Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thank you

Thank you. I read every message of love and support that you sent, honoring Jim. Over 900 people stopped by yesterday to read about Jim, and his life with books. That doesn't even include the people who commented on Facebook, or sent emails directly. To me, it proves the importance of friendship, and the ability of the Internet to link us.

Jim spent a great deal of time online, not only emailing friends, but playing games such as Ogames. But, he was an active participant in sports sites, such as RootZoo and FanIQ. His love of trivia and sports, his willingness to joke and poke fun at people, including himself, and his love of a good political discussion, all came through on those sites, and so many friends have acknowledged that. Jim found friends from Berlin Heights, from over forty years ago, and they formed a community to remember their youth, and their hometown. But, they also laughed and shared life. Jim was always good at remembering the past, while acknowledging birthdays, and anniversaries, and just dropping a note when anyone needed one.

I heard from his friends. And, I heard from my friends, my coworkers from three different libraries and states. I heard from family, even when it was most difficult (thank you, Linda). There were beautiful notes from people I hadn't heard from in over twenty-five years, and it's so wonderful to make that connection again. And, I heard from authors, and librarians, and people I have met online or in person in the book community, people who are always generous in their expressions of kindness.

Thank you to everyone. Your messages made me laugh, and cry. I've read every one of them, and I'm sure I'll go back and reread them, and treasure them for your kindness. And, thank you for your generosity in giving to your public libraries, or my library, in memory of Jim.

Jim was a very humble man, who really didn't think he had made a difference in life. Those caring people who reached out, people I never knew, show how many people can be touched by one person. He had a whole separate life, apart from me, at Starbucks, as so many people know. Jim spent three hours there, every afternoon, reading his books, and making friends. Yesterday, I stood there and cried with one of their managers. I don't know what his friends there will do, but she wants to honor him with something for children and books. Even there, Jim was known as "Our Jim, the reader." It's amazing how sitting for three hours, with a book, will create friends.

So, thank you. Thank you for your gifts of friendship, for Jim, and for me.

28 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Lesa, I think we all wish we could do more--that we were close enough to send a casserole or give you a hug. He was clearly a very special man and a wonderful husband and we're all just so sorry for your loss.

Elizabeth

Vivienne said...

I can only echo Elizabeth above and wish that we could do more. I am hoping that you are surrounded by loving family and friends who will help you through these difficult times. We are really sorry for you loss.

cindy.maher said...

Lesa, I don't know where to begin. All I can say is that you and Jim's spirit have been in my thoughts these past few days. Know that you are surrounded by love, Jim's love is still there.

Deb Fezzuoglio said...

Lesa, I woke up this morning knowing that Jim was a busy guy yesterday with all the reunions in Heaven. Imagine that welcoming committee...Harry and Joanne, his grandparents, my mom and dad, Emma Cobb (Lynnette's mom and Joanne's best friend for years) Dave Wasem, Tom Bittner, just to name a few.

I also knew he was smiling down at all the loving words of support that continue to flow to you from your friends and loved ones, both near and far.

I'm sure Heaven has a great Starbucks and a perfect library, so Jim is back into his routine. We'll celebrate this loving gifted man because he'll always be with us! I suspect anytime any of us looks to be headed towards trouble, that little nudge we feel in the more appropriate direction will be Jimbo.

Kay said...

What a lovely post, Lesa. You are just amazing and I'm so pleased to know more of Jim and his routine. I feel quite sure that Starbucks will miss him. Take care of yourself and take comfort in the fact that Jim and you have made a difference in so many lives. :-)

Donis Casey said...

I had exactly the same reaction as Elizabeth ... I wish very much that I lived close enough to bring you casseroles, or mop the kitchen floor, or bring you boatloads of Kleenex... Keep writing about Jim.

Monica Kiser Dawicke said...

Lesa,
My aunt, Sue Rupert, had sent an email recently saying that your husband was ill, and then I was messing aroung on Facebook this morning and discovered the news of his passing. My mother, your cousin Nancy Traunero Kiser, died this past September, and I remember thinking that the only things that might possibly hurt worse would be losing a child or my husband. I can't imagine your pain, but do know how very, very deep pain can go. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and especially in my prayers in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. God Bless you!

Monica Kiser Dawicke

Lesa said...

