Memories of Jamie
Many of us think we know what brought our darlin’ Jamie to this parting. But do we really?
When a tragedy of this type happens we all ask ourselves – what didn’t I do, what didn’t I say. Why did I do that, why did I say that. If only. If.
We cannot turn back time and in reality, we have no power over others,
no matter how much we think we do. WHY this awful waste, this loss.
We can remember Jamie. He is with us always in our hearts, minds and dreams.
Remember his delightful sense of humor. His twinkling eyes and that smile that made you think – just what is he up to? Every time I hear “I’m Too Sexy For My Hat” I can see Jamie doing his special “turn up on the catwalk”.
I remember having him spend the night with his grandfather and me when Elaine and Joey would go out. Going down to the wharf - Jamie holding my hand with Mandy in a stroller. He kissed her on the head and said that she had a “baldy heady”.
Jamie on the stripping shed floor doing the “tips”. Jumping into a load of soy beans and having them swell inside his nostrils. So many things that a boy growing up on a farm could get into. Always helping his Pop and Dad with the chores.
Helping his grandmother, Cissy with repairs, splitting and stocking wood, anything that she asked, he would do his best to accommodate.
Becoming a big brother to Kelly and a special buddy to his nephew Cody. And always the prankster with his cousins Danielle and Chrissy.
Becoming a teenager with all that comes with it. His shinning times on the football field at Leonardtown High School. His mother’s cold behind sitting on the bleachers.
Making a video with his friend Chad when his Aunt Debbie and Uncle Ellis were expecting Cody. It should be sent to America’s Funniest Videos. Jamie dressed as Debbie and acting out a scene in which Debbie goes into labor, keeps yelling for Ellis and Chad delivering the “baby’. It is a classic.
Falling in and out of “puppy love” and suffering the heartbreak that comes along with it – as well as causing a few heartbreaks himself.
Developing into a young man with so many friends. Sharing good times fishing with his uncle Bobby and Bernie. Helping his Pop Pop crab, even though he always got seasick. And then, helping out on the boat with Bernie when Pop Pop couldn’t.
He made the decision to join the Army to test himself – to become the best that he could be.
I pondered this decision – wondering how a young man that was so very sensitive could even consider it. Jamie tried very hard to pull off a macho image, but I knew this fellow couldn’t finish reading “Where the Red Fern Grows” because the dog died in the end. A fellow that, while well into his teens, wept at the loss of his pet goat for days. A grandson that was never too old to kiss his family hello and goodbye.
So to the Army he went. He enjoyed the beauty of Hawaii for a brief time and then was sent to Afghanistan.
The horrors that Jamie experienced can only be understood by those who have experienced the same and imagined by those who haven’t.
Then after returning home he met a beautiful woman – Muriel. Now I said woman. I always reminded him that this was a woman and not a little girl that played silly games.
One of my most treasured memories is their wedding day. I was the officiant . So many friends and family members, some coming from afar, especially Jamie’s Army buddies to witness the joining together of a new family, for Muriel brought daughter Tanya and son Shane into the union.
Muriel brought light and love into Jamie’s life. She had to have a heck of a sense of humor too. We love her. She helped Jamie find a sense of peace and understanding.
Jamie was to develop new kindships with Kelly’s husband, Merco and their son, Braden, as well as Chuck and his daughter Jennifer.
He was the joy of his parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – of all his many friends.
There truly is a slender thread that separates life and death, stability and instability and that thread was especially slender for Jamie. Behind that happy face was a soul troubled with layers of insecurities, doubts, fears and uncertainties. We all have them.
Our Jamie. Our sparkling, smiling Jamie.
You left us too soon.
Perhaps the Lord saved you from some fate worse than death, they do exist. We won’t know till we meet again.
And we will.