March 12 , 2001, was the day schizophrenia finally won the battle within the mind of my son, and the day my husband died as a result of that lost battle.

I purposefully waited until after that date to write this tribute to my late husband because that is also the day his sister tries to celebrate her birthday.  A hard thing to do, I’m sure, as she has lost her entire family unit (grandpa, grandma, great-aunt, great-uncle, mother, father, and brother) with whom she spent her childhood years until she moved away to college and then marriage.  Thankfully, God has given her a great second family although this year she has also lost a member of that as well:  a wonderful, loving, caring father-in-law.

It has been ten years since my husband died.  It seems like yesterday.  I will write about him this week because he deserves to have things written about him, and I know others miss him as much as I do and are taking note, as I do, of the passing years without him.

James Joseph “Jimmie Joe” was younger than I was; someone I wouldn’t in a million and one years have ever dreamed I would one day marry.  I suppose God had a different plan, or maybe He just took the circumstances James and I started and created something good, as only God can do.

James lived down the street from me.  He was between girlfriends, I suppose, and I was going through a divorce.  He would call and talk for a brief moment or stop and talk if he saw me out, and one day even knocked on my door.  And tell you the truth, I’m still not sure how I finally said I would go out with him.  But those first encounters eventually led to an actual date a few months later… and a marriage a couple of years later.  It was a scandalous affair!  We were the talk of our little town, and didn’t give a rip.  The only thing I cared about and he cared about were our families and how they would handle it, what they would think.  And I have to say, they were great sports even though I’m sure it was difficult to understand.  After all, James and I were polar opposites.

What a beautiful smile!
He loved that hat!

Can’t you see why anyone could not resist that smile?

Being polar opposites wasn’t enough to stand in the way of fate.  At least that’s what James always said, “You may as well accept it; it’s fate.”  There were lots of things he said, good things from a good man.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about that good man some more.

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