A place for eternity

The one who holds my heart is up North today, helping her family lay the ashes of her favorite male cousin to rest. I had only met him a few times and found his reserved sense of humor, his liberal political values, and his background with Mad magazine and model cars interesting. Jim devoted his career to acts that bring people together it seems, I never really knew what exactly he did, but his company was known as good negotiators, and from my experience, I think he’d be a good and fair negotiator.

Bringing people together with a third party like Jim usually only happens with the two parties can’t see eye to eye, or won’t see eye to eye. It takes a special person, one with a broad and quick intellect, one with a depth of understanding about what makes all humans human, and one with an appreciation for things larger than ones-self. That’s how I think of Jim.

When he’d visit his family here out west, he’d be recommending wine, giving us the inside scoop on Washington, and remembering his days growing up in the midwest. And he was always ready to help. I remember when my favorite youngest daughter was graduating and looking for work in the International development policy field, Jim came up with some names of people that received my daughter professionally, spoke with her at length, and offered some avenues for finding work. I’ll always remember Jim as one of the good guys.

In his last days, he made some decisions about what to do with his ashes, some to Hawaii, some to a Colorado mountaintop, some to a river he’d kayak away stress in, and he asked that some come home to his family place in the midwest. I believe its a good thing to do, have a place where your name is written in stone, where we can come and talk to you from time to time, to remember, to reflect, to absorb a bit of wisdom from the earth below.

We miss you Jim, every day. We’ll come by to visit. Thanks for coming home, it helps us all to know you’re near.

Be good to each other, more than ever before we need that now.

Do good work.

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