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.

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