My friend Jim

25 Jun

On Friday we get to express our love for one another and our love for Jim Phillips, who brought so many of us together. He was an impactful and influential person for every second he was with us, and I wouldn’t miss this for the world. Jim opened doors for me and helped me shut doors that needed to be locked and reminded me what it is to be a good human and a good friend. And now it is time to say good bye. And to thank him.

Sometimes it is hard to put into words what a person has meant to us. Jim was a writer, a farmer, a musician, and a friend to everyone. We all have a different Jim story, which is appropriate for such a Renaisance man. For me, Jim was a close friend but also so much more than that. He understood me, got me, and loved me anyhow. He loved me relentlessly and was always my ally, always Team Lindsay. That’s a rare find and a good man. He deserved a medal.

Jim and I grew up about an hour and 20 years apart, and could always talk southern things together. That’s how we became friends. We stayed friends because just as southern charm doesn’t wear off, good friendships don’t either. We’d get together over fried catfish and he’d help me with boring stuff like car loans, or fun stuff like driving me around to the animal rescues until I found my perfect Mr. Frank. Once, while going through a break up, I tried to cancel lunch because I was sad. Jim wouldn’t have it and demanded I come to lunch, and he sat with me as I cried over my salad and margarita and told me what a crappy person the dude was until I felt better. And true to his word, that crappy dude remained dead to him from there on out. He was stubborn like that. When he loved you, you knew it, and you felt it, and if he didn’t love you, well then you knew it and felt it all the same. He had a presence about him that drew you in and made you want to make your world better. He could make you feel like you were the most important person in the world and that all of your molehills were mountains and at the same time that it’d always be ok. He was daring like that. He wouldn’t let you run at the sight of white on the waves.

Part of his charm and presence was due to the stories he always told. He could go on and on about a chicken pot pie he had in California once and he’d have you on the edge of your seat the entire time, your mouth watering, your heart racing. Man, I’m going to miss his stories. But what I still have are the writings of a brilliant man, the memories of a once in a lifetime friend, and the wonderful network of friends that I met through Jim. He had a way of bringing us all together and he left us set up with a huge safety net of love and support. I can never thank him enough. I’m definitely not ready to say goodbye, but it is time.

I will always miss my big brother Jim.

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