Monday, February 15, 2010

James Arden Holstine - 1949-2010

Jim died today, at 12:30 a.m., on Presidents' Day, the perfect day for a man who loved history, particularly of the Presidency. Since I prepared this epitaph ahead of time, at his request, I'm able to make this announcement.

Jim didn't want a newspaper obituary. Instead, he asked that I write an epitaph about his love of books. Jim's parents, Harry and Joanne Holstine, were both readers, and Jim learned to read at any early age, reading the sports pages in the newspaper, sharing that love with Harry. He was always so proud that he read the greatest number of books one year for the summer reading program at the Berlin Heights (Ohio) Public Library. And, I always laughed when he told about getting in trouble for an overdue book because he loved it so much, he hid it under his bed.

Jim and I met at the Huron Public Library in 1981, soon after I returned home to be Director of my hometown library. Jim's mother sent him in, saying there was a cute new librarian at the library. And, my children's librarian, Millie Schilman, formally introduced us, saying, "This is Jim Holstine. He's one of our most prolific readers."

Over the next couple years, we talked about books, and when he went to Florida in the winter, I told Millie I missed Jim Holstine because he was the only person who got as excited about the boxes of new books as I did. We went on our first date on May 1, 1983, and married on October 1. Since we met at the Huron Library, we married in the meeting room there, and Jim even played the piano beforehand. My staff tied paperback books to the bumper of the car.

From the very beginning, books were an important part of our lives. Jim often said he didn't think we would have gotten together if we hadn't both been fond of Leo Buscaglia's books, Love and Living, Loving and Learning. When I invited him to speak at the library, Buscaglia sent me the most gracious rejection letter, which is still framed on our wall. We had no idea he had heart problems, and would die soon after writing that note.

I made Jim read Jeffrey Archer's Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, his favorite book. I never told him Archer was British, and Jim wouldn't read British authors. Ironic that Lee Child became one of his favorite authors years later, but when he first went to see him at the Poisoned Pen, he turned to me and said, "You never told me he was British." And, I said, "You never read the back flap of the book."

Jim loved Florida, and we moved there with my job, first at the Charlotte-Glades Library System, and then the Lee County Library System. He enthusiastically participated in my work there, acting as a volunteer for the Lee County Reading Festival. He was thrilled when he escorted Douglas Brinkley during the festival, and we had the chance to have lunch with Brinkley and Rick Bragg. We picked Sue Grafton up at the airport. And, he had a lengthy conversation with David Morrell, "Rambo's Father."

It was Jim who pushed me to apply for jobs, and spent a great deal of time talking on the phone with my new boss in Glendale, AZ. I think she hired me because she liked him so much. And, he encouraged me every time I worked on my blog, buying me the camera to take pictures of authors, and then a minicam. He always challenged me to be better

I took Jim to meet Brad Meltzer on his birthday. He loved meeting Lee Child, and sharing a cigarette break outside the Poisoned Pen. He met Jeffery Deaver for the first time in the restroom (they didn't shake hands - grin). We even went to see Barack Obama when he was on his book tour, and we had the chance to shake hands, and urge him to run for President. But, it was always books that brought us these opportunities.

Jim never had the chance to read Lee Child's 61 Hours. His illness was so quick that, even though Maggie Griffin, Child's webmaven, graciously sent me an ARC so Jim could get the chance to read one more book, he was never able to read it. Jim loved thrillers, books by Lee Child, James Patterson, Alex Kava, Brad Meltzer. He loved American history and big biographies, and anything about the Kennedys. Now, he'll know the answer to his favorite joke. It's about a man who dies, goes to heaven, and is told by God that he can ask him anything. The man says, "I want to know who really killed President Kennedy," and God answered, "Well, I have a theory about that." Jim's favorite joke, his favorite subject for nonfiction, and his favorite topic for theories. Now, he'll know.

Jim always loved the people I worked with, at Huron, Lee County (particularly at Rutenberg), and, here in Glendale. Someone made the comment that if you knew Lesa, you knew Jim, and, at least in the library, that was usually right. He threw my
50th birthday party with the help of the library staff.

There's one part of Jim's life I wanted to mention, unrelated to books. Jim and I shared a love of sports, and together, we enjoyed them on TV and in person. He loved Duke basketball, baseball, in recent years, the Detroit Tigers, NASCAR, thanks to a dear friend. But, we were both passionate about Ohio State football. My family always knew they could buy Jim gifts that related to Ohio State.

Jim always told people we only got married to read. And, when his father lived with us, he would walk out of his room, find us both reading, and say, "It sure is quiet out here."

Jim, you left it very quiet out here. I'm going to miss sharing books, authors, my blog, and our life. Rest in peace. I love you.




If you want to remember Jim, please donate to your local public library. And, tell them it's in memory of a man who loved books, libraries, and one librarian.

169 comments:

cindy.maher said...

Oh Lesa, your blog post about Jim's life was just wonderful. Now there's a new angel in heaven. I am so sorry for your loss. I know he loved you so much.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Cindy. Jim was such an important part of this blog that it was an honor to put it here, when he asked me to do that. Thank you.

Jen Forbus said...

It's beautiful, Lesa. And very befitting a beautiful person. I didn't know Jim long, and only virtually, but from that time, I can say with the greatest assurance, he will always be with you.

Love you both!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Jen. I know he'll always be a part of me, too. Thank you for your love and generosity.

Christie Drury said...

