Thursday, December 25, 2008
Jim and I would wake up on Christmas morning and like all kids would be so excited. We would wake our parents... who were very slow to get up. Many years I remember we had to wait at the top of the stairs while our parents when down and got things ready. My dad had to make a fire, maybe prepare a little breakfast... basically torture us for a while. When we were finally told we could come down we raced down as fast as we could.
I have been told that when Jim was little he was the slowest unwrapper out there. He would open a present and then have to have take it out of the box and play with it for a while... he was satisfied that he got something he liked and just wanted to play with it, forgetting he had more to open. That changed, of course, as he got older. I remember many times ripping through our presents as fast as we could. Jim would always be very excited with almost everything he got, with the exception of the clothes that always seemed to end up under the tree! After presents we always did stockings last.
For at least one year, maybe more, I remember Jim going to the extreme of setting his alarm clock so that he would wake up right at the time that we were told it was okay to wake our parents. The only problem was that my dad went in and turned off his alarm after he was asleep!
As we got older we also starting the tradition of having some close family friends over for dinner on Christmas day. By then Jim and I would have all of our new things lined up and ready to show them, careful to make sure that we showed them everything.
Today I spend the day at my mom's with some family friends and we had a very nice time. While Jim wasn't always home at Christmas time he was still very much missed today. This is a rough time of year, as I am sure that it is for anyone who has lost someone they love. For us it is compounded by the fact that Jim's birthday is fast approaching. This year we will spend Jim's birthday surrounded by his many friends in Las Vegas. It is a trip that we are very much looking forward to and one that we very much wish that we weren't making under these circumstances.
I love you Jim, Merry Christmas.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Today is the 8 month anniversary of Jim's death. It feels like the 'window of opportunity' to discover something significant in the murder of my son has come and gone in the blink of an eye as the Detectives know as much today as they did 8 months ago.
I thank those of you who continue to check this site and blog and those of you who have written Nancy Grace. Maybe together we can get some answers.
Jim's Forever MOM
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thanks to my cousin, I have a few more email address to add to the list if you want to keep helping. They are listed below and if you could just send a quick email telling them that you would like to see Jim's case televised that would be so hopeful.
I have also contacted Greta Van Susteren's producer and would love to get them interested in Jim's case as well.
Someone out there knows what happened to Jim... more then likely more then one person knows and all it takes is for them to have the courage to speak up. Even the smallest of detail could mean the difference in bringing Justice for Jim.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
You can say anything you want about Jim, just let them know that he was a wonderful guy who didn't deserve this and his murderer needs to be found. You can give them this website(www.justiceforjim.com) as well as the Miami Crime Stoppers website where Jim's case was recently posted - that link is http://www.crimestoppersmiami.com//unsolved.aspx - he is the second case on the site.
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who we could have missed.
Thank you so much, we really appreciate all of the support that we have received through all of this!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
This year we spent the day being thankful for what we have now, while remembering what we did have while Jim was with us. We are very thankful for the many friends and family that have supported us through the past 7.5 months, I know that I couldn't have done it without so much support. As Christmas and Jim's birthday approach we are facing more tough moments, however I am sure that Jim will be there with us guiding us through and making sure that we find ways to make new memories while honoring the old.
In a couple of weeks my mom and I will be going to a candle lighting ceremony to honor children of all ages who have gone to soon. Jim's name will be read and a ornament will be place on a tree for him. No doubt this will be a tough night, however I am looking forward to having one more way to honor Jim's memory.
We love and miss you Jim!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I miss you so very, very much Jim. I love you.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
For just a moment I wanted to describe Jim in the present rather then in the past; I wanted it to be like when he was alive...... He truly was a great son and I loved him with all my heart.
Recently, Larry & I spent two weeks in Hawaii. It was relaxing, warm and re-generating for my shattered soul. I was only a short beach walk away from the hotel where Jim, Julie and their father and I stayed when Jim was about 8 years old. Each morning around daybreak I would go there so I could visualize Jim once again... splashing in the ocean, building sand castles and burying his sister in the sand. He LOVED the ocean and he LOVED the beach....always. I remember slathering him up with sunscreen only to find out later that I'd forgotten to do the tops of his feet as they were so sunburned he could hardly walk. Of course, it didn't slow him down much...he loved snorkeling, parasailing, boating, and much more - all of which we did on that trip.
