Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas without Jim

It's hard to imagine another Christmas without Jim. As a kid he was always so much fun to watch as he unwrapped and enjoyed all his presents. The electronic/noisy gifts were his favorite.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you, Jim. All I want for Christmas is to have you back. Love, MOM

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Candlelighting Service

Last night I went to the candlelighting service at Eastminster church in East Lansing. How wonderful it was. You choose a candle to decorate and then its lit during a beautiful ceremony where you announce the name of your loved one that has passed. It's emotional and difficult to do, but it's also a way to say "Jim Bowerman" out loud....as if to say: he mattered, he lived on this earth, people miss him, he made us happy, we love him. Think of Jim today, he loved you, too. Joanne (Jim's MOM)

Monday, November 23, 2009


These day I view thankfulness with the 'eyes wide open' approach - I've been down that rough and horrific road and I can certainly choose to stay on it or I can take the high road where there is optimism and hope and be thankful for what I have and had.

I am thankful for Julie, my grandkids, my health and each and every day that I am given the opportunity to help someone else in need. I cherish the young son that I had for 27 years and am forever thankful that I got to have him, even though time was way too short.

God has given me much to be thankful for. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Joanne (Jim's MOM)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


How surreal it was to watch the video of Jim's unsolved murder aired right here in Lansing, Michigan. Although the segment was the same one aired in Miami in September - one of which I viewed on line - seeing it on my TV set, on a news program that I watch almost every night, was extremely difficult. This is such horrible unending nightmare.

The three J's experienced much joy, laughter and fun in April of 2007 as we set out to find and move Jim into an apartment in N. Miami. Why is it that one can't keep that joy, the laughter and funny moments for the rest of their lives?...why taint them with death, murder and torture. I just don't get it.

Jim, today as always, I miss you. Love, your MOM forever

Monday, November 9, 2009

Time keeps marching on

It seems that solving this mystery of Jim's murder will be the 'neverending story' of my life. I remember sitting at the kitchen counter the morning after finding out Jim was gone and suddenly realizing that Jim hadn't just died, he'd been taken tragically. It was just dawning on me then, the date of April 11, 2008 - how I envision it anyway - would play over and over in my mind and in my dreams for the rest of my life. That's the shock of murder I guess and that's the horror of being the mom of a murdered child. Time has marched on but there is not a day where I forget those first moments of pain and relive them and feel them all over again. I want so badly for Jim to have a 'do over' for that day, or at the very least, I wish I had been there to shield him and spare his life. I miss you Jim. Please speak to me in my dreams...I want to know and I want justice for you. Love, MOM

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My birthday

My birthday is on Halloween. Jim loved that day...not because it was his mom's birthday necessarily, but more so because he just loved Halloween and everything that goes along with it. He would have devised a costume this year, he would have taken the night off from work and he would have found a Halloween party somewhere to go to. I will miss the birthday card and hearing about his costume and night of fun. I just miss him so much.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No word

Just to let everyone know, we've heard nothing. It's all very disheartening. Someone is walking around free but hopefully it's a miserable existence.

Monday, September 28, 2009

'Out for Justice' Shown in Miami

For those of you who automatically click on the Blog page of this website, the link for reaching the Jim video of the Out for Justice segment is on the Home page - "Channel 7 - Out For Justice". Click on the Watch the Video link to view the video. We think they did a good job with it and really appreciate that they involved Crimestoppers in the video. We have not heard anything from the Detectives related to any tips, one way or the other. For those of you in the Lansing area, we have been told that the segment may air on Fox 47 news in Lansing sometime in November. I will write if I find out an actual date. If you have friends/relatives in Florida, please forward the story and video to them. It is, after all, a small world...you just never know if your forward might reach the right person. Please continue to pray for answers. Joanne (Jim's MOM)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Out For Justice

Julie and I did the taping for the 'Out for Justice' segment and are now waiting to hear when it will be aired in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale on Fox Channel 7. The Fox station here may also show a bit of it...not sure how much of it or when exactly, but we'll post something when we know more. Thank you all who check the website often. Love, Joanne (Jim's MOM)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Out for Justice

I was contacted today by the Fox affiliate in Miami, asking if we would be interested in doing an interview regarding Jim's murder. The Miami station does a weekly segment regarding cold or unsolved murder cases in the Miami area - the segment is called 'Out for Justice'. Julie and I will participate and as of right now we think it will happen September 10 - filming and interview at the Fox News station in Lansing; airing in Miami on a yet to be specified date. If we can get a copy of the show, we will place it on the website. We will keep everyone posted. Please keep us in your prayers. We are so hopeful that this is a step towards resolution. Joanne & Julie

