Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Husband, Jim

I'm interrupting the regular publication of my blog to say that there may be times in the next couple months when I don't get a book review published. I'm going to continue to do my best, though.

My husband, Jim, has been diagnosed with metastic cancer. It is located in at least four parts of the body, and it's rapidly progressing. We'll meet this afternoon with our family doctor to discuss hospice.

Jim told me he doesn't want an obituary when the time comes. What he does want is a book-related blog telling about his life as it relates to books. And, he asked that I write it so he can read it before he dies, and save it for that time. So, this is also the appropriate place to mention that I'll be here every day, at least with a note, but for a short time, the blog might not be as fine-tuned as it has been.

Thank you! Books are going to help get both of us through, and I'm doing a brown bag luncheon today. So, books are still the main focus of the blog. Consider this an interruption to mention that many thriller writers are about to lose one of their biggest fans.

97 comments:

LifeLongLearner said...

May you find comfort from friends and the many books that surround you. Warm thoughts and love as you face the final days with your husband, Jim.

South Jersey Quilter said...

I'm so sorry to hear your awful news. Enjoy and cherish your days together with Jim.

Holly

Vivienne said...

I am sorry to hear that your husband Jim is so poorly. My thoughts are with you both at this time. I hope you get to enjoy as many happy days as possible together.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Lesa, I'm so,so sorry. I know how incredibly close the two of you are. I hope there will still be many good days for you together. I'll be thinking and praying for you and Jim...

Elizabeth

Page said...

Good luck to you both. Books are a comfort and I'll think good thoughts for you both.

Molly said...

Oh my gosh, Lesa - I am so, so sorry! I will definitely be thinking and praying for you both during this difficult time.

Lesa said...

Thank you, everyone. As I said to Jen Forbus, our family, friends, prayers & positive thoughts will get us both through. And, of course, books. Jim & I met at the library, and share a love of books. I'm hoping he can enjoy them as close to the end as possible. And, our sense of humor will keep us both going as well.

Thank you. And, Jim agreed to let me post this, but he said I couldn't let the blog slide.

Mash1195 said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jim and your family as you journey down this difficult road of life. Hoping you both find comfort in the books that you both love.
CMash

Kaye said...

Jim sounds like the most wonderful of men. My prayers are with you in this stressful time.

Helen Smith said...

I'm really sorry to hear it. Sending love.

Kaye Barley said...

Lesa, you & Jim are one of the loveliest, strongest, most together "team of two" I've ever encountered. Thinking of you both and sending warm and healing thoughts your way.

Lesa said...

Thank you, everyone. Jim always promised me marriage with him would be interesting. It has been an interesting 26 1/2 years - he was right.

Jen Forbus said...

Jim and Lesa,

Love you both. I'm grateful books brought you into my life. Hug tight and know that so very many prayers surround you now.

Jen

Lesa said...

Thank you so much, Jen. We know we're surrounded by friends and family, in prayer & thoughts. Thank you. I feel the same way. I'm so grateful books brought so many people into my life - especially Jim.

Ingrid King said...

Oh Lesa, there really are no words. I'll keep you and Jim in my thoughts and prayers and will send lots of good thoughts and energy your way every day. I wish for you and Jim that you'll find peace and comfort as you go through this together.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Ingrid. That's what we're trying to do - hold on, and get through this together. Thank you.

Wiley Saichek said...

Lesa,

Nicole, Anne and I will hold good thoughts and wishes for you and Jim.

bermudaonion said...

Oh Lesa, I'm so sorry to hear your news. Jim sounds so brave, but I know this is a difficult time for both of you. The two of you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Lesa said...

Thank you, so much, Wiley. It just shows how blogs, and books, can reach out and touch so many people. Thank you for your kindness.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kathy. We appreciate, and need, the thoughts and prayers.

Julie P. said...

I will definitely be praying for both of you!

Tricia said...

What a wonderful outlook both you and Jim have during this time. My thoughts are with you both.

iasa said...

I'm so sorry. We will be thinking about you both.

Mason Canyon said...

You already know what an amazing husband you have, but thank you (and Jim) for sharing his wonderful spirit with us. May your days together be many more, may his time be peaceful and enjoyable. Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers.

swaagat said...

