From the moment I first called Jaime on the phone and employed the cheesiest pick up line… that I forgot to say “good bye”…we began a conversation that grew deeper and deeper over time. Early on, we shared things with one another that we hadn’t said to another person – a majority of things that, to this day, others still do not know. We each had seen our fair share of pain, disappointments, joy, and we both dreamed out loud about how we would grow up and do better for ourselves. And that is exactly what happened for both of us.
Jaime believed that in life you make the choice to either be a victim or a survivor. Jaime not only believed that, she embodied it. With so many things attempting to stack the deck against her, Jaime made the choice that each day she was going to get up and do what was difficult and fearlessly take the necessary risks that would grow her into the person she believed that she was to become. For both of us, that tenacity ebbed and flowed as life took us both on a very winding road. But as I think back to the days I was honored to have her as my best friend and my wife, I know without a doubt that it was her courage and her perseverance that pushed me forward.
Today, Jaime would have turned…nope, I am not going to write it because I am pretty sure a hand from heaven would reach down and smack the back of my head! Maybe not? For almost 5 years (that is so very painful to think about and type) others and I speculate what Jaime is up to. But I only can assume that in her heavenly state, Jaime is no longer concerned about her age or the “horrific” arrival of gray hair. My honest hope is that whatever she is busy with on this day, that she is able to peer through the expanse of time and see that so many miss her presence, that they are celebrating her life and the life that has continued—just as she would want and encouraged us to do before she passed away.
We continue to miss Jaime every day. We also continue to celebrate the life that we have been given. I believe and share with Felicity that this is definitely a way that we can honor Jaime’s life and memory. I don’t believe that because I ignore my pain or don’t allow Felicity to feel the depth of her loss. We celebrate life because God has been so very faithful to us (not enough room on the blog to share!) and because that’s how Jaime lived her life, right up until her earthly end. And although I can only speculate on what Jaime is up to these days, I can imagine she’s enjoying a celebration we can’t even come close to picturing in our minds. And so, on this special day, Felicity and I are going to be making some chocolate chip cookies – Jaime’s favorite! There will be stories about how incredible of a woman and mother Jaime was…and there will be tears. And God will continue to do what He has done so faithfully. He will be present. He will comfort and He will remind each of us that while this separation is painful it is for a moment when compared to eternity. And eternity with the Lord is worth incalculable buckets of confetti, friend!
As you read this, please be thinking about and praying for Jaime’s mom, Jane, her brother, John, and the many friends who loved Jaime and are particularly thinking about her today.