Lesa, I have always felt that I knew Jim through you and your writing. What a lovely tribute you have created by sharing his story, and your love story, on your blog. What a blessing to have so many wonderful memories stored in your heart. I know he will always be with you, but still my heart goes out to you now. Hugs to you from Western NY!

Patricia said...

A beautiful tribute. Your words made me smile and cry. How lucky you were to find each other. Your life together sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing him with us.A book, probably history will be donated in his honor. (I'll let you know.) Now what can we do to help you?

Your friend,
Patricia

Lesa said...

Christie, Thank you so much. Your note, and the others coming in mean that Jim's story touched people. Thank you for allowing me to tell it.

Richard Mabry said...

Lesa,
I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing some of the backstory of your life with Jim. Please know that you're being remembered at this moment in the thoughts and prayers of many people, myself included.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Patricia. There's really nothing you can do for me, except honor Jim's memory. Thank you so much.

Beth said...

Lesa, thanks for posting this wonderful tribute. I am sincerely sorry for your loss, and I will be thinking of you.

Diane said...

Lesa,

What a loving tribute to Jim. It sounds like you had a special relationship. May fond memories comfort you at this difficult time.

Molly said...

Oh Lesa - what a lovely, touching post. I feel as though I know him myself.

I am so very sorry for this painful loss. Cyber hugs are sent your way - as well as many thoughts and prayers.

Perhaps he will meet Leo Buscaglia up in Heaven and they will have the opportunity to discuss love and learning and living and other literary delights.

Deb Baker said...

Lesa, that was a beautiful tribute to Jim. We love you!

Mason Canyon said...

So sorry for your loss. This tribute says so much about Jim and you, it's beautiful. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Mash1195 said...

Please accept my condolences. I won "Chosen To Die" by Lisa Jackson from your blog. It was one of the first blogs I had found. You sent me a note card stating to enjoy the book. You also wrote that "Jim also read this book and thought it was great". Hoping when you have "that quiet time" reading your books know that Jim is there with you reading his.
CMashLovesToRead

bermudaonion said...

I am so sorry to wake up to this today. I sobbed buckets as I read your beautiful post and I pray that Jim's passing was peaceful and that you continue to find the strength that you need to move forward. It sounds like the two of you were perfect for each other, so I know it won't be easy. Take care of yourself and know that there are people all over the world who are praying for you.

Vivienne said...

Lesa, I am so sorry for you loss. It seems so quick, since you told us he was ill. It sounds like Jim would have loved this beautiful tribute to him. I can only echo Kathy's words above and hope that his passing was peaceful. My thoughts are with you during these days of mourning. We all mourn with you. Big hugs.

Julie Hyzy said...

Lesa - I am terribly saddened by this news. So sorry.

What a beautiful tribute -- I feel as though I know Jim even better now and I will most definitely contribute to my local library in his memory. Thank you for sharing Jim with us through your blog. I wish I could have met him.

Hugs,
Julie

Lorraine_Bartlett said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry. What a wonderful life you and Jim shared. Thank you for sharing just a glimpse of it.

Krista said...

Leaa, I'm completely teary with a huge lump in my throat. I'm so very sorry you (and we) lost Jim. I bet it is quiet out there, but it's little bit livelier in heaven today.

~ Krista

Kaye Barley said...

Lesa, I echo what Deb said - We do all love you.

And Jim will continue living in our hearts.

Reading said...

Lesa,

I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful and loving tribute to Jim. To be so lucky to have shared so much love, laughter and joy, it shines right through your words here. Your tribute brought tears to my eyes as I smiled reading all your wonderful memories. You both are in my thoughts and my prayers, though Jim is probably busy in heaven discussing history with all the Presidents.

Take care and know that we are all here for you,

Chip

Ingrid King said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Lesa. My heart goes out to you, and you're in my thoughts and prayers.

What a beautiful tribute to Jim - thanks for sharing his story, and your love story, with us. I know that he will never be far from you - every time you pick up a book, he'll be right there with you.

Be gentle with yourself during this difficult time.

Indigo said...

This was a beautiful testiment of Jim's life. I'm so sorry for your loss of such a wonderful kind soul.
You're in my thoughts dear friend. (Hugs)Indigo

Rosemary Harris said...

Oh, Lesa..I'm so sorry. There are tears on my keyboard. It was a beautiful and eloquent tribute.

Joe Barone said...

What a beautiful tribute. You continue in my prayers, including prayers of thanksgiving that you were able to meet and marry such a kindred spirit. God bless you!

jenny milchman said...

Lesa, I am very sorry for your loss. I haven't yet gotten the chance to say hello in person to you yet, at a conference or signing or library, still less Jim, and yet from this tribute and reading your posts, I feel as if I know you both a little bit. I hope that Jim is still reading--and conspiracy theorizing--somewhere now. I hope that the book-filled quiet around you continues to contain him, and be a place of warmth and home for you.

Take good care,
Jenny

Dru said...

Coming out from being a lurker...

Lesa, what a lovely tribute to a wonderful man. I'm sorry for your loss, you're in my thoughts and prayers.

Cleo Coyle said...

A shining tribute, Lesa. What a wonderful life Jim had. His body may be gone, but I know he has not left you...

Love is stronger than death.

Mary said...

Lesa, what a wonderful tribute to your husband. Thank you for telling us about him. My deepest sympathies to you and all who knew Jim.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am sick to hear of this. Writing this ahead of time was such a good idea although how hard it must have been even then. Take care, Lesa. Jim married well indeed.

Anonymous said...

Lesa

I am so sorry to hear about your husband.

