Posted by: Jim E | December 10, 2017

Getting Ready For Christmas…With Jeremy’s Favorite Christmas Movies…And Maybe Some Answers…

There is no question, this Christmas will be different…all kinds of people talked, warned, that it would be so…and it has been, thus far…Jeremy was a Christmas Junkie…he started with Christmas music, then Christmas movies…he had over 100 of them…he started watching them earlier all the time…he used to start them at the beginning of November…but the last few years, it has been the first part of October…I told him, you will be done with them before Thanksgiving even gets here…but it didn’t seem to sway him…and so by the beginning of November, he had watched them all…and snow or no snow, he love this time of year…

Jeremy 2011 in the snow023

You would think that would have cured him of doing it the next year…well, you would be wrong…or you may think it would have curb his enthusiasm for Christmas…wrong again…it never dampened his love for this time of year…he just filled in with all his plans for the season…”making his list and checking it twice”, certainly helped pass time…and since he was a “giver” not a taker…he spent time giving away what he had in abundance…himself…outside Kroger, the grocery store where he worked, the Salvation Army workers loved to see Jeremy every year…he planned his “Hungry Boy” cookie giveaways…who gets what, so to speak…his gift list was always long and this last year, because he was not working, he had to curtail his giving a bit…it broke his heart, that he could not “over-do” as he did every other year…but we tried to help with some of that, and to replace some the the cost, with other meaningful things on his heart…

Let me add something here that I sent to friends to describe him during this time of year…this was “his season” of the year…he loved everything about Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Years…he didn’t focus on “getting” but on giving…for someone who didn’t “make much” he sure gave it away…when passing by the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle by the door of his store, in and out with helping people with their groceries…he would just reach in his pocket and pull out his “coin purse” and dump it in the kettle…(he always had a bunch of change, he never counted out his coins to pay for anything…too hard or too long for him to do…he always paid for things with bills, therefore he always had lots of change)…it was always bulging with coins…it didn’t matter to him, he was a giver…and “in” they would go…every year the “ringers” always looked for Jeremy to come by…he always was a giver…great memories…

Christmas 2017 the first without Jeremy

So here we are…(this is a picture from my Lazy Boy looking toward our Christmas Tree this year, and toward where Jeremy would have been sitting in his Big Joe, beanbag chair, in front of the fireplace, in normal years)…celebrating the Christmas season, and celebrating Jeremy too…sooo, we started this by watching some of his favorite Christmas movies…now, we will not watch all 100 plus movies, but some of his most favorite…we started last week with one he loved, “A Dog Named Christmas”…a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie…to clarify, we loved this movie too…so seeing it again, even with tears, about a boy, handicapped but with such an upbeat view of life…and how he effected the lives of others…it wasn’t hard to make the comparison with Jeremy’s life…Judie and I talked about it after we saw the movie, the different way we saw the movie this year…and ones we saw since, we felt the same way…I guess, we have changed in a noticeable fashion, even in our own eyes…

  Christmas movies A Dog Named Christmas

Last night we watched two movies…some of you may know them…”The Christmas Box” and it’s sequel “Timepiece”, both excellent films…both about Christmas, both about life itself…Jeremy loved these two movies…and as usual, so do we…as we watched we again saw things we had not seen before, or at least understood before…

Christmas movies Christmas Box, Timepiece

Both movies have very good actors…professional in every way…both written by Richard Paul Evans, and takes you through the lives of these people…”The Christmas Box” takes Richard Thomas’ character through the story and challenges him to find the answer to the question, “What was the first gift of Christmas?”, the question put to him by Maureen O’Hara’s character…at the end he found the answer (and I’m really not spoiling the ending here)…he guessed, that the first gift was “a child”…and she said, yes…and quoted John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”…

In “Timepiece”, the message of the film was forgiveness…in this case forgiving the very person who took the life of someone you loved…the father in this case had to not only forgive that person but to forgive himself for failing in his responsibility as a father…it struck me then, something I have dealt with since Jeremy died…I know it is not healthy, nor wise to feel this way…but when I first went into his hospital room that early Sunday morning, and looked at Jeremy…felt him, kissed him…and told him, “Oh Jeremy, it was not suppose to end this way.”

