Jim, we hardly knew ye.

Those readers who’ve been wondering where I’ve been the last week or so (and there have been quite a few of you), I’ve been spending time with a seriously ill friend by the name of Jim Hensley. I’d met but never really gotten to know Jim before a few months ago. That changed when he was admitted to the hospital for the long term in July. A few odd drop-ins turned into near-daily visits as Jim got sicker. As dire and uncomfortable as things got, he never lost his sense of humor, and that made the visits quite easy and, usually, entertaining.

Last weekend I found out Jim only had a few days left, which meant there wasn’t time for baking. He finally passed on Wednesday, and though I worried he’d suffer at the end, he went very peacefully and comfortably. More proof that God is always there for us when we need him most. Jim’s gone now in body but still around in spirit, and that’s a thought that’s going to comfort me, because I’ll miss him. We came to be friends under dire circumstances, which I suppose isn’t really so odd, since dire circumstances have a humor and uplift that’s all their own.

It was a privilege knowing Jim, and a great honor to be able to be there for the end of his time on Earth. He went far too young, in his 40’s only. But now he’s liberated and I’m happy for him…if sad for myself. I got attached to that nerd. I hated to see him go.

18 thoughts on “Jim, we hardly knew ye.”

  1. My sincerest condolences Joe, to you, and to Jims’ family. If you gave of your time so freely, he must have been a special person to have had as a friend.

    1. He was, shall we say, unique. Not someone I would have gotten to know under ordinary circumstances. But we just sort of fell in together…cancer buddies I guess you’d say. It was a very worthwhile friendship, even though it didn’t last terribly long. But thanks very much for your thoughts, Warren. And indeed I will pass them on to Jim’s brother and sister-in-law, who were his only family.

      – J

    1. Hey, K-Line. It is sad losing a friend. I’d really gotten in the habit of taking an hour or so out of every day and spending it with him. I’ll miss all that. Thanks very much for the note,

      – Joe

  2. Mine and my family’s thoughts are with you and yours, Joe. Take a break, come back refreshed knowing that we love and appreciate everything you do for us on here.


    1. Hey Chris! Talk about making a guy’s day. My goal is to get back after it this week. We’ll see what happens. But thanks for that email, it means a lot.

      – Joe

  3. I lost a dear uncle week too, Joe. We said our goodbyes at a beautiful memorial service on Saturday. There’s no denying the indescribable pain of losing a loved one, but at least we find comfort in knowing that they are finally home. You’re in my thoughts and prayers during this time of grief.

    1. Thanks, Ann. I’m very sorry to hear about your loss as well. It’s strange how no amount of advance warning really prepares you for something like this. I really hadn’t known Jim all that long, but it felt like we’d been through the wars together. He was (and is still) a great presence. My condolences to you and your family.

      – Joe

  4. Joe,

    I’ve been buried so deep in your archives that I wasn’t paying any attention to the current postings. I’m so sorry that you’ve lost such a good, if brief friendship. Reading your story gave me a sense of what that reationship must have meant to you. Keep his memory alive in your thoughts. My condolences to you.


    1. No problem, Neil! I appreciate that, but life goes on. There’s baking to do!

      – Joe

  5. Hi joe, so I am so sorry for your loss, and I am sorry for
    not writing sooner. With the holiday weekend I was
    kinda busy. I wish there was something I could say to
    take the hurt away. God knows what he is doing, and
    even though we sometimes can’t see it, there is a
    reason for everything! All things good and bad serve
    a divine good! He was lucky to have a friend like you!

    1. Hey Ben, thanks for that. It’s been a long week, but things are looking up. I appreciate the note.

      – Joe

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