I was a page at Huron Public Library and remember Jim and you dating, your wedding, and if I remember correctly your honeymoon trip to the Baseball hall of Fame. I stumbled across your blog a couple of years ago, as I am always looking for new mysteries to read. I always enjoy when you put personal stories about your family and Huron in your postings.

You will be happy to know that Huron Public Library "created" another Librarian, as I am now starting my 15th year as a Librarian with General Motors.

Again, my deepest sympathies.

Karen Deer Sutton

Morgan Mandel said...

Lesa,
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like you and your husband had some wonderful times together that you can cherish. It's wonderful that both of you were able to share a love of books.

Thanks for sharing him with us.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Pat Browning said...

Lesa,
Your tribute is lovely. Keeping you and Jim in my thoughts ...
Pat Browning

Kay said...

Thank you for sharing Jim with all of us through the years and, more importantly, for sharing this lovely tribute to him with us. You are amazing. He was amazing. Take care and I'm so glad that someone will finally know who shot Kennedy!?! :-)

My library will have a donation sent in Jim's name. I'll tell them to spend it for a lovely thriller, but not by a British author! :-)

Hugs in abundance to you, Lesa.

Alice said...

Oh, Lesa, I'm so very sorry to hear about your husband's passing. All good wishes to you and yours.
Alice Duncan

Brad said...

Lesa, just so so sad to hear this about Jim. And just know how much joy he brought to us authors as well.
And remember, our loved ones never leave us. Ever.

Brad Meltzer

Robin Minnick said...

Lesa,

My heart is with you this day. What you wrote made the essence of your life together brilliantly clear... you were both indeed blessed.

And remember, Jim is still behind you all the way.

Terri said...

Although I'm considered a "lurker" I do read and enjoy your blog tremendously. I was so terribly sorry to hear of your loss of Jim on today's post.

What a fitting tribute you did for a very special man. May you find comfort in so many wonderful memories.

cathy said...

Lesa - that was one of the most beautiful tributes I've ever read. How lucky you and Jim were to have such a great marriage. I'm so sorry for your loss.

April said...

What a beautiful and amazing post, Lesa. You are a wonderous woman and Jim will forever remain in the hearts and minds of so many. I am sending hugs, thoughts and prayers your way.

le0pard13 said...

I echo everyone's thoughts and sentiments for your loss, Lesa, and your wonderful tribute to "a man who loved books, libraries, and one librarian." I am at a deficit for words at this news, but please accept my heartfelt condolences, my friend.

caite said...

Gosh Lesa, I am so sorry to read this this morning.
But what a lovely tribute. As others have said, you two were so lucky to have found each other and to have shared so many wonderful memories together.
You will both be in my prayers..

Robin said...

Lesa,
What a beautiful tribute to your husband, and what a lovely story about your shared love of books and reading. May you find solace is those quiet, beautiful memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Robin

Jody said...

God's Blessings on you. What a wonderful tribute about Jim. I will be making a donation to our public library in his name.

South Jersey Quilter said...

What a wonderful tribute to someone you obviously loved very much. May you find comfort in the good memories.
Hugs,
Holly

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Lesa, I'm just so sorry. You've written so beautifully about Jim and your life together. What wonderful years you shared with each other--and your books! You're in my thoughts and prayers...

Elizabeth

Melanie said...

My condolances.

Beth Groundwater said...

Lesa,
You have my heartfelt condolences. What a lovely tribute to your husband Jim and your mutual love of books.
- Beth

Keith Harrison said...

Lesa, that was wonderful, to read about the background to Jim, the sides of him I never knew.

My thoughts are with you, may you find some comfort in knowing that Jim touched so many lives and minds.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

That's a beautiful tribute. Although it was written in sadness, it certainly brightened my Monday morning. It's wonderful to know there are people in this world with such love for books and for each other.

Cheers,
Jeff

Brad Parks said...

Lesa,

Thanks for the beautiful tribute. It hit right in the heart. Peace be with you.

Brad

Leann Sweeney said...

What a wonderful tribute and I am so sorry for your loss. Too soon, too fast, I know. Take care of yourself, Lesa, and know that you have a huge amount of care and concern out here in cyberspace.

Hugs,
Leann

Trish said...

Lesa
You are a wonderful writer. Your epitaph truly brought Jim and your wonderful relationship with Jim to all of us.

I am deeply saddened for you and may you find comfort in the day ahead.

Trish

Beth Hoffman said...

Dear friend Lesa -- I cried and cried at the beauty and love with which you wrote Jim's tribute. Your words have touched me deeply.

I'm saddened that I won't have the opportunity to meet Jim when I come to see you in June, but through your blog and our talks I feel as if I did know him, and for that I'm grateful.

You are in my thoughts and prayers, Lesa, and I'm wrapping you in my arms and sending love ... so much love...

Trish said...

Lesa
You are a wonderful writer. Your epitaph truly brought Jim and your wonderful relationship with Jim to all of us.

I am deeply saddened for you and may you find comfort in the days ahead.

Trish

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Lesa, I'm so very sad for you. I too was moved to tears by your tribute and by the courage and acceptance it took for you to write it and him to read it while you were still together, weaving together your love of books and each other so beautifully. Sending hugs and prayers your way. Liz

Janice Gable Bashman said...

Lesa-

What a wonderful tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Janice

Rodeane said...

Lesa,
Your tribute to Jim is beautiful---you and Jim are truly among the rare couples who shared a perfect relationship. I am so sorry for your loss.