Oh Lesa, my friend Ingrid told me about you and Jim, and I just had to write to tell you that my love and prayers are with you both and will continue to be.

Deb Baker said...

I'm shocked. I didn't know. Sending you both comforting, loving thoughts at this difficult time.

Richard Mabry said...

Lesa,
Please know that you both are in our prayers. Blessings. Rom. 8:38-39.

cindy.maher said...

Oh Lesa, I was so shocked to hear this news. Jim has always been so nice to me in the past. Remember when he'd try to pick my name for book giveaways. He's a darling. My heart goes out to the both of you.

Julie Hyzy said...

Lesa - I am so sorry to hear this news. You and Jim are so strong, so great, and an inspiration to us all. I'll be keeping you both in my thoughts. We're all here for you.

Clea Simon said...

Dear Lesa, I've never met Jim but he sounds like a special man. I hope you have each other yet for a good, long time, and I believe that the love you share will last. Please know that those of us who have come to know you, even virtually (online), are thinking of you and Jim. We hold you both in our hearts.

Lorna Barrett said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry to hear about Jim. My thoughts, prayers, and good vibes are heading your way--and of course, to Jim, too.

TK42ONE said...

I wish I could say something that would magically make things better. Since I'm no wizard, I'll think kind thoughts and pray things go as pain-free as possible.

le0pard13 said...

We are very sorry to hear your news concerning Jim. Our thoughts and prayers for both you.

Kay said...

Lesa, even though I haven't met Jim, I feel I know him through your blog sharing and his lovely comments to you here. Know that I will hold you both close to my heart through this and will keep you in my prayers. You're the most amazing duo.

Leann Sweeney said...

Lesa I am so so sorry. May you and Jim find comfort in each other in the coming months. I just cannot imagine your pain. My thoughts are with you.

Joe Barone said...

What difficult news. I will pray for both of you.

Cleo Coyle said...

Dear Lesa, My heart goes out to you and your husband. From the way you’ve talked about Jim in the blog, he is clearly an amazing man—loving and fun-loving, intelligent, and inspiring. Emily said that parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell. I have thought of that over the years, losing people close to me to cancer. My mother died of it and I will certainly contract it someday. You are right about the comfort of books and storytellers. They have helped me through. To quote Novalyne Price Ellis in One Who Walked Alone: “I know now that it is not over between us, is it? It will never be over. I’ll never see a beautiful sunset that I won’t hear you…” Writer Robert E. Howard took his own life at the age of 30, but Novalyne considered him a friend until the day she died. We’re all going where Jim is going. He’s just getting there ahead of us.

My prayers and good thoughts are with you both.

~Alice Alfonsi
aka Cleo

Krista said...

Oh, Lesa! I'm so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you. Jim sounds like a very special person. Please don't forget to take care of yourself during this terrible time.

~ Krista

Juliet Blackwell said...

Lesa, my thoughts are with you. Thanks to you and to Jim for your bravery in sharing this. I've gone through something similar; there is no way to get around the pain, but there is also great beauty. You and Jim are in my prayers and thoughts.
--Julie (aka Juliet Blackwell)

Lesa said...

Thank you, everyone. I can't wait to get home from work today and share these notes with Jim. He's having a hard time working on the computer, or I'd make them read them himself. He can still read, and he has a special book coming in the mail soon, but I can't tell about it here. But, I'm going to share your comments.

I knew everyone here cared. And, I know that it helps us to tell you about it, and it helps you to know why things might be a little out-of-whack here at times. Thank you. Isn't it wonderful how friends have been brought together via the Internet, blogs, Twitter, and, of course, the love of books?

Thank you for all your support and kindness.

Jenn McKinlay said...

Lesa,

I am so sorry to hear this. I admire
you both so much for the courage you are showing. Please know that my thoughts are with you both.

Jenn McKinlay

Sophie Littlefield said...

Lesa, I am so sorry! You have touched me with your warmth and caring over the past year. Now I send my best thoughts to you and Jim. - Sophie

Linda said...

Lesa -- Deb F. has shared your sad news with me. Jim was several years behind me in school in Berlin Heights, one of the brightest kids, which I believe got him into mischief at times! From what Jim had posted in the past on FB, you 2 are true soul mates. I wish you both peace during this time.