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jim W. Grave Marker

In an odd way, it is beautiful. Now I have a place to go and visit, a place to see his name and to decorate each Memorial Day. I miss him so much. It was really hard to see this, but I survived it just like everything else I've survived since that day. I love you, Jim. You'll forever be in my heart. Love, MOM

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Sure would like some.....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jim is missed

The sun warms the earth and I think of Jim and how much he enjoyed a warm sunny day. I laugh about something funny and I know that he would have, too. I eat a cookie and I think of his passion for sweets. I awake in the night and know that he would have been awake at that time, too. So many memories, so quickly evaporating. I miss him.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Jim Bowerman Scholarship

Julie and I attended the E. Lansing High School Convocation this evening where we had the wonderful opportunity to award a very special graduate with a check for $1,000 from the Jim Bowerman Memorial Fund. There were four applicants for this award and all were very deserving but this particular young lady was perfect....it was as if Jim had sent her to us. Below are the words spoken this evening:

It is a privilege to be here tonight, to present the Jim Bowerman Scholarship. This scholarship is named for my son, and for Julie's brother. Jim graduated from E. L. H. S. in 1999 – a decade ago, although it does seem like it was just yesterday. Jim passed away a year ago this past April, and that definitely feels like just yesterday. Jim was all about fun and adventure, friends and family, art and life. He was a free spirit with a gigantic heart and a tender soul. His senior quote fit him like a glove: from Mark Twain – “I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” The criteria for this award was based solely on those attributes. The applicants for the Jim Bowerman Scholarship were very impressive and each of them qualified in their own way, but one individual, a young woman stood out, not only because she fit the criteria to a tee, but because of what she stated in her application letter….. “as a child I was a daydreamer and often wore unmatched clothes"…..that was so Jim. We would like to award this $1,000 Jim Bowerman Scholarship check to Miss Zoe Beaudry.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I spent the day working first in the structure on a desk I am refinishing and then when the sun came out, I headed for the outdoors. I placed all the wonderful pieces given to me for Jim's garden out in the garden today. The reflection bench from friends at work, the metal red roses from Lisa and her mom, the butterfly gazing ball from Mary and Terry, the oversized shells from Laci, the blue plate flower from Theresa, the praying angel from the 50's girls, and all those pieces with precious sayings on them....all of that and more went into the garden.

The garden....it looks really nice. The french white lilac is blooming, the Miss Kim lilacs are budding and the Korean Spice plant from Anna & George smells so great right now. Every plant has survived the winter well and all are on their way to flowering.

Larry and I purchased a forsynthia bush last week and planted it today in memory of Jim....not in the memorial garden this time but up towards the woods, near the driveway.

All of these activities should have made me feel pretty good and for the most part they have, but for some reason I've been sad and weepy since I finished. For me, I hate it that I even have a memorial garden for someone I love so much. I miss you Jim.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day - those very words mean so much more to me then I think they ever did when my kids were little. I miss Jim so much and wish he could send me a card or make a phone call to tell me, "I love you, Mom." Julie and I were together today - spending time with Julie and the Grandkids fills me with joy and soothes my broken heart. I thank all of you who have sent special messages and called, it means alot to me that you think of me and share your love.

Joanne (Jim's MOM)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Weeping Cherry Tree Blooms in Jim's Garden

Friends from where I work gave me this beautiful weeping cherry for Jim's garden last year. The tree bloomed last week, isn't it just lovely!

Joanne (Jim's MOM)

A Day of Remembrance - April 11, 2009

Many of Jim's friends either contacted me or dropped by on the anniversary of Jim's death, April 11, to let me know how much they love Jim and miss him. We had a beautiful weather day - just as Jim would have liked. Jim's girlfriend, Angie, came from Las Vegas and spent a long weekend with me. It was wonderful to have Angie here. Jim's first girlfriend from high school days, Lisa, stopped by with her mom as well. The high school buddies - Zach, Will, Chris, Tony, and Tim were here....no place else they would rather be then with Julie and me..... Pictures were pulled out and stories were told. We lovingly placed the multitude of beautiful garden stepping stones in Jim's memorial garden. Thank you all who participated in this ceremony of remembrance. I so appreciate and love each person who stopped by, called or sent me a message on April 11.

