Posted by: Jim E | May 9, 2017

Jeremy’s Birthday…May 6, 2017…Still Remembering…Still Celebrating His Life…

Last weekend we celebrated Jeremy’s 47th birthday…this year, for the first time, without him…but we still had our time honoring his life…

It’s definitely hard after living with us for almost 47 years…to not think of him everyday…and be reminded of him everyday…little things pop up to remind us…like when we fix a meal…it’s just the two of us…Judie and I mention this often…because Jeremy could not easily eat…he would choke on many things, so we had to fix things that he could eat…and when his favorites were Pizza, tacos, barbecue ribs at Whole Hog, fried chicken at Popeye’s chicken…hmm, well, that’s about it…as you can see it made it somewhat difficult to fix something he could eat…Oh, it wasn’t that bad but it felt like it…a least, a very limited menu at our house…

On Saturday, May 6, which was his birthday…we visited the cemetery where he is buried…it was a beautiful day…full sun, blue skies…Judie and I talked and walked around where he is buried…a few tears…but it was good…it somehow brings Judie and I, great comfort…to be where he is laid…as we celebrate his life…Jeremy's mausolium on wall

On Sunday, May 7, the day after his birthday, we had his favorite birthday meal…the one he always had…and we invited Jared, Marisa…well the whole clan, who live here in Little Rock…now, I know you would like to know about the menu…you may think, steak, lobster, shrimp, or some other like entree…but you would be wrong…it fit Jeremy, it was a simple menu: Mom’s meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and El Grande Salad…you may say, “Meatloaf is special?”…well, you haven’t tried Mom’s (Judie’s) meatloaf, it’s great…and of course, Jeremy loved it…plain old green beans, mashed potatoes (real potatoes, mashed)…and El Grande Salad…(bowl of lettuce with grated Monterey Jack cheese, black olives sliced, red onion sliced thin, pepperoni, Green Goddess dressing with a dollop of vinegar…toss the salad and serve)…we had fresh rolls to go with it…a feast, worthy of Jeremy’s 47th birthday…Jeremy's birthday meal

And after the meal, some downtime to talk a bit about Jeremy…old stories…new ones too…the whole day was a perfect day…sunny, blue skies, in the 70’s…what my Mom would have called, “A Bluebird Day”…it was that…

This last week, Judie had a visitor come to see her…her and her husband go to our church…and they lost a college-age daughter in an accident about 10 years ago…she has wanted to talk to Judie for some time…but wanted to wait a while…I went to my office and they talked…and had a wonderful time talking about both losses…different, yet the same…she brought a figurine called, “A Heart of Gold”…I’ll attach picture…she got it right…Jeremy did have a heart of gold…Judie and I will treasure this…Jeremy, Heart of Gold figurine

And just yesterday, we were grocery shopping, and a man stopped to talk…I had never met him…but Judie knew him, (ahh, Judie knows everyone…me…not so much)…he is the father of one of our granddaughters friends…he knew Jeremy had died…and wanted to tell us how sorry he was…and he had read my blog about Jeremy…he never met Jeremy, but felt he now knew him…and yes, more tears…as we talked…

Food stories…Jeremy had them…from fixing pizza every Saturday night at Jared and Marisa’s…to eating at Whole Hog…and how about this one…he had jaw surgery at Mayo Clinic, well, St. Mary’s hospital…next to Mayo…I have told the story before, but they found a tumor in his jaw…this was 2011…so Dr. Keller did the surgery…and found the tumor was cancerous, out it came along with a tooth that was in the way…so after surgery and recovery…we asked if there were any restrictions about eating…the doctor said no, as long as it was on the other side…it was same-day surgery…so on the way back to the motel…we asked Jeremy were he wanted to eat…”Culvers”, he said…”A Jeremy at Culver'sButterburger, fries, a Coke, and a sundae.”…I looked at Judie…shook my head in fake disbelief …and said, “But you have to eat on the other side.”…he loved it…and never took a pain pill…never any pain…he loved to eat…at least eat what he liked…what a kid…

There are thousands of stories about Jeremy…we hear them every week…and try to write them down so we don’t forget…when Judie went to the Kroger where Jeremy worked for about 10 years, here in Little Rock…one of the cashiers, who Jeremy dearly loved…she came up to Judie and told her how much she misses him…still has his picture up in her house…she was the one who made us aware of his first stroke in 2014…

Jess, our number 3 son, who lives in the Minneapolis area…he went to his 30th high school reunion…I will add his text to us and a story he heard from one of the coaches Jeremy worked with for so many years as a manager of the basketball team…St. Francis High School

Jeremy, Jeff Fink story018

Sometimes I look for a higher purpose when some events happen…I think of Jesus, in John 11:4…when learning of Lazarus illness and ultimate death…Jesus said, that it was for a higher purpose…in that case it was to glorify God…and somehow, I think Jeremy’s death has done something more than just another statistic in the paper…we keep learning how he touched so many people’s lives in ways that I cannot completely understand, nor get my arms around…I know he changed our lives for these 47 years, and will continue to effect us for the rest of our lives…Jeremy and Dad the Ranch

Of this I’m sure…(as I was talking to, I don’t really know to whom…to Jeremy, I suppose), when the other day, as I passed by his room, I said…”One of the greatest privileges of our lives is to have taken care of you all these years.”…it’s been an honor being his parents…he was a special “kid”…his zest for living, hard working, courageous, loving, generous, full of faith…this was Jeremy, and more…this is hard…as I remember him…

A family we know lost a son to cancer a while ago…the father sent out this poem…it really speaks our feelings right now, as it did to him at that time…we put all our boys in God’s Hands when they were born…we still trust Him with that work…

What God ordains is ALWAYS good, this truth remains unshaken!
Though sorrow, death, or need be mine, I shall not be forsaken.
I fear no harm, for with his arm, He shall embrace and shield me.
So to my God I yield me…  

“What God Ordains Is Always Good”

by Samuel Rodigast, 1649-1708

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Responses

  1. Terrific. Thanks Jim, loved every word of this! Barbara

    • Barb…thanks…Jim E

  2. What a great tribute to your son, your brother and a friend to many! My daughter knew Jeremy from Cub in CoonRapids, but I knew Jeremy from the neighborhood, school and etc….. He was a great person, who reading this touched so many more people then many. God had a plan, and Jeremy followed through!

    Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Happy Birthday Jeremy!

    • Joan…thanks for your comment…Jeremy was special to many…thanks again…Jim E

  3. Thank you for sharing your times with Jeremy and others. It was a blessing to read and brought tears to my eyes.

    • Helen…thanks…Jim E

  4. We will never forget the jeep ride Wes took Jeremy and Jim on at our cabin. Jeremy was game for anything!! A special child

    • Barb and Wes…yup, I remember that…Jeremy brought that up from time to time…great experience for him to remember…Jim E


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