Yolanda said...

Lesa,
Although you don't know me I rally love your blog. I am an RN and have went through what you are going through with my mom and dad so if you have any questions about meds,care etc or youjust need someone to listen who knows what you are going through let me know. I will keep you in my prayers.

Bev said...

Lesa,
I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's illness. Having been through this with my mom I can totally understand how stressed and overwhelm you must be My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please remember to take care of yourself during this time.

Lesa said...

Thank you, everyone. Your kindness is just overwhelming. I'm so looking forward to sharing these with Jim tonight. Thank you for all of the support.

Strlady said...

Lesa,
I am so sorry to hear of Jim's diagnosis. I hope and pray for your strength to move forward and cherish each and every moment you both share. Thank you for letting us in on such a private time. you and Jim are in my thoughts.

Lesa said...

Striady - Thank you for the note. It is a private time, however it's also a time when the love and support is so needed. If we hide ourselves away, and don't say anything, people don't have a chance to offer the kindness they would like to express, and we need.

Sallyb said...

Dear Lesa and Jim,
Hospice is one of the most wonderful organizations in the world and I'm confident that they will do everything they can to make your time together peaceful and comforting.
You two are so brave to share this with your readers but you'll also receive so many supportive notes from those of us who have made this journey with loved ones; for me, my mom, then my dad and most recently, my stepmother.
Thinking of you every day. Love, Sally

Brad Parks said...

Lesa,
I've come to believe a well-led life can be measured in well-told stories -- whether they're your own or someone else's. I love Jim's idea for an alternative obit. He sounds like my kinda guy.
I'd wish you strength and courage for the coming months, but it sounds like you've already got a bunch of both. So I'll just wish you the best.
Brad

Kevin said...

hello Lesa. I have to say my recent correspondence with Jim has impressed me beyond respect. I hope to be half the man he is being when my time comes. His main concern is for you and your future. Clearly his love is strong and undying. Wendy and I send strength, love and support. if there is anything we can do or help with, please let us know. your friend, Kevin

Wendy A. said...

Lesa and Jim,

Sally's right; hospice is awesome! They helped my parents, and Kevin's dad, grandmother and uncle.

Sending you warm thoughts and virtual hugs.

Wendy

Wendy Lyn Watson said...

I will be holding you both in my heart as you face this challenge together. May the love you share sustain you both.

Wendy

Gina said...

Lesa, You and Jim have been such an inspiration. You have weathered tough times together and stood together through it all. Hospice is a wonderful gift. They were so great with my dad, and my mom gives them a lot of credit with helping her through it. Take care of yourself. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Gina

Bonnie said...

Lesa, Your hearfelt post today brought tears to my eyes and I only know you and Jim virtually through your blog. It sounds like you have the most amazing relationship with your husband and you have both been blessed. How wonderful that you have the love and connection to books. I love Jim's idea of you writing a book related blog sharing about his life related to books. What an honor to do that and he will be able to read it and be part of the process. I am so sorry that you are going through this phase of life that we all must face, but much too soon. Treasure these moments with Jim and take care of yourself as well. Your readers are all here to support you, myself included. I'm glad that you shared this so we can support you! You and Jim will be in my thoughts and prayers.

LSUReader said...

My prayers are with you both.

Diane said...

Lesa,

I am so sad by this post of yours. My brother passed away in November 2009 from pancreatic cancer that spread to his liver. My thoughts and prayers are with you both at this difficult time.

Melanie said...

Dearest Lesa,
I haven't met Jim but I know that he must be an extra special guy to be married to someone as wonderful as you. You both have the love, support, and prayers of all your fans and friends. Please let me know how I can help, in any way.
love,
Melanie

Beth Solheim said...

Dear Lesa,

Your post brought tears. I'm so sorry for you both.

Beth Solheim

Karen B said...

Sending many good thoughts and lots of hugs to you both.

Sheila Beaumont said...

Lesa, I'm praying for you and Jim, and sending positive thoughts your way. A book-related blog for Jim is a wonderful idea. May family, friends, books, and a good sense of humor be a source of comfort and courage for both of you.

Lesa said...

Thank you! I can't tell you how much all of these notes have meant to us today. Thank you. I never even thought of them when I wrote this blog. I just wanted to keep you informed. Thank you.