Jim did give you the best job recommendation ever---attesting to your skills as a library manager, but more importantly, your warmth and loving personality. I trusted his judgment completely, sensing that he was a genuinely wonderful person---how right may instinct was!

Rodeane

Hilary Davidson said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your tribute to your husband is a beautiful one, and it makes me regret that I never met Jim. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Hilary

Alafair Burke said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your Jim had such a wonderful smile and light about him that you can see even in these pictures. What a wonderful tribute to him and to your life together.

Alafair

mb said...

What a beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Sue Santillan said...

Thank you for sharing your story. What a beautiful tribute to a life lived for books and beauty.

My thoughts are with you.

Tina said...

Lesa, whenever we think there are no words, beautiful people like you come up with some. Of course, although I didn't know Jim, he sounds like someone who was very easy to know and write about.

I wish you peace and the memory of his love. Every time you open a book, you'll be able to hear him over you shoulder asking about it.

Thank you for sharing this very special person with us.

Anonymous said...

Lesa,
What an incredible tribute...my thoughts are with you,
Cara

Kris said...

What a wonderful and touching post. I'm so happy that you were able to share your life with somebody who loved to read as much as you did. I'll be thinking of you during this sad time and hope that books can be a comfort for you.

Andy Young said...

Lesa, please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss. I only knew Jim for a short while through Ogame and chatting through the Team Phoenix Rising website.

He was always a great contributor and added his own particular kind of humour to the flow of comments on the site. He also showed great compassion to me when I lost my mother to cancer back in 2008 for which I will always be grateful.

He will be missed by all but I feel that his light will shine on in his words.

Janel said...

Lisa,

What a wonderful tribute to Jim and your life with him. I am so sorry for your loss.

Sarah Weinman said...

My condolences, Lesa - your husband clearly shone a light throughout many lives, most especially yours.

PennyR said...

Lesa, what a moving tribute. What a wonderful life you've had together. I'm sorry for your loss, and incredibly moved by your story.

Lesa said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words, and your expressions of caring. They mean so much to me, and Jim would be so proud. I want to thank all of you who have been friends to me, and to both of us. Jim enjoyed reading my blog every day, even when he didn't read the same books I did.

And, just one special note to Karen Deer Sutton - thank you for writing. The Huron Public Library had some of the best pages I've ever known. And, I'm proud that Betty Jo, you and I all went on to be librarians. Thank you for your note.

ckubala said...

My sincere condolences. With this tribute to your husband you have shared the joy of reading and the love you had with all of us. Thank you. I hope that your many memories of James Arden Holstine will bring you comfort over time.

Marina McIntire said...

Oh, what terrible news -- and what a lovely tribute.
Clearly, this was a match made in heaven. I'll be sending you all my best thoughts.
Marina McIntire, who recently won a book from you (still waiting on the pile of t-b-r books), and feeling as though I "know" you a little bit.

Lori Thornton said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you. What a wonderful tribute!

Diane A.S. Stuckart said...

Lesa, so sorry to hear about Jim. Your tribute was lovely and your love shines through. I am sure this blog has made him smile. Hugs and condolences, but also happiness at having spent such wonderful time together with a really great guy. All best...Diane

Inside A Book said...

Lesa,
I read the post heading and said, "NO!" I was not ready for this to happen so soon. My heart aches for you and the pages unread together.

Know that so many of us are thinking of you and honoring Jim in our hearts. His support of you and your "calling" in life are such an incredible tribute and such a show of his love and affection. You are indeed blessed.

I will consider it more than a privilege to donate to my favorite place - the library, in his honor. Although I would like to choose the perfect thriller to donate, I'll let them choose where they need it most. I do believe that's what Jim would like.

Thank you for sharing your heart and sorrows with us. When our hearts are full and sorrowing it is easy to shut ourselves away. Instead, you reached out and shared, allowing us to grow a little more as well. Thank you and may you find courage and strength beyond understanding.

Prayers and hugs...

Viccy said...

Lesa,
I know your loss is immense, but your tribute to your husband has made him live again, just for me. Wishing you strength and courage for the road ahead.
Thank you for everything you do.
Best,
Viccy Kemp

Clea Simon said...

What a wonderful tribute, Lesa. I am sure this is exactly what Jim had in mind when he asked you to write about his life in books – which, really, was also his life with you.

That said, this is a tremendous loss, and I hope you know that so many of us out here are thinking of you.

I often wonder how we all keep going, and the only answer I ever come up with is that we love as well and as fully as we can. Clearly, this is something both you and Jim knew well.

We are all holding you in our thoughts.
Clea

Juliet Blackwell said...

Dear Lesa,
It is so generous of you --and of Jim-- to share a bit of him with us all. This a wonderful, loving tribute to a man I know will be sorely missed, and loved, and then loved and missed some more.
A donation will be made to the Oakland libraries, California.
My thoughts are with you,
--Julie
(Juliet Blackwell)

Barbara said...

Oh. Lesa - I'm so very sorry. This has been so sudden and terrible. I feel I got to know him a bit from your post and I'm sure he'll be missed. Hugs and chocolate.

Cherylyn said...

Lesa, I really enjoyed reading about you and Jim and your life together. I can tell that you are a woman of strength and I pray for an extra portion to be with you now. Thank you for sharing Jim with us.

Naomi Johnson said...

Lesa, please accept my sympathy. You've written a beautiful tribute to Jim, your love shines throughout it.

nance said...