Jeremy Peace Dove on door. March 19, 2017

…but was completely helpless to do anything to change the outcome…what could we have done differently…what else could we have done…after all the 47 years of taking him safely through all his surgeries, and other serious issues of his life…as his Dad, I was suppose to do it again…and I failed in this most final situation…Oh, I have dealt with this many times over these months, going into his hospital room and seeing him there, and helpless to change what was…but last night, I found an answer…I have to forgive myself…

So if Jeremy’s movies bring this much enjoyment…and closure in our lives…then I guess we will “watch on”…and continue to celebrate Jeremy’s life…and his clarity in how to live life to the fullest…



  1. Judi and Jim: You have done miraculous job with raising Jeremy. It is so good to hear your love and joy for Jeremy and his life was so free because of you both. Great work and job or should I say joy has been in your writings. Merry Christmas to you both. Ruth

    • Ruth…thanks…our life with Jeremy has been the joy of our lives…so this year we are trying to make it no different…of course, it is different, but we are enjoying the Christmas season, as we always have…one of the joys of this life…Jim E

  2. Dear Jim and Judie, Thank you for your very special post, Jim!! When you said you needed to forgive yourself, I thought to myself that you had done nothing wrong. I have always experienced you and Judie as parents who have the best interests of their children, who are loving and committed to caring for their family, and it was especially apparent in your care for Jeremy throughout his life. But I also realized that I have not gone through what you have, so I tried to imagine how I might feel if one of my children had passed, and I could see how on the one hand I might know I wasn’t responsible, but on the other, that need to care for and protect my child might bring feelings of somehow letting my child down, that I should have done something more or differently. We will look to rewatch these movies and will be blessed as we think about Jeremy and your family, your post, and living life to the fullest. God’s comfort and peace be with you as you continue to celebrate Jeremy’s very special life this Christmas season. Love from MN, Kay (& Craig)

    • Kay and Craig…thanks for the comments…you have it right…but it is hard sometime to think about his death without thinking about what we could have done differently…in the end, I know all that kind of thinking leads nowhere, so I choose to take my thinking to celebrate Jeremy…especially this time of year…so far we have done well…and self introspection is not bad either…and helps at this time of life to accept and look forward to the future…Jim E

  3. Thanks Jim for your writings. Having lost my hubby a year ago, I can share some feelings with you, others not. Sharing these are part of your healing I am sure. Jeremy was such a very special young man. Holidays are always difficult for those with losses.

    • Thanks Harriet…We wish you a Merry Christmas…this is the time of the year when family is so important…and I know your family is involved with you…so you enjoy your memories, as we are…and enjoy your family, as we will…Jim E

  4. Hi Jim, When I read the part about forgiving yourself, my first thought was that you have nothing to forgive yourself for. It’s so apparent that you and Judie have devoted your entire lives to all of your children, but especially to Jeremy’s care and making sure he had the best life possible. Then I remembered my own feelings as a Mom of a child who has life-long chronic illnesses, one of them life-threatening. Have I chosen all of the best specialists, have I made all of the best decisions, have I given her the best perfect care, etc? It’s so easy to question the decisions we have made regarding our children, life-threatening illnesses or not. I’m guilty of it. But when I sit in a reasonable state of mind, and really reflect on my decisions, I realize that not only have I made the best decisions possible, but God has also put the best doctors, hospitals, etc, into our lives. So yes, with God’s guidance, I’ve made the best decisions with the choices I had. Please know that you and Judie are obviously amazing parents and grandparents. Your family is so blessed to have both of you guiding them. As a side note, I’m a huge lover of the Christmas season, just like Jeremy. I love all Hallmark Christmas movies and watch them over & over again for months! Everything about the Christmas season brings out the best – the joy, he smiles, the smells, the lights, and just a general feeling of kindness. I wish you, Judie and your family a very Merry Christmas and a time of remembering and celebrating your special Jeremy. Take care, Julie

    • Julie…Oh, I agree with you…but what I was trying to say, is that when in my mind, and going over seeing Jeremy the morning he died…I think it is natural to ask myself those questions…and I still do from time to time…Judie and I are doing well, but there are still times when we think of Jeremy in that way…we miss him…he was so special in so many ways…so when I say I need to forgive myself, I mean, to put this feeling of could I as a Dad have done more…I mean to put a closure on it…forgive myself for those feelings of not doing enough, etc…and then realize like you said, to go on from there…we know we did all that we knew to do…the questions of could we have done more, need to be put aside…maybe Christmas can do just that…it has been a very good Holiday Season for us…

      I baked Hungry Boy cookies yesterday…Jeremy always helped with them, and in my mind was with me as we made, frosted and sampled them yesterday…(they are my Grandma’s recipe…molasses, coffee, cinnamon, allspice, cloves…rolled out thick…frosted with white frosting…so good)…my Grandma only made them at Christmas…they were for eating, of course, but mostly for giving away…and so Jeremy did just that…so we will keep that going too…thanks for the comment…good stuff…I knew you went through all those things…we all come out the other side, changed, no doubt…but better for the journey…thanks again…Jim E

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