A message from one of Jim's friends in Las Vegas

It's been a year and there hasn't been a day that passes by that Jim hasn't been in my thoughts. I hope everyday that you and your family find justice for Jim. I still remember the last conversation I had with Jim. Again it was like 3am, he was excited to tell me that he was planning on coming back to Vegas and wanted to get together. I told him sure we'll do lunch or something, I had to cut the conversation short, told him the baby had been keeping me up and I was tired. Little did I know this was the last time we'd talk. I miss him so much. I know this was a difficult month for you and your family I hope things are getting better. I have two little ones myself and could not imagine if I lost one of them. I check the website regularly hoping to see that there has been a development in the case. I read all the comments and have found comfort in knowing how much people loved him and have gotten to know him even more through the stories that all his friends and family have shared. I am grateful for the privilege to have known him, shared moments with him and to have had the chance to call him my friend. Mylah

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Julie

My other most precious child is having her birthday today. Jim would have sent her an inappropriate card and she would have loved it and shared it with me. We would have chuckled at his 'bent humor'. He would have been delighted to have found the perfect card. Jim is now our guardian angel and I know he wishes Julie a great day. Keep looking out for us, Jim ....we both need you.

Happy Birthday, Julie
with much LOVE,
Mom and Jim

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Messages from some of Jim's good friends ~ He was definitely loved..

i think of jim all of the time. i keep the program from his funeral on my mantle, i keep the t-shirt you gave me folded up right beside the program, and i constantly listen to the "doors" and think of him.please don't forget that i truly miss him and would always like to know when special stuff like this goes on...your friend malcolm

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Although I won't be able to attend the get together for Jim, he will surely be on my mind. This tragedy hit me pretty hard, and I'm shocked that no news has developed regarding the case. I can only imagine how tough this past year has been for you. Jim was an amazing person and a dear friend who had the uncanny ability to make me laugh. I think of Jim all the time, especially when I hear a Doors song or see a chicken tender from Burger King (he loved those!).I don't get back to Michigan very often these days but next time I'm there I would love to meet up. I have some great stories about the times we had together as well as some pictures you would enjoy seeing. If there is ever anything that I can do for you, let me know, I'd be more than happy.- Ben

Hi Joanne,Thank you very much for thinking of me. Jim and I were very close for a long time, and I have countless fond memories of my time spent over at the Westlawn house. One that comes to mind right now is of when you caught Jim and I playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the Nintendo while wearing tinted ski goggles at some dark hour of the morning... It was long past our bedtime, and you were not pleased. Ha! I suppose now would be a good time to say thanks for opening up your home to me and making me always feel welcome. Looking after all of us was no small task, and you were definitely a second mom to many of the kids in the neighborhood, myself included.Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to make it back to Michigan in time for the 11th. Otherwise, I would definitely attend. Jim has been on my mind a lot in the last year. It would be wonderful to see you again and look through old photos and tell stories. Despite not being able to make it, I will certainly keep Jim in my thoughts on the 11th. Thanks again for thinking of me. It means a lot. And all things considered, I hope you are well.All the best,Karl

Dear Joanne,Jim and I weren't close friends in high school, if we hung out it was usually with a group of people. But we did hang out a fair amount the summer between 8th and 9th grades. One of my good friends is Jennifer, Josh's girl friend. However, Jim was always someone I thought fondly of. He had an amazing smile and an even warmer heart. He was someone that was always nice to people and sometimes in high school that was hard to find (especially in guys). When I heard of his passing I felt that I needed to be at his viewing to pay my respects to someone who truly deserved recognition. I also wanted you to know that your son made an impression on me and others. In fact, many of my other friends that I still keep in contact with who live out of town were shocked and saddened to hear of Jim's passing. Jim was someone who EVERYONE I know liked. I hope you feel some happiness in knowing that he was well thought of by many of us, even if we weren't close friends of his.I can't imagine the pain you must feel with the loss of Jim. As you know, I have two little boys who mean the world to me. I can't imagine losing one of them. My heart aches for you, just thinking of how you must feel. I hope you find the person(s) responsible for Jim's death and I hope that he/she is punished for his/her actions. -Lynsey