Lesa, how perfectly you have captured Jim's essence. What an enormous loss for you and a beautiful tribute. It's so appropriate that I should happen to be reading Sen. Ted Kennedy's book right now. It was always such fun sharing his delightful humor and our common interests. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely man with us. Much love and big, tight hugs to you right now.

Nance

Eric said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry. I never had the good fortune to meet Jim, but your tribute makes it plain that was my loss. Thank you for what you, and Jim, have shared over the years.

jbstanley said...

Lesa,
My heart goes out to you today. What a beautiful and loving tribute. One can tell that you and Jim lived each day fully through each and every memory on this page. Bless you and thank you for the gift of this post.

Lisa C. said...

Lesa, this was a beautiful tribute. It made me cry. It's a good thing you wrote it beforehand! I wish I had actually met Jim myself. Butyou are right, I felt I knew him through you. Thank you for sharing him with us!

Martin Edwards said...

This is a truly wonderful tribute; please accept my sincere condolences on your loss.

Karen B said...

I'm so sorry, Lesa. Your tribute to Jim is absolutely beautiful. Sending love and hugs.

LSUReader said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jeff Abbott said...

Lesa: i am so sorry and what a wonderful tribute to your husband. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

Carol Morelock said...

Lesa, I know you wouldn't have "missed the dance". The old chiche's are so true. "Better to have loved". Jim will always be there in everyday things, so many wonderful memories to keep close. You can call or write whenever you want to talk about him. He was truly a great guy and I know how much you loved him.
Your tribute was so wonderful, I almost wish it was about ME! You were the perfect wife and friend for him. He knew he was lucky to have you too.. Love Carol Jeanne

stacybuckeye said...

I's so sorry to read this, but thank you for sharing such a wonderful tribute. Sending prayers your way.

libraryann said...

This is quite lovely, and I love that picture of you two at the end.
Thinking of you, Sweetie.
xoxo

Page said...

So sorry for your loss.

Meredith Cole said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Jim sounds like an incredible guy. I'm just sorry I didn't have a chance to meet him.

Sandie Herron said...

Lesa, Rather than say I'm sorry that Jim is gone, I'm going to say what a blessing it is in your life that you knew a man who shared so many of your passions. I know how special this is from the love of a similarly special man, and I know it is priceless. I also know that you may feel a bit lost in the days ahead, even with all those books and all the friends that come with them. Please consider me one, and one you can contact any time. Sandie (& Bill) Herron

TK42ONE said...

I never expected to read this post so soon. And while it was a wonderful post, I wish you never had to write it. Thank you for sharing so much with us about Jim and his love of reading. I'll appreciate my time to read more now.

lyncos said...

What a beautiful tribute to the man you love. I am so sorry for your loss. I will contribute to my local library and tell your story.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

An amazing post and tribute to what seems to me was a wonderful man.

Thank you for sharing a little bit of him today.

Hugs to you.

Lesa said...

Thank you. I cried as I read each one of your messages. As much as I loved him, Jim never realized how much others did as well. It was a pleasure to share him with all of you. So many of you have grown to know him over time. Thank you for stopping by. Each comment is a treasure. Thank you.

Sheila Beaumont said...

Lesa, what a beautiful tribute! It's so fitting that you and Jim were married in the library where you met! I am going to make a donation to the South Pasadena Public Library in memory of Jim.

Binnie said...

Lesa -

Carol A. Kubala posted on Fiction_L about the loss of your beloved "reading man." What an appropriate term! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about your husband,Jim. As one readaholic to another, I feel your pain and send you thoughts and prayers of consolation. I hope God satisfies Jim's curiosity about who killed JFK.

And may I say that your story about your life with Jim read like a romance novel.

Hugs,

Binnie Syril Braunstein
Romance novelist/former librarian

Barb Goffman said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your wonderful memories bring you comfort in the coming days.

Anonymous said...

Lesa,

So sad to hear of your loss. My husband and I met Jim through Ogame in 2006.. We called him our 'Uncle Jim' :)

From your tribute it seems as though you and Jim had a very wonderful and fulfilling life together. He was an extraordinary man and an amazing friend. He will be greatly missed.

We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
-GW & Brenda Beatty

Anonymous said...

Lesa,
I wasn't going to write on here because it is so public, but I imagine you taking comfort from this and returning to it in the difficult days to come. I have cried every time I have returned to your page throughout the day. You and Jim certainly touched many people and are very loved. I especially wish to echo the wish that peace be with you.
Love, Your sister, Linda

Joyce Delaney said...

Dear Lesa,

I read your blog faithfully, but I've never posted a comment before. Whenever you wrote about Jim, the love and respect you had for him was very evident. From one librarian to another, please accept my sincerest sympathy.

Janet Rudolph said...

What a lovely tribute. I'm so sorry to hear your news. I never met Jim, but he sounds like such a wonderful man--a soulmate. Sounds like you were 'beshert'

My heart goes out to you. Even though one can be 'ready,' you're never really ready. It's good that you have so many wonderful memories.

I'll make a donation to our library in his name.

So sorry for your loss...

SusanVette said...

