Saying Goodbye to Jimmy

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We laid my brother to rest this past Sunday after he finally lost his battle with cancer.

My heart is still broken and I’m not so sure how to handle all the emotions that I am still having. I feel lost and crushed.

He was my little brother. He was the best of us all, truly.

Brother and Sister "By My Side ~ Willow Tree
Brother and Sister “By My Side ~ Willow Tree

He knew his fate and so did I for a  year and half. I thought I was prepared. I had gone over it in my head hundreds of times.

I was with him when he took his last breath. So was the love of his life, Janice and Barry and Barbara (my brother and sister) and his handsome son, Shawn.

That was the hardest day of my life (and I’ve lost a Mama and Daddy).

I could hardly leave him alone in his flower-covered grave after everyone had left. He was my little brother.

My Sweet Little Brother
My Sweet Little Brother

He was imperfect but everyone who met him, liked him. He was good and fun.

His laugh came easy and it was loud and infectious. I will miss that most.

He was handsome all of his years.

He was the class clown.

He played baseball and basketball.

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He was the class favorite.

Girls loved him. (probably too much) 🙂

His eyes were as blue as the ocean.

He was big and strong.

He loved his 2 sons (Shawn and Logan) more than life. He met the love of his life (Janice) late in life. That is the most tragic that when he finds his true love, it was cut so short after 8 or so years.

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He was a sports fanatic…some may say. He loved St. Louis Cardinals Baseball and Tennessee Volunteers College Football.

He was buried in Tennessee orange and all the flowers sent had a Tennessee Vols theme and colors. It was beautiful and he would have loved it.

He was buried with the program from the Tenn Vols game on Saturday that he intended to watch. He was buried with a St. Louis Cardinals keychain. Janice left him a personal love note.

We were touched by the people who helped us mourn at his services.

I was surprised by some who came or called or sent flowers.

I will be forever disappointed in those who I surely thought would come or either call to give respect or condolences and they did not.

But his services were beautiful. I was mostly touched by the respect he was shown on his 40 mile drive to his resting place. Cops stopping traffic with hats off and hands on their heart. People pulling over and getting out of their car. It was a fitting send off for such a good person.

It’s not what he would have asked for or expected but it’s what he deserved.

Jimmy lived an imperfect life. He lived it well and did what he wanted. He made mistakes and he made some wonderful choices.

I wrote the following on Facebook to thank people:

I’d like to take time and thank everyone who supported us in our time of grief. I don’t know how we would have made it through this without you…whether you called us, helped us arrange services, came to visit us, prepared food for us, sent flowers, sang heartfelt songs for us, said comforting words for us, babysat for us, made us laugh, helped us cry, made us remember, prayed for us, loved us, helped our loved ones get here, carried his casket, saluted Jimmy’s final ride home, pulled over for him on the road, put your hand over your heart or took your hat off as he passed by. I’m overwhelmed with thanks and gratitude to each of you. Thank you. I💗love you and don’t you ever forget it, Jimmy Barber

Jimmy Barber lived his life 🙂

And even towards the end, he was never bitter or mad. He spend his time comforting us. His biggest worry toward the end was for the people who he was leaving behind grieving.

Everytime I ended a phone call, he would say “I love you and don’t you ever forget that”

I never will. I hear it in my mind over and over.

I miss you, Jimmy. I love you and don’t you ever forget it.

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“In my time of dying, want nobody to mourn. All I want for you to do is take my body home” ~ Led Zeppelin “In My Time of Dying” 

 

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15 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Jimmy

  1. It was a sad but beautiful service!! He was loved!! I will share with you my last memory of Jimmy I was standing at the casket of granddaddy Thomas and Jimmy walked up to me and said you know if anybody made it to Heaven uncle Thomas did!! That helped me a lot that day!! I felt so close to him after that I was honored to sing at his service ( even though I made a mess) I think he was smiling down!! I love all of you so much!!!

  2. Charlotte, I am so so sorry to hear this sad news. You are beautiful. Your brother was beautiful. Your family is beautiful. Many hugs and kisses to you. I miss you. XOXO

  3. Oh Charlotte… i am so sorry to hear the sad news and for for your huge loss… Your post is wonderful, loving andso caring, i am sure Jimmy felt all of this. )))hugs((( hunny, sending you much love xx CJ

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