Friday, April 10, 2009

MISS you Jim!!! - from Jim's cousin Tami

I will never forget the surreal phone call one year ago. I still have a hard time believing that it was true. One year ago..... How can such a sweet, kind caring person be taken away from this world. What cold, callous HEARTLESS being could take him away? They do not deserve to take another breath. Jim you are TERRIBLY missed. I look at all the pictures that I have of him on a regular basis. I will NEVER forget that silly spring horse that he loved so much and the sounds it made as he rode it everywhere....or his Big Wheel. I will never forget the sweet smile and those eyes. That curley blonde hair he had as a baby.......SOOOOO cute. Going out for pizza.....just cheese please. Getting joy from simple things..... Jim we were not close in our "adulthood" but that did not take away from the heartwarming memories/feelings we all shared. I cannot imagine the sorrow your mom and sister feel daily. If I lived closer I would HUG them tight and tell them that we will all meet in heaven! I feel he is looking out for us! Thank you Jim for being you.....it was an HONOR and PRIVILEGE to be related to a "gentle" man such as YOU!I LOVE YOU!!!Cousin Tami

April 10, 2009 - the last day of "a year ago"

Recently it hit me that soon I would no longer be able to say, "a year ago I talked to Jim; a year ago I saw Jim..." No more a year ago anything about Jim as a live person, as tomorrow it will be, "A year ago Jim was viciously murdered by some unknown person(s)." Harsh words, I know. Harsh thoughts, too. But it is what it is and I am so saddened.

This past year when I've found myself at my lowest, someone always comes along to say just the right thing to bring me back up. It is truly amazing - the support system that both Julie and I have. I really appreciate all of Jim's friends, my personal friends, Julie's personal friends and my wonderful family for their constant love, support, prayers and kind words. It helps me and Julie more then anyone will ever know.

I have invited a bunch of Jim's friends to the house tomorrow to celebrate Jim's life. I hope it will be healing for Julie and me - my heart says it is the right thing to do. We will place the stepping stones back out in Jim's memorial garden and tell great stories about Jim. I know we will laugh and most assuredly we will cry, but it will be nice to visit with those who grew up with Jim and loved him so much.

Please remember Jim tomorrow and always.

Love, Joanne (Jim's MOM)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

From another of Jim's high school friends...

I think about Jim often and I always put your family in my prayers. I will light a candle on that day to honor Jim and his life and I thank you again for the invite.

Love and hugs, Rachel:)

Ps. When I think about accepting people for who they are, and living life to the fullest, and not caring what other people think of me, I think of Jim.

And I'll never forget the pancake story that you shared with Jim's loved ones. That was wonderful!!

From one of Jim's many wonderful high school friends

I can't believe it has almost been a year already. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Jim. I wish we had stayed in contact over the years but he has a special place in my heart and always will. It was so much fun growing up with him in the neighborhood, we all had such a great time together. My favorite thing to do was go with he and Josh to the huge hills by hannah middle school and ride skateboards down while one of us watched for cars at the bottom. I of course sat on my skateboard though they tried to get me to have the courage to stand up. There are many great memories. I hope to see you soon. Thinking of you guys today and always!

Lauren Rodgers

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A wonderful friend of Jim's wrote this yesterday

Yesterday at 3:57am
MARCH 24, 2008 is the anniversary of the last time I spoke with my friend, my brother, Jim Bowerman. Jim was murdered APRIL 11TH, 2008 in his apartment in North Miami almost a year ago. I'll never forget the phone call. Jim called late as usual because he was always on Miami time, 3 hours behind Las Vegas time. I was at work when I received his call, I remember looking down at my phone and seeing Jim's name. I was surprised and happy to see it was Jim, because I hadn't heard from him since the New Year, 3 months earlier. You see, my 2008 started off with a call from Jim, and I'm glad he called! I remember looking at my phone and not recognizing the phone number, but I answered it anyway. It was Jim. Prior to this call Jim and I hadn't been getting along, we were good friends, but we fought like brothers. Again I was happy to hear from him....I remember telling him I didn't wanna fight anymore, we both agreed to put our differences behind us, and we wished each other a Happy New Year. And, to this day I am so happy he called.... Jim Bowerman definitely had one of the biggest hearts...a heart of gold...and that conversation meant the WORLD to me. Now it's MARCH 24, 2009 exactly one year later...the last time Jim and I talked. Like I said earlier he called late on his regular Miami time. I remember answering my phone and saying Danii is pregnant. As I was laughing, he said what...and I said Danii is pregnant. The reason it was so funny to me, was because she was standing in front of me, and she just told me not to tell anybody. I can still hear Jim's laugh, and if you knew Jim, he had the goofiest laugh. So funny! It was that conversation that he told me he was moving back home to Vegas in about a month. I remember telling him, it was about time. and that I couldn't wait to see him. I wish I would of known that was the last conversation I would ever have with Jim Bowerman...I struggle quite a bit with the realization of never talking with or hanging out with my friend ever again. I still can't believe Jim has been gone for almost a year. I just wanted to say...Jim you are never forgotten, but always missed. we had some good times brother. There's no doubt in my mind, you are your mother and sister's guardian angel, and you know I wouldn't leave Angie out. I know how much you loved her.
JAMES W. BOWERMAN January 11, 1981 - April 11, 2008 he had a heart that cared completely and a smile that brought such pleasure, he shared a love that brought joy beyond measure and will be forever remembered as one of lifes great treasures.

