Posted by: Jim E | June 26, 2017

Jeremy…Random Thoughts…Random Memories…

I was cleaning off my desk this morning…and yes, I keep small, and some not so small, piles of paper, notes (to me), articles, etc., on my desk…I go through them from time to time…and this was one of those times…Jeremy, Mom and Dad 2026

I came across a copy of a letter I wrote to the bailiff at the Pulaski County Courthouse…it was concerning my being called up for jury duty in February 2017…Judie has been on jury duty a couple of times since we have moved to Arkansas…me, this was the first time in Arkansas…my letter was dated January 25, 2017…I got the notice in December of 2016…and knew I couldn’t serve because of Jeremy’s condition…but I waited until January 2017 to write and ask to be excused…

So this morning when I re-read the letter…it kind of took me aback…it has been a little over three months since Jeremy died and what a short time it really has been…and going back, as we have, remembering things, looking at pictures…and talking about Jeremy and his last months…this still struck me when I read it, of how fragile he was…I will not put it all here…but I asked to be excused, that Jeremy needed 24/7 care…talked about his series of strokes in August 2016…his handicaps both physical and mental…his, what we called seizures, or passing out…“He cannot be left alone and needs to be helped with his medication, watched when he takes a shower, because he falls. He needs help with bathroom duties, he has trouble eating because of choking. He needs help getting dressed, taking his meds, and a whole range of activities.”

When I think of how well he was doing on his 46th birthday, just last year…it kind of shocks me…and somehow I wonder, what did we miss…could we have done more, or more differently…here he was, just three months until his series of strokes…and just nine months until his death…now he was having some problems but nothing like what was coming…Jeremy opening gifts012

Other than being more interested in his gifts than the card…(notice the card is upside down)…but other than  that he was just Jeremy…full of life, loving life, and loving all those around him…he really was something…

Since his death, there are very few weeks that go by without someone or something notifying us about how much Jeremy is/was being missed…and how he effected their lives…it has been helpful to us…when thinking about the days between his 46th birthday and his death…we always had hope that things would get better…I guess because most of the time in his life…things got better…we kept trying and the doctors kept trying to figure it out…and we were thankful when good days came…the idea of celebrating small victories, when things went well for one or two days…we would tell each other…today was a good day…and we began to thank the Lord for the smallest things…Psalm 126:3 “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”…Jeremy’s wall hanging says it all…Jeremy's JOY wall hanging

As a Dad, part of my role has always been…are the kids tucked in bed…are the doors locked…the house in it’s “safe mode”…you know, no candles burning…the heat/cool is at the right temp…and on and on…so, it was with us…when Judie, Jeremy and I were here…as Dad, I knew things were okay when we were all here, in bed or ready for bed…ready to shut things down for the night…that first night, after his death…was difficult…I knew where he was…but something was very, very different…it still feels a bit that way…I still say “Good Night, Jerm.” as I pass by his room every night…after all the “Dad Things” are done, of course…

Just after his 46th birthday in May 2016, I think it was in June…we decided to take a road trip to Waco, Texas…to see “Fixer Upper” show’s, Magnolia Market and the Silos…well, things got a little changed…Jared, Marisa and his family set up a side trip to a Texas Ranch… called RimStone Ranch, owned by a friend of his…we stayed for a weekend, and also went to Waco and the Silos…Jeremy loved it, as he did any road trip he went on…it was one of the high lights of his last year…Waco and Ranch 2016 10

Waco and Ranch 5Waco and Ranch 3

You may not see him in the crowd but he is there…he loved that trip…

It seemed as the year went on he became more pensive…at the Ranch he sat and looked over the land…at home he would take some of his beloved trucks out on the porch and just sit and look at them…or would sit and look out into the courtyard…and no, I don’t know what he thought about…and he never told us…but he enjoyed doing it from time to time…slowing down as I see it now…but he so enjoyed even his last months…always upbeat, always positive, always looking forward, to the next thing…Jeremy on porch with trucks 2016

One thing he loved and the one thing he asked for in his last stay in the hospital was to go to Whole Hog…it’s a barbecue joint…he loved it…for some reason he could eat there without choking, maybe that’s the reason…but he loved it…after he died, just a few days after…it was after the funeral…I wanted so much for that week to be a celebration of Jeremy’s life…what he would have wanted…so as Jared, Mom and I took Jay and Jess around to see Jeremy’s “trap-line”…places he loved to go…one place we went into was Whole Hog…we talked and explained Jeremy’s love for the place…and Jess said, something about making sure to take Joe, his son to Whole Hog…that hit me…something that Jeremy would love…

So later I said, I think we should all, everyone who is still here on Saturday after the funeral…I think all of us should go to Whole Hog in celebration of Jeremy…and we did…it topped off a great week of celebration of Jeremy…Jeremy's funeral Whole Hog031

Let me top this off with another great Jeremy memory…when we lived in Andover, MN…he loved the fire pit, he and I built in the backyard…it’s not the best picture but it is one that shows him there…with one of the hundreds of fires he built…summer or winter or in between…and notice his “fire stick” behind him next to the hose…a fire needs poking, you know…he loved it…Oh, Jerm, we miss you so…Jeremy backyard firepit Andover044

 

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Responses

  1. thanks Jim. Moving and captured so well!

    —pete

    • Pete…thanks…he is celebrated still…around here…Jim E

  2. Dear Jim and Judie, Such sweet memories and a loving tribute of such a remarkable boy and man! You continue to celebrate and honor Jeremy’s life so well 🙂 I’m blessed every time I hear the stories and see the pictures of Jeremy’s life. Thanks so much for sharing them with us! Love and blessings, Kay (& Craig)

    • Kay…Thanks…we are enjoying remembering Jeremy in so many ways…Judie is making up a photo book of his life…it is good…and it is healing for her to do so…we always knew Jeremy was a special kid…and as we have time to sit back and just wonder at how God provided for us, as Dr. Keller said, “Isn’t wonderful that the Lord blessed you through your own son.”…and we were and are blessed…and it is so wonderful to remember how the Lord did bless us…through Jeremy…we will continue to celebrate him…today Judie and I went to Mac & Don’s for breakfast…something we did so often with Jeremy, and we haven’t since he died…it was something he really enjoyed…it was a perfect morning here in Little Rock…and we enjoyed it so much…we remembered and shared with the girl at the window…she asked where we had been…I told her…but asked us, “You mean the one that always sits in the back seat.”…I told her yes…she is a Christian…she was so sorry…and said she would pray for us…(you may think, “How could someone working at Mac & Don’s know you? You must go a lot.”…I guess they remember my chatter.)…thanks again…Jim E

  3. How precious, that God saw fit to give us the capacity for memories!
    With love & continued prayers for you… Lew & Cheryl

    • Cheryl…thanks…it has been a great to see God’s hand in our lives…and memories flood back as the days go by…too many to write about…it’s hard not to think about someone who has been with us for all of his almost 47 years…and they were good years…full of normal things that all of us go through…and so many highlights, that it makes the trials seem trivial…thanks again…Jim E

  4. What a blessing you have such great memories. I am always brought to tears, grieving with you the loss of your son. Your stories have also made me appreciate my own sons more and take the time to show them that.

    • Larry…Thanks…Jeremy was special to us…there are lots of memories over the years…Jim E


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