It was only a month ago when I spent time at the bedside of a friend from Nunavut, who was slowly slipping away from various types of Cancer. I held his hand until hours before he passed from this life into the next. His sickness and rapid decline was something unexpected yet, at the same time, I felt I had been granted a gift to have been part of that period of his life – even considered it a blessing for various reasons.
With you, Jamie, I didn't experience any such blessings. I didn't know you were sick. I didn’t know about a lot of changes that had taken place in your life. I wish I had reached out to you, but I can’t go backwards - and now you’re gone.
When I learned you were sick, I couldn’t describe the way I felt. It tossed me back in time to more than 30 years ago. Waves of memories crashed through my soul, and some of those memories involved you. For a time, it felt like you were a part of our family; you had become part of our world.
The days passed in a blur from the time I learned you were sick until the time I learned you had slipped from this world. At that point, I embarked upon a soul-searching journey as I thought about the young man who never turned his back on this soul when she needed a listening ear, a pair of helping hands. You had a greater impact on my life than you realized.
I wanted to learn more about that friend of mine who got buried in the past, who was left behind when I moved away from home - in that era before social media existed.
I yearned to know about the missing years and, though there’s a lot I may never know about your life, you were blessed with two beautiful daughters. It breaks my heart that you have slipped from their fingers, too.
I spent a significant period of time studying your world over the past several days. During the last years of your life, you were really living life. I feel I’ve been a witness - watched a love story unfold which would bring two young boys into your life whom you would grow to love as sons.
I think back to your silliness; it seems some things never changed.
What you would do to a dining room table would never cross the mind of most people.
You definitely had talent with a sketch pad;
your artistic talents were worth noticing even as a teen.
Even so, taking time to do crafts with the boys was not an issue for you.
A blast from the past from your lip-syncing days.
Left to right: John Hicks, Jason Budden, Jamie Abbott - and Derek Hicks in the front, as Elvis.
You had such a helpful, respectful nature. You smiled so much, embraced life even as a teen. You didn’t know what it was to feel hatred and remained that way.
A world of music enveloped you with your guitar and I'm confident
the two sons of your heart would have followed in your steps.
I regret that I can't reverse the clock a few years, can't click a button to add you as a friend. I feel an inner pain that I won't get an opportunity to see you again, but that doesn’t mean I won’t meet the young family your illness forced you to leave behind.
You left a void. It makes me ponder why it is the good often get taken too soon. At the same time, I’m thankful for the blessings you’ve had in your life, the love you were surrounded by on a daily basis.
I think of the legacy of love you leave behind for so many - your mom, brothers, fiancée, children and a host of friends and relatives. In this life, despite any challenges you faced, you were richly blessed.
And, Jamie? One more thing ...
Don’t worry about us! God has already paved a way, and He will see all of your loved ones through this season of life. Fly high, my friend ... and thank you for being you.
March 11, 1975 - February 10, 2023
You may be gone but you shall never be forgotten.