Thursday, September 18, 2008
Cousin Jimmy Final Chapter
Yesterday during the day I called my Aunt Char to check in on Jimmy. She told me that the family had decided to stop treatment and to let him move on. On the call she said that it would be days at most. It was less than five hours. At 8:20pm last night, James Wakefield, my cuz, my friend, my family left this world for whatever comes next.
My Aunt Char relayed to me that my Aunt Susie and Uncle Joe and Jim's brothers are extremely angry. I know the feeling. I have rarely felt powerless in my life. No matter what the circumstance or situation, I generally find that I have some choice. But in this, there was no choice. Jim fought and lost. And we all, from nearby or far away, could only hope and pray. Old folks say that "God always answers prayers, but sometimes the answer is no." And this time it was one hell of a no.
Plain and simple I want Jimmy back. I want to hang out with him while he makes fun my sexuality while I make fun of the fact that he was white as a snow. I want to hang out with my cousin that taught me how to ride a bike. My cousin that I stayed up late drinking with in Aunt Char's basement. I want back my cousin because he got me...we were cut from the same cloth....well...at least the same fabric.
Yesterday I had a great lunch with David. Thank GOD David is visiting right now. But, soon after lunch, while sitting at my desk, I became so overwhelmed with such a horrible feeling that I threw up. My spirit knew that something was going to happen...when I was working for LIberty Tree, I took a test that details your strongest attributes....at the top of my list was empathy...yesterday, I wanted to rip out every feeling in my body and the nerve endings along with them.
Jim decided that he did not want a funeral. The family is going to respect his wishes. There is going to be a dinner in Beloit for folks that knew Jim. There will be a gathering for family in Duluth at some point after that. I have no idea what I am going to say to my Aunt and Uncle. Any outrage, or grief, or pain, or anger that I have they can match a thousand times over.
Last night I even called my Dad. I don't think I have ever called my Dad for emotional support. But last night, I remembered that he lost his Mother to leukemia as well. She was only a year older than Jim. Dad answered the phone. And it was what I needed...or at least a part of it. The next few days are going to be rough. But I am trying to remind myself to do what I would want done....to remember Jim, to celebrate his life, and to make sure that his work is not forgotten.