It’s been a while since my last blog post. I’m not as good at it as Kevin. Plus I got sick, I got busy at work…excuses, excuses right. One of the biggest reasons is that I knew I wanted to post something about one of the downsides of being on the other side of the world…when sad things happen to the ones you love and they are so far away.
It’s the one thing you know you might have to deal with, but you hope that you don’t. When big, good, exciting things happen to those you love back home, you’re sad you can’t be there, but you know that’s something you chose to give up when you moved. It’s your loss, and it comes with all the amazing things you gain when you get to move abroad. But when’s it’s something sad, it sucks not to be there for the ones you love…to hug them, to love them, to be there, to buy them a drink, or buy them a pizza, or tell them terribly bad jokes to try to make them smile. It’s hard to be there for them, when you can’t be there for them. So, you hope that nothing bad happens while you’re gone. But that’s not how life works.
As most of you guys know, my wonderful sister-in-law, Jayci, lost her dad a few weeks ago. I couldn’t be there to show my love and support and say good-bye, though from all accounts I’m pretty sure the entire city of Roanoke was there to make sure it was done well.
Kevin has already mentioned a bit about this in a previous post, and the articles and tributes that have been published are far better than anything I could say, but I just wanted to take a minute to pay tribute and say ‘See you later’ to a great man.
I am beyond lucky to have been accepted so lovingly as a part of the Bowden family, and when I think of Jim I will always think of walking in the door at their Roanoke home, with Jim sitting in the, what do you guys call that room, the den? He is reading the paper, probably sports, most likely UVA sports statistics, and watching that old wooden TV. I don’t care that that wooden TV broke and they replaced it with a new TV on top of that TV; in my mind it’s always the wooden TV. I guess it’s because that TV reminds me of Jim; classic, honest, real, no frills, and just a bit unintentionally ironic.
Kind, smart, straightforward, welcoming in a low-key way, and not frivolous with his words…he had so many of the great qualities I love in his daughter. He was the person my husband most looked forward to talking to at family functions because he was a straight shooter and not afraid to speak his mind in a way that was honest and clear, yet never argumentative. Of course I also knew Jim from the way my brother would talk about him; with love, respect, and a little bit of reverence for the bad-assery that was social Jim. I know I always made it bigger in my mind, but sometimes the way he talked I couldn’t help but think of ol’ Bill Brasky.
So wherever you are Jim, I’m sure you’re watching some UVA sports on that old TV, and playing like a million billion rounds of golf.
To Bill Brasky!
And, finally, I leave you all with this, it’s how I picture Aaron’s stories of Jim, minus all the bad stuff…just the good larger than life stuff…sorry I can’t get the video to embed, but it’s worth watching for a laugh ☺