What a beautiful, passionate, and loving tribute to a man I call my "Tiger Buddy". I met Jim on the sports website Lesa spoke about. What a man, I laughed so hard every day because of him. I felt I could speak my mind about my Tigers because I knew Jim had my back and would challenge anyone who didn't believe in our beloved Tigers. I had spring training tickets all set this year for us. I'll be sure to be there, cause I know you will be in spirit. You have truly been a blessing in my life and I am a better person for having known you and you being in my life. Thank you, Jimbo, you were truly one-in-a-million. I'll never forget your last words to me. You said "Susan, I'm at peace and ready to go, I just don't want to leave my Lesa, that will be the hardest thing to do." What an amazing man with so much love and compassion. I'll see you on the other side, Tiger buddy. If you can pull some rank up there in heaven, get us a Tiger World Series please. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lesa,
My sister Nancy called me today with your sad news. She has always been my source for Huron news, even when I lived there. Your post about Jim was lovely. It was very nice to read about your life together. Linda kept me informed about the two of you, but it was nice to read your own story and the great posts. Ask Linda to give you a hug from me. I wish you peace. My parents also send their love.
Love, Pat Rayman

Shane Gericke said...

When a star goes dark in the heavens, its light stays visible forever. It will be such with Jim--that special corner of the sky above Glendale will twinkle forever. I have followed you and Jim through your blog, and was struck by your abiding affection and love for one another, and for books. Thank you for sharing his life with all us us, Lesa, and for gracing us with this very special story of yours.

Terry Doherty said...

What a beautiful tribute ... your partnership was truly special. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

nader said...

Hi you dont know me,I met Jim at faniq and soon he became my very best friend,he was a very nice man and we had very good times at Q,please accept my condolences ,that was so sudden even for me but I am happy that I had the chance of knowing a great man like him,may he rest in peace,he knows that I loved him too much because he was the one that showed me the love first.

Bonnie said...

Lesa,

I was stunned to read your loving epitaph for Jim. I wasn't expecting to read this so soon and I am filled with sadness and tears to read the news of his passing. Thanks for sharing with us more about Jim and your life together. You sound like soulmates and I hope and pray that you hold onto those memories and treasure them always. You were blessed with an amazing love, not everyone can say that so hold on to that Lesa. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Mark Scott aka Mooser58 said...

To a brother I felt the moment I met him. You made me think, you made me laugh, we shared a love of sports and the world. Enjoy that beer we never got to have with Capt. Trips. You have made a hard man cry like I haven't cried in years. I never met you face to face Jim, but I felt I knew you well.

My heart to you Lesa.

-Mark

Literary Feline said...

Lesa, I am so sorry for your loss. Your husband was a wonderful man. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

T said...

I have to post when you lose a friend. I liked Jim from day one. He was a man of honesty, true honesty, and I find that rarely these days. His life made a difference in MY life - - I can't think of anything better that I hope someday someone can say about me. Jim, you will live on as long as I am in this world. Oh, and I'll be sure Lesa keeps up on her reading. :)

JrCanuckFan said...

Thank you for this, Lesa. I have to say that books and NASCAR brought us together as friends, and chatting with him about our latest reads is something I have missed.
I only hope one day to be able to visit the park he talked about, to drink a cup of coffee and says "cheers Jim - it was great knowing you" Then I'll sit a read a spell.....

Seal aka Marcia said...

My Dear Lesa what an absolutely heart squeezingly beautiful tribute you have done for Jim. I was stunned a few moments with the news that he was gone. I am still trying to control the tears running down my face.

Ever since I have met you & Jim, you have been like family to me. I loved cheering for the Buckeyes with you and so enjoyed each and every encounter we have had. I was so looking forward to meeting you together when I come down to San Diego this March. I am heading over to see some training camp games so was looking forward to seeing & hugging you both! Hopefully I will still be able to see you and enjoy your company & Jim of course thru you.

Your love story and the very special love you had for each other is truly an inspiration for all that have had a chance to touch lives with you both. I thank you both so much for being a part of my life and I know I am a better person for having had you both in my life.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories and reflections. I will always remember Jim for the incredible individual he was and the fantastic way he touched all the lives with which he came in contact. Thanks for being my friends. You will always be in my prayers and thoughts. Much love,
~Seal
ps I will be making a donation to Fairbanks Community Library in Jim's name. I will let you know which non-British author & book they choose. May God Bless You & Keep You & Give You Peace.

marilynn said...

what a wonderful way to remember Jim. he will forever be in our hearts. he tought some of us the values in friendships on here,you are a lucky lady to have had him. he was always so full of life,fun and love for everyone.always smiling no matter the issue.reading this brought tear
s to my eyes,he was a incredible person,he is another great Angel and watching over you and his loved ones,when i was down i could read something he posted and i would smile and think thanks Jim i needed that.you are a wonderful lady and the love you to shared was awesome. god Bless you lesa,we love you !

Anna M.C. said...

I'm so sorry, Lesa -- and very grateful I had a chance to meet Jim. I don't think I've read many love stories that could rival yours (and none of them made me cry this much, either).

Anna M.C.

Craig McDonald said...

What a brave and moving piece of writing; what a wonderful tribute. I'm so very sorry for your loss; you're in my thoughts and prayers, Lesa.

AngelicRoxie(Roxanne) said...

So sorry to hear about Jim's passing, be assured that you are in many people's prayers at this time.

scottsgal said...

What wonderful memories you share with Jim - may he rest in peace. I am sorry for your loss.

Les said...

Dear Lesa,

I was stunned to see your post this morning and my heart is full of sadness. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers in the comings weeks. I am so, so sorry.

Avery Aames said...

Dear Lesa, what a loving tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it would be to lose my husband, my best friend. Know that you are in my prayers. And may God be telling Jim a lot more jokes or at least supplying him with a ton of good books to read! All my best.

Bill Crider said...

A fine tribute to Jim, who was obviously a fine man. My deepest sympathy on your loss.

Susan said...