Jim was that kind of boy and that kind of young man. He was happiest when he was doing something a bit adventurous. He was so agile and quick on his feet. He was an awesome skateboarder, a wonderful downhill skier, a great water skier, ice skater and snowboarder. You showed him once and he had it. He loved it all.
He is so very missed. I talk to him many times a day...I often ask him to put his arms around me, to comfort me. I wish so much for just one more of his great hugs. It is so true what they say: we are better for having known him.
Thank you for taking time to read my ramblings. Please think of Jim today and always. I know he touched your heart....for him it just came natural.
Love, Jim's MOM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Eventually the costume became an after thought to Jim and it was ALL about the candy. Jim and his friends would RUN from one house to the next to see how much they could get in the evening. They would take huge pillowcases with them and ended up with an amazing amount of candy. After we got back home I remember many Halloween nights sitting on our living room floor and dumping our candy all around us. Jim and I would sort through it and trash the stuff we definitely didn't want and then do a little trading for the stuff we did. All the while we would have to fend off my dad who was always grabbing anything that he could... we learned to be very protective! We spent a good amount of time sitting on that floor surrounding by our goods, enjoying every minute of it.
Jim eventually became one of "those kids", who was way too old to be out trick or treating anymore and rarely even tried to put together a decent costume. I think that I even remember him going out in high school one year (maybe more!) simply dressed in all black.
There was one year when he and his friends discovered that if they went to frat houses the guys there would be unprepared and would give them beer instead... they found that very exciting and I remember him sharing this proudly. I am sure that there are many more Halloween stories that could be shared and if any of his friends would like to fess up to some of they stuff they pulled off... feel free to send me an email, I would love to hear!
Halloween will definitely be bittersweet this year as I watch my kids run from house to house, I will have many memories of doing the same with Jim.
I love you Jim.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I remember the words and feelings as if they were yesterday yet I, as everyone else, has had to go on with their lives. There are happy and sad times, yet Jim is never far from my mind in both. I know in my heart that Jim would want nothing more then for us to continue on, remember the good times with him, and keep focused on creating more good times.... however difficult this may be.
I can still hear his voice in my head, calling me at a late hour at night. I can still imagine him living his life, always concerned for and caring for others. I will still look for the funny, inappropriate cards on my birthday and holidays. While I know that he isn't out there, won't be calling me or sending me a card... he will be in my head and my dreams.
I will miss him always...
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Julie was with me this morning and that meant more then anything. Jim was with us, the three J's in each others presence. He held us close as we touched his ashes and shared tears about our loss. We miss that young man so much.
Please continue to think of us and pray for peace and answers.
Love, Joanne (Jim's MOM)
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I took a few pictures over the weekend of Jim's completed garden. It is sad to me that it is almost time to put the garden to 'bed' for the season. And, it makes me anxious that the Spring will bring growth and color into the garden but possibly no resolution to Jim's murder.
We miss Jim each and every day and some moments are much tougher then others. We appreciate your continued love and prayers.
Love, Joanne & Julie
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
For those of you who couldn't make it, please plan to stop by another time. It is such a lovely garden, so peaceful and comforting.
Several of you either made or brought garden stones on Saturday. Jim can be found in each and everyone of them. They make me smile and they make me cry. They are wonderful.
Thank you Lisa and Gail for the 'tin red roses' - so many memories, so very perfect.