Thinking of you

Jim, We're all thinking of you alot as the 1st anniverary approaches. Sure wish I could get one of your great hugs right now. Love you forever, MOM

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How did it happen that 11 month has slipped by in the blink of an eye? Seems like yesterday. Although I know that I am coping much better, I can still feel the pain I felt immediately upon hearing the news and that hole in my heart is still there.....it always will be. I find myself getting rather tense thinking about April 11, 2009, it's certainly not a day that I want to be alone. I have been contacting many of Jim's friends and hopefully we can all be together that day. There will be 'Jim stories' to share and the return of the beautiful stepping stones to Jim's garden. I do look forward to seeing the plants emerge in the garden, their smiling, warm faces welcoming in the new Spring. I wish dearly that Jim could be here to see it, too; but then, I think he will be.

Love, Joanne
(Jim's Forever MOM)

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Sweet Valentine

I would have sent you your favorites: rice krispie treats and chocolate chip cookies, to celebrate Valentines Day. You would have eaten it all in one day. I miss that.

I love you, Jim

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

10 Months - No Closer

With the one year mark quickly approaching, it seems we are no closer to finding out why this happened. 10 months seems like a very long time, yet I can remember so much of the details about those first few days and weeks that it seems like yesterday. A lot has happened in 10 months and it seems unreal that Jim has missed so much and has been so greatly missed at the same time.

My mom and I are heading to Miami shortly to meet with the detectives on the case yet again. I don't know how much more we will learn but having a face to face meeting with them will at least ease our minds knowing that we are doing what we can.

Although it has been 10 months, we still continue to search for answers and well continue to do so until we know who did this, why, and that the person(s) responsible is paying for what they have taken from us.

I love you Jim!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pictures from Las Vegas

Making more garden stones for Jim's garden....

Walking out to find the perfect spot

Releasing 28 balloons, each with messages for Jim

Sharing stories of Jim

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Jim from Las Vegas

28 in spirit, Jim was all around us today as we celebrated his birthday with about 15 of his friends from Las Vegas.

We caravaned up to Red Rock Canyon and found a perfect spot to hike back towards the mountains. As we hiked we decided to stop at the top of an upcoming hill and when we got there found a perfect table of sorts made out of rocks... it was if it was waiting for us. We set up Jim's pictures alongside his ashes and then passed out the 28 balloons we had brought with us. The balloons, all blue, each had a tag where we wished Jim a happy birthday, gave the website, and had room for everyone to write their own personal messages to Jim. We released the balloons and watched them as the floated towards the clear blue sky. Afterwards we brought out mini cupcakes with 28 candles and lit them, everyone able to blow out their own for Jim. We spent some time looking at many, many pictures of Jim and then knew it was time to spread Jim's ashes. We passed around the container with his ashes and each spoke of some of our memories of Jim and what he meant to us. It was so wonderful to hear what everyone had to say and only confirmed our feelings of what an amazing person Jim was... always there for everybody, never judging. As the sun went down my mom and I stepped away from the group and found the perfect spot on a hill where we let off the two last balloons and scattered Jim's ashes to the sky. As we were standing there watching the balloons float off, I looked down and found the perfect, heart shaped rock right at our feet and brought it with us. We joined the group, passed around Jim's favorite drink, Miller Lite, and toasted to Jim by all taking a drink. After many hugs and goodbyes we all headed on our way.

Several of us met for a birthday dinner to celebrate Jim's 28 year. While we expected this day to be tough, it was a perfect way to celebrate his birthday. It was hard to let part of him go but at the same time gave us peace... not complete closure but a step forward.

Much Love,
Julie and Joanne (Jim's MOM)

We will add some pictures from today in the near future.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The New Year

At 12:00 a.m. this morning, I was happy to toast to the New Year. I was after all, sick of 2008. Only a few minutes into 2009, I burst into tears for the millionth time this past week. Suddenly I realized that I was officially leaving the year that was Jim's last. Time is marching on. I miss you Jim so very much. I love you. I wish you could be a part of the march.

Love, MOM