My first post at this blog will be in honor of my life long friend James Lee Hargreaves who recently passed away from cancer at the young age of 55. I have known Jimmy since kindergarten. What follows is something a few weeks ago I posted on Facebook about Jim.
“Yesterday at Jimmy’s funeral the pastor said that Jim was one of the kindest and caring people he ever knew. How true that statement is I know and had the honor of experiencing Jim’s loving spirit firsthand.
See, in my book, James Lee Hargreaves was a great man and a marvelous human being. Sure I have known him my whole life and that biases my opinion. Sure he was a part of the 1975 FHS baseball team I call A Band of Brothers and a Sister which each and everyone of them I care so much about! Here is why I think Jim is a world class human being.
After Jim and I graduated by 1978 we both had started working at Ford Motor company in Dearborn, MI (River Rouge Plant). Earlier in 1977 I had gotten married and my son was born with major health problems. Keep in mind that Jim and I were just barely in our twenties at the time. I was newly married, my son was in and out of the hospital on a monthly basis and working at an auto plant was a whole new experience for Jim and I. I am a very mentally and physically strong person. However, at such a young age, what was going on was sometimes hard for me to handle emotionally. If it wasn’t for Jim being there for me everyday at work for five years, listening to what I said and felt without judgment, I would have faltered. At such a young age, with problems of his own, he was always kind and caring to me.
Then in the last year of his life, Jim honored me in return by receiving my loving kindest towards him. Early this year when Jim had to stop chemo treatment because it was causing him to have mild strokes, by text he sent me a picture. In the photo he was sitting in a chair at the hospital with a patch over one eye (blurred vision from a stroke) with a huge smile on his face. This was iconic Jimmy and his attitude towards life.
A few weeks ago before his recent passing, I spent two days with Jim. He was weak and sick most of the time. We talked and laughed and cried together. When I left, I told Jim not to try to get up. I reached around the head of this great human being, hugged and kissed his head. I whispered I love you and he said he loved me. I said I’ll call you.
I thank God each day I live for blessing me with a friend and brother like Jim.
My brother, my friend
your smile, your kindness
your courage, your love
the nobility of you
is forever kept
in the memory
of my heart
I will never forget you Jimmy
~Keith Alan Hamilton~”
Jim in high school.
Below the link to a tribute video having many wonderful pictures of Jimmy. I donated enough funds so it will stay up indefinitely.
Also visit Photos for Healing where I posted many great pictures of Jim. https://www.keithalanhamilton.com/?p=135
Poems for Healing is a collection of poems with images I’ve wrote and taken since Jim passed away. https://www.keithalanhamilton.com/?cat=11
More posts to come at this blog……