With Love, Joanne & Julie
P.S. Please check back soon to see pictures of the complete garden.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I went to Willow Wood this last weekend for a friends wedding. The reception was held in the parking lot and as Scott and I walked up to the club house to use the bathroom I suddenly remembered standing on those steps with most of my cousins and getting our pictures taken. It suddenly dawned on me that this was the last place that I was with Jim. The last place I hugged him and told him I love him…I then went into the bathroom and cried. Willow Wood will always have a special place in my heart not only as the site of my wedding but as the last place I was with Jim. I thought about him a lot that night and Scott and I had drinks for him. I love him and miss him every day.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I cherish the memories told to me by Jim's high school buddies (Josh, Zach, Will, Chris and Tony) - Jim the leader, not the follower as I always thought!, their countless escapades and wonderful commarderie. They remember last September when Jim was here and he told them all before he left, "Seriously, you guys, I love you."
I cherish the memories passed on to me in August when Kristen and Lisa each came to see me. They have such precious memories of Jim. The impact Jim had on their lives was extraordinary. I love both these girls so much for sharing their memories of Jim with me. I love that Jim was such a positive influence on them and that they will always remember him and know that there was only one Jim, one very special guy that they were so lucky to have known.
I love my weekly conversations and text messages with Angie. She loved Jim and misses him so very much. I have become close to Angie - I call her my daughter, she calls me mom. She has wonderful stories about her and Jim and I can't wait to go out to Las Vegas to see her and all of Jim's friends.
I have a picture of Jim and me together at Jen's wedding that I will forever cherish. My hand is resting on Jim's chest. I look at that picture and see my hand lying across the very heart that I gave birth to on January 11, 1981, and the very heart that stopped beating on April 11, 2008. I will forever be grateful that Jennifer got married last September and insisted that Jim come up for the wedding, it provided our family with the opportunity to be together and an opportunity for family and friends to see Jim alive - for many, the last time.
The work on Jim's memorial garden is complete. It has been long hard work on the part of myself and Larry but a true labor of love for me. The garden is a place of peace and tranquility. The beautiful garden stepping stones that everyone has made rest lovingly throughout the garden.
I hope all of you who can, will stop by on September 20th to see the garden. There is always room for one more garden stone so please don't hesitate to make one. I still have supplies to make additional stones, and you are welcome to make one that day. If you can't make it on the 20th, please plan to stop by another time.
I love you, Jim - I will always remember you.Joanne (Jim's MOM)
Monday, August 11, 2008
Unfortunately there isn't much new to report as far as the case is concerned. The detectives are still working very hard to solve Jim's murder but there just aren't any updates to post right now, we just continue to pray that Jim's muderer will one day be brought to justice.
My mom has been very hard at work on Jim's memorial garden and has received many wonderful garden stepping stones. If you are interested in creating one, see my earlier post regarding where to get the kits... there will be tons of room for the stones in the garden so the more the better.
I have attached a bunch of pictures to show how the garden is progressing. The pathways between the various gardens will eventually be filled with gravel and the stepping stones placed throughout. It is really coming along very nicely and looks so beautiful.
In the picture below you will see that one of the gardens is shaped like a butterfly...something that has meant a lot to us throughout all of this. There are also a number of butterfly images throughout the garden. Also, the pond looks and sounds so wonderful. The plants are going in and soon fish will follow...something that my children are very much looking forward to, however keeping them out of the pond may be a problem. Finally, the last picture is of a piece of cement that Jim and I put our handprints in 1991. It is so wonderful that my mom still has it and that it can be included in the garden as well.
Continue praying that one day soon I will be able to post some good news....
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Over the 4th of July weekend we headed up to northern Michigan to the lake cottage of a very good friend of ours. It was a place that Jim always loved and a place that has always been very special to our whole family. This year it was difficult to make the trip knowing that Jim would never physically be there with us again, however, once we arrived it was obvious that he was there in spirit. It is a very tranquil, serene place that has a way of setting anyone at ease and truly is an escape from the chaos of life.
While we were there we did a lot of remembering and talking about Jim. We found the spots where we had taken many pictures of him in his adventures at the lake and remembered what a special person he was. While at the lake, Jim loved to hike in the woods, drive the old Model A, use the binoculars to scope out what was on the lake, fish, go for boat rides, search for golf balls at the nearby golf course, get a nice big fire going in the fireplace, watch for the bald eagle, and just be with nature. It was a place that Jim could just be himself and take it all in.