Reading said...

Lesa,

Mr thoughts and prayers are with you both. Jim is responsible for me winning some good books to read. I hope things went well with your meeting today, hospice workers truly are angels here on earth.

Hugs to both of you,

chip

Lesa said...

To everyone,

I want to thank you for all the love and happiness you've given me by your support and prayers. Don't worry, I'll make sure Lesa keeps up with her blog. I have always been so excited for her as she rose in the book community. All we've ever done is love books, and love each other. I think Lesa will be alright. You'd be surprised if you met her. She can be just as independent as she can be nice, and most of you know she is nice. I don't believe I've ever seen anybody more passionate for reading than Lesa. I might come in second. At least by her blog, she has made me feel a part of other people who read books, and that gives me immense pleasure. I'm not resentful at all. I believe people live the best life they can, do the best they can, and that's it. I don't believe in mourning. I would like people to think of me, and think of some happiness that might have occurred. I know one thing - Lesa and I will go out laughing about it. I have a sense of humor, and it's a weird sense of humor, so I don't expect it to be any different at death. We kid each other about it now. That's the only thing I regret - leaving Lesa, and the ability to have a brand new book in my hand, with the crispness and the smell of a new book. Who knows, and here's how our sense of humor is. Lesa and I have for years pictured heaven as a place where George Burns is God, and you get all eternity to read. I love you all, and thank you for letting me share my thoughts.

Love, and hugs.
Jim

etirv said...

Will include Jim in my prayers, Lesa.. take care!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Jim---what a wonderful message. And...heaven is supposed to be an awesome place, so--it MUST have books there!

Hugs to you,

Elizabeth

Lesa said...

Thank you, Elizabeth. Jim & I both agree with you - it has to have books.

aboles said...

Lesa, I am so, so sorry to hear your sad news about Jim. I do know he is the best "picker" ever, since he picked my name to win a book from you :) My best to you both, with tears and smiles.

Beth Groundwater said...

Lesa and Jim,
I'll be carrying you both in my heart as you deal with this. I'm very saddened by the news, but I think you're both handling it with a huge amount of courage. You're role models for us all!

Julia Buckley said...

Lesa,
I am so shocked and sorry to hear this. Know that you have a whole community of people out here who will be thinking of you and sending their love and support.

I admire you and your husband for your strength.

Topsyneats said...

Jim & Lesa

Please know we are praying for you both & admire your courage.
Love,
J & J

Carol J. Garvin said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this. I lost my mother the same way but the wonderful hospice care and the support of family and friends helped so much. And it sounds like your love and faith will sustain you both, too. I pray for your peace and strength through this difficult time.

Cathy said...

This isn't a time for eloquence, and I don't think I could provide it even if forced. Just know that there are lots of good thoughts, prayers and love being sent to Jim and to you.

Diana Orgain said...

Lesa - you and Jim are in my prayers.

Pat Browning said...

Lesa and Jim,

My computer is going crazy. My message just disappeared. I'll try again.

I'm keeping both of you in my prayers, and glad you are choosing hospice. Forgive the cliche, but just remember that it ain't over 'til it's over, and miracles still happen.

So, are you listening to any Johnny Cash records? (:

Sending you multiple hugs,

Pat Browning

Lesa said...

Thank you for all of the kind notes and comments. We appreciate every one, and last night I read all of the notes we'd had so far to Jim. I have more notes to read him tonight.

Pat - No Johnny Cash. I'm the fan. Jim's more of a Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, 60s music.

Kris said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this! My heart goes out to you and I hope that things work out for the best.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kris. We appreciate every kind note and wish. Thank you.

Mary said...

Lesa, I'm sending every good wish to you and Jim. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.

Lynne Perednia said...

Lesa, may you and Jim enjoy every moment. May we all be as graceful as Jim.

caite said...

What terrible and shocking news.

Certainly, my prayers and thoughts, and the prayers and thoughts of all your readers, as you can see from all the lovely comments, will be with you in the coming days.

Yes, books are wondrous things, especially if they can be responsible for something as grand as first bringing you and Jim together and being part of the love you have shared all these years.
It may be difficult to remember at moments in the days ahead, but always remember the wonderful times you have shared. And thank you for giving us a glimpse of it.

