relaxed than yesterday
The words of prayer we whispered softly
Then he told me that God had found him
So different from yesterday he was
For he questioned all and was troubled
Yet now he knows and has heard the call
For God has found him and that was all
That Jim needed to make the decision
The family agrees as well as physicians
So home he will go tomorrow morning
But it could be just a spiritual yearning
A life with no pain or age he seeks
A true life with God is what he needs
A good a faithful servant he has been
So thankfully now Jim gets the ultimate win.

June 2016

The words written don’t do him justice. It is important to remember we are all in this together. We are all members of the human race. My hope in these situations is to bring some comfort and understanding to the people I work with. That and to merely be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to work through me to bring these people to their ultimate home.

Jim, you have been a good and faithful servant. May you rest in peace.

So much to learn and so little time.