We also celebrated the 4th by watching a wonderful display of fireworks put on each year by neighbors at the lake... it was a show that Jim would have loved. Many of those who knew Jim also knew of his love for fireworks. Growing up Jim started out scared of fireworks, hiding on the floorboards of the backseat of the car when we went to the show put on at a nearby mall. Eventually, however, he grew to love them. Every year we did our own fireworks out front of our house and it turned in to quite the display over time. It would always draw neighbors out and Jim loved it. We thought of Jim while we watched the neighbor's fireworks and as we set off small ones of our own for my kids.
While we were at the lake, we also made a garden stone to commemorate his love the place. We included many things like stuffing from the Model A, a golf ball, fish hooks, stones from the lake, a bit of burnt wood from a fire in the fireplace, and other things we found around the cottage. It turned out great and is a wonderful tribute to Jim's love of the lake. I will post a picture below of how the garden stone came out as well as the beautiful view from the cottage.
We miss you Jim!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
I miss Jim so much every day. I can't believe this has happened and I can't seem to get my mind around it either. Kiss your kids and hold them tight everyday of their lives.
This weekend we will begin the true labor part of Jim's Memorial Garden. A small pond and waterfall should take shape, the current arbor will be moved and planting will begin. I will take pictures as the garden progresses and will eventually have those to share.
Please consider making a garden stepping stone for Jim's garden. It will make for a beautiful memorial to a beautiful son, brother, cousin, grandson, nephew, uncle and friend. A constant sweet reminder that we all loved him and he once was upon this earth sharing his love with us.
Jim you are in our hearts forever. Love, MOM
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
My mom is creating a Jim memorial garden at her house and has some wonderful plans for it. She has received so many beautiful plants, and trees as memorial tributes that the garden is going to be huge. She is asking that anyone who is interested create a garden stepping stone in Jim's memory to be used in the garden. You can buy the kits and Michael's or JoAnn's, or just use cement to create your own. There are various different kits that come in different shapes, etc. and they are easy to use. My mom plans to create one using some shells from the beach as well as one with some of the small trinket like things we found in his apartment. You can send them to her or she can pick them up if they are local. If anyone has any questions, just let us know.
Nothing new to report on the case...
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
We don't have any news to report on Jim's case. We have been in touch with the detectives lately and they are working very hard to solve this case. As always, we hope to hear something soon...
Friday, June 6, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
We had a nice Memorial Day by getting together with some of Jim's friends from the area. It was very nice to hear all of their fun Jim stories. Jim had so many wonderful friends who love him and, like his family, are praying that the police find the person(s) who did this to him.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
We continue to get new hits on the website thanks to continued media coverage not only in Miami, but in Michigan as well. The Lansing State Journal ran a second article a couple of days ago, which I have posted the link for on the site.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
We had planned on coming home on Friday night, but we ended up staying an extra day in Florida because Channel 6 (NBC 6) asked to do a more in depth story on Jim's murder. We met with the reporter on Friday night and the story will air next Friday (May 23rd) during the 11pm news cast in the Miami area. We were told it will be available online as well.
It was an exhausting, yet necessary, trip and we are glad to have done it for Jim.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Crime Stoppers now has the reward money and should be in the process of posting and then advertising the reward. I will let everyone know more about what this entails as we know more. I have attached a link to view the reward poster on the 'Sites of Interest' tab on the website.
The only news to report now is that we have sent the reward money to Crime Stoppers and are hoping to have the reward in place soon. This should help us in our efforts to get a little more media attention, and spread the word that Jim was an amazing person who has TONS of family and friends out there who want his murderer found and convicted. We are hoping that a monetary incentive will help bring someone forward who may know some more information about Jim's murder.
Again, thank you to all for your love and support during this time, the outpouring has been amazing and really is a testament to Jim and the mark he left in the world.
I will try to use this blog as a way to communicate as much information as we can to friends and family. Given that this is an open investigation, I will not be able to share everything, but will do my best to keep people as up to date as possible.