Sunday, February 12, 2006

Remembering Jimmy

My Uncle Jimmy passed away suddenly this past week. He was 64. His memorial service was held yesterday afternoon in Baton Rouge. Prior to the service I visited with my aunt and my cousins, and listening to those three women remember Jimmy filled me with an overwhelming sense of regret. I hadn't spent more than a few hours with Jimmy over the 45 years that he was in our family--I have always been too busy with own life and career, shamefully, to spend much time with even my own family. I knew I liked him immensely, I just didn't know why. My only solid remembrance of the man was that he treated me as an adult a long time before I deserved it. As I listened to their remembrances I learned that I had missed really knowing a man who shared many of my own passions and viewpoints. I heard about a man whose fascination with nature and love of country surprisingly surpassed my own. I heard about a man whose exellence as a son, a husband, a father, and a teacher would have made him an ideal mentor in my life.

I can only guess how hard this is on my aunt and cousins, and my loss is only a fraction of that felt by them. But, in a way, my loss is greater than theirs. They shared his life, and I missed out.
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