Red, White & Blue

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This has always been one of my favorite shots of Jimmy. It was a modeling shot and he is leaning against his red Pathfinder, looking naturally happy. I love his collared shirt, which was an anomaly, since he was almost always in t-shirts. There is a picture of our backyard at “524,” which has been sold to someone new. It’s not exactly the same, with concrete benches instead of wood, but it was a favorite spot of Jimmy’s. And finally, a collage of friendship, posted at a 50th birthday celebration.

It’s the little moments in time that come back to me. A certain smile, a remembrance of a giant hug. The expression on his face when he got this car. “The bros!” “524!”

The past month has been full of those moments. Thanks to the love and thoughtfulness of Kristen for inviting me to wander my old house and feel what happened in each room. I found myself letting go of the heavy mantle of sadness and loss, and giving way to the sheer joy of the life we lived there. I sat in the back yard, took a deep breath and wished the new owner a lifetime of memories and happiness. Jimmy often visited the home while Kristen and family lived there. He messed with the candles, lounged in his favorite corners of comfy couches, and sat at his desk in the closet and wrote in the hundreds of notebooks that were filled with his ideas, hopes and information about every wave he had ever surfed. I didn’t feel his spirit as I walked about the house, but that doesn’t mean he is gone. Who knows what the new owners will notice or if they will see sandy wet footprints in the backyard.

And thanks to Brent, in the month-long celebration of his 50th birthday, for including Jimmy at the parties. It seems impossible to think “the bros” are turning 50 this year. Every month brings another birthday celebration of this milestone. Hmm, how could this be possible, when they all came and serenaded me on my 50th? It’s another reminder that time slips by so quickly, and to cherish each moment and each friend. Jimmy’s group of friends (and Jeff’s too) continued sharing their lives as they got older, went to college, moved away, traveled, married, had children, changed jobs, and surfed in far off places. We are so grateful to be included in these lives and to watch a new generation of kids who are connected through the “bros.” Thanks to everyone who shared a “Jimmy” story with us at Brent’s. Each story keeps us connected to his memory and spirit.

And of course, there was the 4th of July celebration, which was always one of Jimmy’s favorites. From the parade years in Coronado, making home-made ice-cream and playing croquet in the back yard, to the Iron Man years at the beach. Not exactly a parents proud moment, but we always noted that Jimmy was usually first after the paddle part of that debacle, but lost it in the beer drinking contest. However, we know that the mantle has been passed, when in his 50th year, Chris did not compete! Sometimes change is good.

So many mid-summer memories that warm my heart as the sun finally makes an appearance. Even the big 7.1 brought back memories of the huge shaker in San Francisco when Jimmy was at Cal. The news kept showing a red Pathfinder, dangling on the bridge as it gave way and collapsed. How we waited for a phone call from Jimmy to say it wasn’t his!! It wasn’t, but as suspected, he had just returned from surfing via that bridge a few hours prior to that quake!

With a grateful heart and such precious memories, I want to thank everyone who helped this be a month of “Red, White, But Not SO Blue” for this mom! Here comes the sun!!!


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