Monday, September 28, 2015

A Special Man and a Special Request

Dear Readers,

If you happen to be reading my blog post, would you please take a moment to do this?
Pray for a Cure for Cancer in the World
Our hearts are aching! On Friday, September 18, 2015, at the age of 48 years and after bravely fighting a 4-1/2 year battle with kidney cancer,a precious man whom we loved dearly drew his last breath, closed his eyes for the last time on earth and went to Paradise to spend eternity with his Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. My husband and I loved him as if he were our own son. He and my daughter were high school sweethearts and parents of three beautiful children. If you care to read about him, I am providing a link here.

I have posted some pictures of Jimmy in the past and told you a little about his struggle. In this photo, taken on July 4, 2010. Jimmy is kneeling on far left front row. Jimmy is pictured with their family and friends here in the first photograph of the post. He is wearing the red shirt and sunglasses and friends in the photo are wearing their Kick out Cancer Canepa Strong tee shirts in support of Jimmy. The second photo of the post is of Jimmy too and you can see how sick he must have felt. Still, he wanted to be there to support the kids who were playing and the adults and youth who were helping to coach the games. He was very active in sports and other church activities. He loved all children and children adored him.

He fought cancer so hard and went through kidney, lung and brain surgeries trying to stay with his wife and children as long as he possibly could. He endured years of various chemo treatments and radiation and all the terrible side effects. He was such a big, strong man and the one person others called upon first to help with any kind of need. He was a wonderful cook and loved to cook for others. He spent many, many hours in the kitchen at church, cooking for various functions, fund-raisers and so on.  He gave great big hugs freely and he had a huge and caring heart. He attended the births of many, many babies, including his own,  and he cried, unashamedly, at the births of each and every one. He shed tears at the deaths of others. He had a beautiful spirit and he touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with throughout the years. To know him was to love him!

I was blessed to have spent many precious moments with him. I was especially blessed to spend a good bit of time with him during the last year or so of his life while my daughter strove to continue her job as an elementary school teacher. This picture was taken the day before he underwent surgery on his brain to remove a massive tumor.
The Day Before Jimmy's Brain Surgery with All Five of Our Grandchildren
The children all piled on the bed with him. The two boys at his side and the girl lying in the middle, in bright pink shirt, are his and my daughter's three children. The other two girls are our youngest daughter's children. He has fed and changed the diapers of each and every one of them when they were babies. They all love and miss him so very much! Those big strong hands were so gentle with the smallest of babies.

This picture was taken on the day of my brother Tommy's funeral. Tommy passed away three years ago next month. He was a victim of AML(Acute Myeloid Leukemia). He was another loved one whose life was robbed in so many ways by the ravages of cancer. We have lost many others over the years, including my sweet daddy who was stricken with pancreatic cancer.

The following picture was taken on one of the last trips that Jimmy was able to take with us to Walt Disney World.
Jimmy at the Boardwalk Inn and Villas
This is another picture of he and their family that was taken on that same trip.
Jimmy and Family on Disney's Boardwalk
The following picture was taken Easter 2013 at our house.
Jimmy on Easter 2013

This was taken at the church at one of the last basketball games where he was well enough to coach.
Jimmy Coaching Victory Sports
We saw this beautiful, healthy man as cancer relentlessly ravaged his body. Cancer is a terrible and hateful disease. Our hearts are heavy and we miss him so very much. We take comfort in knowing that our sweet Jimmy won the final victory over cancer and is now free of the pain and suffering that had become so much a part of his life. He loved God and he loved God's son Jesus. Because of his faith he now dwells in eternity with his Savior.

Cancer not only takes its toll on its victims, but it wreaks havoc, in every way, on the entire family unit and all who love them. A cure for cancer is out there somewhere!  Please pray for a cure for cancer in the world and an end to the suffering this disease, in all its forms, brings to its victims and those who love them!

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