Trish said...

Lesa & Jim
I pray that you enjoy your days together, you continue to laugh, love and be a comfort to each other.

Your cousin, Trish

Carrie K. said...

Lesa, I am so sorry. You will be in my prayers and thoughts.

randio said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry to hear about Jim. Please know that your both in my prayers.

Lesa said...

I really appreciate all of the comments. Thank you. Jim's in a hospital bed, now, and we have hospice. So, I won't be here as often as I have been. But, I continue to come back so I can say thank you for all of the support.

Betsy said...

Lesa, I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I went through this 14 months ago with my own husband, so I know what you are going through. I will hold you both in my thoughts and prayers.

Try to be in the moment and spend as much time together as you can. And don't hesitate to ask your friends and family for help; I'm sure that they are anxious to help, but may not know how to ask or what to do.

Don't worry about book reviews; Jim is much more important.
Hugs to you both.
Betsy B.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Betsy. It isn't easy, but everyone is wonderful. I am going to ask someone to stop by tomorrow so I can run to the grocery store. The blog isn't anywhere near as important, but while he sleeps, it gives me something to do. That's when I read messages and answer people as well. Keeps me occupied.

Carol M said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

stacybuckeye said...

So sorry to see this! You and Jim will be in my prayers.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Carol and Stacy. Jim has had a much more peaceful day today than he did last night, so prayers are working. I'm hoping he goes peacefully, when he does.

kathy d. said...

Dear Lesa,

What an incredibly wonderful person your spouse is and it is fantastic that you have had 26 1/2 years together combined with your love of books which you have shared.

You both have had such a rich life together, one that you can take with you, remember and cherish.

I went through this many years ago
and hold dear the memories and love.

With best wishes,
Kathy D.

Sandie Herron said...

Lesa, I'm so sad to learn of your and Jim's news. My hubby's secretary just lost her husband to testicular cancer which metastisized to his brain and other places. That was his starting point, and yet he battled for two more years. There were times he thought about giving up treatmennt, but his wife was rock solid. That's not to say she didn't have her doubts and that they didn't cry together - they did. She was his only source of support, since his family and friends were in denial.

They wrote Mark's obituary together, since he did not want a service nor anything else. I think it was very positive for them to do it together. They were able to discuss the fine nuances of wording they would need under his circumstances. They probably had some laughs, as well.

What an honor for Jim to want you to write his final tribute. If it were me, I'd want some help, just so I didn't leave out anything important to him. I would know what I wanted to share (or at least I hope it would come to me) but it might not include a comment about his best buddy from grade school, or something important to him yet not to me.

It was just a couple weeks ago that the doctor told Bill's secretary there was nothing more he could do and that Mark had just 2 to 4 weeks left. Four days later Nat found him with the remote in his hand and the golf channel on ... his passion. And he was smiling. He went on his terms, so very important.

She reminds me to pass along that the hearing is the last sense to go. That was true as I sat with my own mother as she passed on 22 years ago. So perhaps books on CD will bring some comfort when his eyes become too bleary to read, or his hands too tired to a book up, and your voice a bit unsteady ...

You have our prayers and our love. When you don't feel like much of a rock, you have my e-mail and phone #. Please reach out to your friends and let them help you thru this time.

kathy d. said...

Lesa,

I wanted to add that friends are very important.

My friends helped me so much and gave ms so much love and support years ago and it was crucial.

The friends on this blog are so supportive and warm that it will be an enormous comfort to you.

Beth Hoffman said...

Dearest Lesa,

You and Jim have been in my special prayers every single day. I'm holding you both very close in my heart and sending love.

I will always be here for you, my friend.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kathy, for every note of support. I really appreciate them. Sandie, as always, you reach out with love and support to your friends. Thank you. And, I appreciate the comments from your husband's secretary.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Beth, for all of the support early on, all of the notes and candles, and all of the friendship and love. I know you're there. Thank you, my friend.

Bette S. said...

Lesa,

I am sad and sorry to hear about Jim's passing. When I first met you both, I thought you both to be pretty opposite of one another. Little did I know then. Thank you for sharing. I wish you the best.

You and Jim are in my thoughts and prayers.

Bette S.