Thanks Lisa for sharing such a personal thing with the world. A few things that jumped out at me--I once read the most books in a summer reading program in SC and I have always been proud of that. I have been in FL for two years and in Collier County am just a little south of Lee, and hearing you mention it is nice.

mw said...

Lesa, I saw the Fiction-L posting and came here to read your loving tribute. My father died earlier this month but before he got very sick, he wrote his (somewhat unusual) obituary so that it would be ready when the time came, and it would really reflect him. Your book-infused memories of your husband capture well in their details a piece of the spirit of one person, and of one marriage. And of the quality of quiet that is shared, engaged, and relational, even when nothing is said. Thank you. I wish you well as you continue your journey.

LisaMM said...

Oh, Lesa, I am so very sorry. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved husband. Thank you for sharing your memories.. it sounds like you were made for each other. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Patricia Stoltey said...

This touching tribute makes me wish I had known Jim. Thanks for sharing this with us. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Busters Blog said...

Lesa,

I am one of Jim's online friends. We are planning on moving back to Az this year and I had been looking forward to connecting with him in person.

Your post about Jim is a great tribute to the man that shared your life. You have our condolences for your loss.

Death might take a life, but it can not remove them from your life, the life and love you shared will continue with you forever.

Go Bucks!
Joe and Pam Gibbs

SmallWorld at Home said...

So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute.

Christine said...

What a wonderful celebration in words and photos of your Jim. Peace be with you.

kathy d. said...

What a beautiful tribute to a lovely person.

It is very inspiring to all of us that you both loved each other so much, and for those of us who are readers, that it enhanced your relationship to share your love of reading.

You have so much to cherish and remember and hold on to in your memories, and also the support and love of your many friends.

As someone who went through this many years ago, when I was a young woman, knowing that one was loved, respected and cherished so much can be held on to and does give life great meaning and fullness.

It's very painful but friends, memories and books will help.

In addition to donating to libraries, donating to a literacy program or for books for children who need them, may be appropriate as well.

I think I'll encourage children in my life to love reading even more. If they could love books as much as Jim did and you do, their lives would be greatly enhanced.

Best wishes,
Kathy D.

Kerrie said...

A wonderful tribute Lesa. My thoughts are with you.

Lesa said...

Again, thank you to everyone. It means so much to me that online friends, both mine and Jim's, have taken time to write and tell me how much they care. And, it's been so nice to "meet" people who loved Jim and knew him from other online venues. Thank you for your time and kindness in taking the time to tell me about your relationships with Jim.

Thank you.

Maria T. Palacio said...

Hi Lesa,
I doubt you'll remember me. I spent some time with you at Rutenberg when I first started my job coordinating the multicultural program at the LCLS in 2003.

I am so sorry about the loss of your husband and friend. Reading the blog post you wrote brought tears to my eyes but also made me marvel at the beauty of your relationship based on books. I thought it was funny that like a good young man Jim listened to his mom and went to check out the "cute new librarian." I am sure this new life will be tough for you but you have the satisfaction of knowing that so many people truly liked your husband. May he rest in peace and hopefully find out if there is some truth in Jorge Luis Borges' words: "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."

Luanne said...

Oh Lesa,

My sincere condolences...I am typing this with tears running down my face - what an absolute love story - both of books and of each other. Hugs from afar - I wish I could have met him and talked thrillers...

Huron said...

Lesa,
So sorry about the passing of your best friend, Jim. I live next door to your mother, Liz, on Ohio Street. We've never met, but I'm sure Jim and I have shared many of the same books over the years.
Now if Jim could just figure out how to tell us who really shot JFK...
Tim Sowecke

Anonymous said...

My condolences for the loss of Jim's light in this world. I graduated high school with Jim in Berlin Heights. We rode the same school bus and in our teen years frequently would discuss this and that - mostly about world happenings and the Vietnam war. When in 7th grade we had a crush on each other and Jim poked at me and pulled my hair to the point that Mr. Cranston, our teacher, had us sit in the same chair for about an hour. How embarrassing and a great cure for a crush! I am so happy for you both that you found and loved each other. Love is the greatest gift and it seems that you and Jim shared that gift well. He is never gone as long as any of us remember him. I will do so with great fondness.

Renee Fortson Magrum

Carol M said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I never thought it would happen this soon. I had tears in my eyes as I read your beautiful tribute to him. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

D said...

Lesa, I am sorry that Jim left our world, hope they have many books up there with God!! I know the coming times will be difficult, but please remember to take care of you!! My heart goes out to you. Your relationship with Jim sounded amazing. I am so very glad you were able to experience such happiness with such a wonderful man. May God Bless you and Hold you close in your difficult times.

Sincerely,
Dianne Smith
Lakes Regional Library, FL

Wiley Saichek said...

Lesa, your tribute to Jim was absolutely beautiful and moving. You and your family are in our thoughts.

All best,
Wiley

Lesa said...

Wiley,

Thank you so much. I really appreciate your kindness in sending this. Thank you.

Lou Berney said...

Lesa, you have my deepest sympathies for your loss. I'm sorry I never got to meet Jim, but your beautifully written tribute makes it feel that way.

All my very best,

Lou

Lesa said...

Thank you, Lou. He was a very special person, and I wish he had had a chance to read Gutshot Straight before he died. He would have loved it.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Lesa-
Tears are rolling down my face as I read your tribute to your dear husband. I'm so so sorry for your loss.

Thaisa Frank said...

I didn't know Jim at all, but he came alive for me with your writing. Thank you for helping me get to know him.

