One Year Later . . . .

by Jim on 2011/11/27

I miss him.  I really do.  It was a year ago today that we lost him, but we were so blessed to have him as long as we did.  In October 2010, I got a new guitar and started playing again for the first time since my teenage years.  I played it for them on Thanksgiving Day last year.

“That James is getting really good on that guitar,” he told my aunt the day after, the day that would be his last full day on Earth.

Special Meaning

“I’m so glad you came play the guitar for him,” was the first thing my aunt said to me — not “hello” nor “good morning” nor “they’re in room 304” — when I arrived at the hospital shortly after dawn one year ago this morning.

Within a couple of hours after he died in the early afternoon, I grabbed this picture of a structure that I have always associated with him.

Many a fishing trips went along that canal and under that bridge.

The Song

Just a couple of hours after he breathed his last breath as I held his hand, I was at what I now call my grandmother’s house.  She insisted I allow her to wash her own dishes, and I was not even remotely in a position to insist otherwise.  So, I grabbed my guitar and I started playing, freestyling, basically, this song based on a song you should already know.

The Best Thanksgiving Ever

I was so grateful for that fortuitous timing in beginning to play guitar again, and I was thankful for so much more, having faced some big demons just before he died, that I’ve said that it was the best Thanksgiving ever.  Really, though, I can’t say that this Thanksgiving has not been as great.  Rie’s death, about which I still haven’t written at length, has really, thankfully, opened my eyes to so much.  Grumpy seemed to hit on this theme with his Thanksgiving post this yearHis follow-up post is quite good too.

The New Challenge

Part of the reason for the lack of updates here on Jimbaux’s Journal is that I’ve just been ridiculously busy lately, though I foresee some time being available to write in the coming week; the challenge is to move all these numerous projects I have forward so that next Thanksgiving – and each subsequent one – is no less reason for gratitude than this one.  Rie’s death had a big impact on me, and I hope to write about it soon, but I can summarize it by saying that not only do I have numerous reasons to feel gratitude, but I’ve also learned in the last month that gratitude is not merely something that you express; it’s something that you have to learn to feel.

All for now, and Happy Thanksgiving . . .


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aunt Sue November 27, 2011 at 12:44

Great tribute. We just returned from a Mass that was said for my Dad and your grandfather. We sang just like he would have wanted us to and would have liked us to do. We all know he loved music and singing and his family.

Have a good day of remembrance–MaMa is doing very well–she came to Mass also.

Aunt Sue


2 Patricia Champagne November 27, 2011 at 13:04

This is a beautiful tribute to a great man who was loved by many. He is always with us in our hearts.


3 magnolia November 27, 2011 at 13:14

gorgeous remembrance…


4 Pete November 27, 2011 at 14:08

Not to mention…many a card game.


5 Uncle Mike November 27, 2011 at 23:20

Great job James – I probably hold the record for trips under that bridge with him. It would be great to be still making them.
Thanks for the memories!

Uncle Mike


6 Patrick D. Champagne November 29, 2011 at 10:38

Hi, James – Just back from visiting our son, Charlie & his family, in Greenville, SC. Had 76 e-mails when we got back home 11-28, and just going through them now. What a great picture. Your Granddad would be so proud of your remembrances of him. I did some fishing at the point (on West Bank) @ the Bayou & Company canal. At one time, I had a line across company canal & caught several catfish. Borrowed Paul Richard’s pirogue to run the line & check it periodically, and I had not yet learned the intricacies of swimming!!

Uncle Pat


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