Oh, Monica. You had even less time to prepare for your mother's death than I did. Jim, at least, had time to say goodbye to many people who loved him. It does hurt, but, as you discovered, all of those people who send us messages of love also send us their support. And, that gets us through. Thank you, Monica, and God bless you, as well.

Lesa said...

Kay,

You don't know how much Starbucks is going to miss Jim, but he left me a $150 gold card for Starbucks, and, since I don't drink coffee, that will go a long way toward desserts and hot carmel apple spice. Thank you for all of your love and kindness.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Donis. I will continue to write about Jim at times. He'll always be a part of my life, particularly my book life.

Thank you.

judystarbuck said...

Lesa, you have written such beautiful messages describing your life with Jim. Like Donis, I'm not there in person, but surely in spirit. Consider this a big hug.

Deborah Sharp said...

What a wonderful memorial you've made on these pages to your much-loved husband, Jim. I went to your blog today for something unrelated, and found this outpouring of love, kindness, and yes, grief. I'm so sorry for your loss, Lesa. He sounds like a terrific guy, a voracious reader and an incredible husband.

Ingrid King said...

Thank you for sharing more of your memories with us here. How wonderful that Starbucks wants to do something special to honor Jim's memory. It must bring some comfort to know that he's touched so many lives.

I'd like to think that every time you have a dessert and drink there using the gift card he left you, Jim will be right there with you, and there'll be a big smile on his face.

You're in my thoughts.

Beth Hoffman said...

Every day I think of you and Jim, and every day I believe that he will watch over you.

I wish, so much, that I were closer -- that I could be there for you in person. I'm glad to know that you are being embraced by so many of us who care -- through the miracle of the Internet and in person as well.

Much love to you, my friend.

Carrie K. said...

I just read your wonderful tribute post to Jim and wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Shelley Mosley said...

The story of your great love is beautiful and poignant, Lesa. You captured it so well in your loving tribute. I'm so, so sorry that Jim was taken from you so abruptly.

Love,
Shelley

Lesa said...

Thank you, again, everyone. All of your support means so much to me. It keeps Jim's memory alive, with happy memories. Thank you.

Michelle Gagnon said...

So sorry for your loss, Lesa.

Darren said...

I only knew Jim online and initally we did not agree on many things , times soon changed and we got on well , its a sad day and I will raise a glass or 2...

See you soon Jim.

The Judge

Lesa said...

Thank you to everyone. And, thank you to all of those who didn't know Jim and took the time to write, and those who didn't know me, but only knew Jim, and did the same. I'm very grateful for all of the notes.

HollyBear24 said...

Everyday when Jim came into Starbucks, I was happy to see him. We would usually all yell, Jimmers. He was always happy and would poke fun with us all the time. He was such a staple there and it is hard not seeing him there and his scooter parked outside. He called us his family and that made me feel so good. It amazed me how he would have a crash on his scooter and be hobbling into Starbucks soon after. We would pamper him until he was all healed. I will miss his updates on the Tigers. Rest in peace Jimmers. We already miss you dearly.

Lesa said...

Thank you, HollyBear,

I know this came as a shock to his Starbucks family. And, I know how much he loved all of you. Thank you for your kind note of memory.

Maria said...

Many, many hugs your way. I hope you're doing well--you've been in my thoughts and prayers these last few weeks. I think I'll keep you there for a while yet. Hugs!

Maria

Lesa said...

Thank you, Maria. I appreciate all of the prayers, and thank you for keeping me there. I'm doing OK - lots of notes of support, such as yours. Thank you & hugs!

Anonymous said...

Lesa thanks for giving us this moment to share with you, the feelings of a loss a friend. I really looked up to him, admire lots from a far. Most of the time, I do this for myself, then at times I do this so this person will continue to amaze me and touch my life w/o critizism. God must have needed another Angel and he got one when Jim left us for a better life... Thanks again for letting us share. Prayers continue as I know the emotions never stop. Hugs Lesa and great writing:)

Lesa said...

I agree, Anonymous. God must have needed another angel. Thank you for the note, the hugs, and the continued prayers.

Saša said...

my English is not that good...

hugs from Croatia for all of you..

Sasha with family

Lesa said...

Sasa,

Your English is good enough to send that important message, and hugs. Thank you.

Lesa