Thaisa

Lesa said...

It's been my honor, and pleasure, to introduce people to my husband, Jim. Thank you for taking the time to read about him.

Anonymous said...

Lesa, thank you so much for letting me know about Jim's passing....I was one of those "starbucks friends" that you talked about. I can remember spending many long afternoons discussing the Detroit Tigers, and sports in general while having cup after cup of hot coffee. He was such a great person and a true friend to all he interacted with, always took the time to try and get to know everybody as well as he could. He will be truly missed and my thoughts and prayers go out to you in the days and years ahead. I'm just so glad I got the chance to know Jim and how he made the simple life look so amazing!

Emily A.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Emily. I didn't even remember where Jim knew you from, but I knew you were a friend, and I wanted to let you know. Thank you for the note about your memories. I knew Jim always introduced himself if he saw someone show up more than a couple times in the same time period he was there. I had forgotten that. Thank you.

Anglers Rest said...

I was deeply touched to read your beautiful tribute to Jim. From across the pond I am thinking of you at this difficult time.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Anglers Rest. I'm so pleased that Jim has touched so many people. My sister asked me last night if I knew that he and I had so many friends that would reach out, and I said, I didn't. Thank you.

Connie Ritter Smith said...

Carol, Blanche and I
want to send our deepest condolences. We never realized what an avid reader Jim was. Blanche says "She'll always remember Jim in her heart. The good and bad times. Now he'll be with Bill and maybe a miracle will happen and he'll get Bill interested in reading, ha! ha!"
We all have fond memories of our times together.
Luv, Carol Woods, Blanche, and Connie Ritter Smith

Lesa said...

Connie, Blanche, Carol - You didn't know how much Jim liked to read? That comes as a surprise since that was such an important part of our life.

Thank you for the note. I wish Jim good luck in getting Bill to read. (snicker)

Love you all.

prem said...

hey i was a jims friend in a game. i play by the name megatron87. i lost contact with him lately

jim is a great fellow. i miss him a lot, my hearty condolence

we miss u jim

Lesa said...

Thank you, Prem. My guess, from the name you use, is that you were on Ogames with Jim. In the time that he played it, he made a number of good friends there. Thank you for your note.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lesa & Jamie

I write to both of you, because I know he will always be by your side.
He spoke often of you, & introduced me to you, so that you could assure me that no-one calls him Jamie (but me hee hee)
But, it is obvious thru him, and your beautiful tribute that, he you two will be together eternally.

Thank you Lesa for sharing with us.
Sharing your memories, and an insight into our "Superstar123"

I'm sure that we have all claimed a little piece of him.
I know that we all miss him dreadfully. I surely do.
My heart and love go out to you Lesa, and will be here for you, always.

Love from

Žტωΐ∑ ĐЗ€ xoxox

Lesa said...

Zowie Dee,

Thank you for such a nice note. You're right. Jim will be with me always. And, you're also right. No one ever called him Jamie. (grin) That was my college roommate's name, and he wouldn't answer to it. James, Jim, Jimbo, Jimmer, SuperStar123, but never Jamie.

That was a beautiful note, saying you've all claimed a piece of him. Thank you.

Jesse said...

Lesa, i just received an automated response to a work email that was sent from work. I had no idea! Jim was always one of my favorite customers. The last time I saw you two was coming back from a spring training game and you both looked incredibly happy just being around each other. That blog post was a wonderful tribute. Thank you for posting it.

- Jesse Sparks
MacMedia

Lesa said...

Hi Jesse,

Thank you. You were one of Jim's favorite people. I almost stopped in at MacMedia one day to tell you he had died, but that's hard to do. And, you remember correctly. We did always enjoy our time together.

Thank you, Jesse, for taking time to write.

Matt said...

I, too, participated in reading contests at Berlin Elementary and at the Berlin Heights Public Library. I didn't know Jim. He was friends with my Tillinghast uncles. I would follow threads of intelligent conversation on Facebook when Tim and Mike would reminisce. Jim was a magnetic writer-thinker and was interesting even by only knowing him through his Facebook comments. Your tribute moved me to write this not only as a lurker on Facebook, but also a co-lover of books.

Lesa said...

Matt,

Thank you so much. Your writing is a perfect tribute to Jim. He would love to know another reader wrote, someone who grew up in Berlin Heights, loving books as much as he did. I'm glad you knew him a little bith through his Facebook conversations. Jim enjoyed his conversations with your uncles so much. His birthday would have been this coming Sunday, so I'm glad you came here to comment. Thank you.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I'm late with these words, Lesa, but wanted to say how saddened I am that Jim is gone. Your post is a wonderful tribute to him... a celebration of a man I wish I'd had the privilege of knowing in person. My prayers remain with you as you adjust to life without him.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Carol.

It's never too late to celebrate Jim's life or to send prayers. Thank you for your note. Every note has been important, and I appreciate it. Thank you.

Keith said...

It's been over 3 months now, and I (and I'm sure many others) still miss Jim a lot. I'm just off to Starbucks with a book to raise a cup to the old dippy hippy :-)

Hang on in there Lesa, We're all thinking of you.

Lesa said...

Oh, Keith. What a nice message. It's so hard to believe it's been over 3 months. I miss him every day.

Thanks for the book and cup at Starbucks. He's appreciate it!

Nan said...

Lesa, this is the most beautiful tribute I've ever read. I am sorry beyond words.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Nan. I really appreciate it. Yesterday was the memorial service, and it was beautiful.