In my life, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting all kinds of kinds (title of my friend Don Henry’s song). During my music career, I lived in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, and was blessed by having a lot of friends there. One day it was brought to my attention that Jamie, a little local girl, battling a brain tumor, loved my songs. It was arranged for me to visit her home, during the course of that year, we became pals. Her mom, dad, sisters, and I watched her health fail, but she always kept her great smile and sweet, sassy attitude. One day she told me her dream was to ride in a helicopter. I picked up my phone, called my detective friend Wes, and within an hour, secured a Metro police helicopter. The big day came, we picked Jamie up in a patrol car with lights flashing, and she was grinning ear to ear as we headed for the helicopter. We climbed into the chopper, put headsets on so we could hear each other talk, and lifted off. Flying up and down over lakes and trees, Jamie was having a blast. I worried about her getting sick but she had the last laugh, as I became a bit dizzy for a couple of minutes. Then we flew to Jamie’s house and hovered as her dad came outside to wave at us, I’ll never forget the smile on his face. Shortly after our helicopter adventure, Jamie lost her battle, and I lost a great friend that had taught me so much about staying true to yourself, and laughing…no matter what. Once again, my journey had crossed paths with a beautiful soul that reinforced the thought that we are all connected in this great big network of humanity.
I so enjoy all of Jim’s stories. What an adventure his life has been.