Rest In Peace Jimmy

 Posted by at 12:25 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 052024

I got the news yesterday that my good friend Jim Lewis had passed away that morning. It was not unexpected, as Jimmy had been in poor health for quite some time, and in the last few months he had declined considerably.

I first met Jim back in the mid-1980s and we formed an instant bond. Over the years we shared a lot of good times and helped each other get through some bad times, including some serious health issues on both of our parts, the dissolution of two marriages for me and the deaths of two wives for him, and so much more.

Jim had a dry sense of humor that seemed to meld perfectly with my sometimes juvenile craziness. We seemed to feed off of each other when we would get going with our foolishness. Early on in our friendship, Jim was a guard at the Arizona State Prison. We met for lunch one day before he went to work, and Jim was wearing his uniform, while I was dressed in a pair of jeans and a chambray shirt. After we were seated the waitress brought our silverware and Jim said, “He’s not allowed to have anything metal. Could you bring him a plastic fork and spoon only, please?” The young lady quickly snatched up my silverware and returned with a plastic spoon and fork and made it a point to avoid my side of the table during the rest of our meal. Another time, we were someplace and both had to use the restroom. As most people are, Jim was taller than me. We walked into the restroom and there were two urinals, one mounted at normal height and one mounted lower for kids. As it happened, I was in front of the regular urinal and Jim was in front of the lower one. Without saying a word, we just changed places and went about what we had gone in there for.

Jim used to nag me sometimes about losing weight and getting in shape, telling me it was only because he wanted me to live a long time. When we lived in Arizona, we were on the roof of my house putting up a TV antenna, and I had to climb down to get something. As I went back up, the ladder slipped out from under me and I landed on the concrete pad below. It knocked the wind out of me, but I was okay. A few months later Jim was riding his mountain bicycle when he flipped it and broke his collarbone and several ribs and punctured a lung. When I went to the hospital I told him that if he had been fat like me he would have bounced right up. You really shouldn’t make a man in that condition laugh, but I did.

Though he could make you laugh at the drop of a hat, Jim had a serious side to him. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam, and I was one of the few people he ever talked to about that experience. I know he was shot down at least twice, and he had scars on his legs from taking fire once, while he was winching a wounded man up through the heavy tree cover, having to hover in place because if he tried to get away from the enemy fire he would have dragged the soldier to his death. You’ve got to respect a man like that.

Cancer and dementia had stolen much of his mind and physical abilities, and Jim told me more than once that he was ready to go. When I talked to him in early December, we both knew it would be our last conversation. I told him I loved him, and he told me the same. I wasn’t surprised when I tried to call again a week or so later and he was not able to come to the phone. I hope that wherever he is now, he is whole once again and pain free. Rest in peace, my brother.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Suzie O’Connell’s Mountain Angel, the first book in her Northstar Angel’s series. It’s a contemporary Western romance about a woman who returns to her roots, desperate for the tranquility of the secluded valley and plagued by memories of her dead boyfriend and the advances of an obsessive former friend. When her over-protective uncle sends Patrick O’Neil “on vacation” to keep an eye on her she is annoyed, but finds herself irresistibly drawn to the haunted man with a kind smile and sad eyes. He may just be the best thing to ever happen to her…if she can convince him to stay.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – Grief is the price we pay for love.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  14 Responses to “Rest In Peace Jimmy”

  1. Jimmy lives, yes indeed he has a new friend with the LORD.

  2. Is Jim Lewis the one who once had a place in Mission, Texas, and later in your community in Florida? I wondered what had happened to him.

  3. Sorry for your loss. I remember reading about Jim over the years and when he moved close to you in Florida. It is so hard to lose part of our “chosen” family members.

  4. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. May he RIP.

  5. Very sorry for your loss, glad he isn’t suffering anymore

  6. I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s death. Good friends like that are far and few between. I am sure he appreciated all you did for him and with him when he moved near you in Florida. You wrote a beautiful tribute.

  7. Nick, I am so sorry for your loss of Jim. I know your friendship meant a great deal to him. May he rest in peace.

  8. Your tribute to your friend was very nice, Well done.

  9. Dale, yes that was him.

  10. Sure losing a lot of the VN vets, my age 74 and above.
    Semper FI, to all.

  11. RIP Jim , I didn’t know you but I have friends that walked the same path…….

  12. What a great tribute to your long time friend.

    When Dave and I came off the road, we chose a Golf/Retirement Community. A few days ago we read a comment on FB that said we live in “God’s Waiting Room.”

    Funny how, has we get older, the thought isn’t nearly as daunting.

    Wishing you and Miss Terry all the best. I’m enjoying your new adventures!

  13. What a lovely tribute to your friend. My condolences on your loss. The restaurant story reminds me of something my late father would do; thanks for the chuckle.

  14. My condolences on the passing of Jim. Thank you for sharing a few of your memories of his life. He sounds like someone any one of us would be honored to know, both for his serious side and his humor.

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