A number of our guests spoke in remembrance of James
A number of our guests spoke in remembrance of James including Larry Murdock, Laura Lee Lamothe, Mary and Ben Kissane, Joe Carpenter, Jim Hill, Richard Berg, Alena Owen, Jan Zawadzki and Heather Kennedy.
I had first met James, along with Susan, in October of 2008 in downtown Chicago during the annual convention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. For the next four years, I’ve come to know them both as we’ve spent time together at the Humanist of Colorado meetings. There are two things that I will always remember about James. The first is that he always made a point of greeting his friends with a smile and handshake and in doing so making them feel welcome. The second is that James always had thoughtful and thought-provoking comments to add regarding a variety of topics. His passion for knowledge stayed with him well after retirement, and knowing this leads me to wanting to have known him better while he was still alive.
We also received this remembrance from Jim Dale Sickafoose:
I will remember Jim as a comrade in the most important and basic aspects of Life - that our "Economics" should always be, need to always be, about making life work for all of us. And I will remember that Susan, Jim, and I shared a wicked love of dessert which we enjoyed each month at Racine's Restaurant. BUT, perhaps most interestingly, the memory of Jim that will stay with me most vividly is the day that I saw Jim at his peak pleasure ... and that is the day he and Susan played host for a group of friends, introducing their grandson visiting from New Zealand. The old phrase "pride and joy" truly fit that day as Jim's pride and joy was most obvious - I had never seen him so animated. He had truly become young again. It was most revealing ... and a great, great memory to hold.
Susan spoke last and thanked everyone for coming, despite the snow. She said she didn’t have regrets because she and James had done what they wanted to do, like moving to Denver 22 years ago, even though they didn’t have jobs lined up, and taking trips to Europe. She advised people not to put these things off, not to say ‘when I retire’ or ‘when I’ve got more money’. Seize the day.
On this occasion, as we reflect upon human existence and its meaning, it is for us, the living, to dedicate ourselves anew to those great ethical aims and ideals which have long been part of our human heritage; to reaffirm that friendliness and sympathy toward our fellow human beings, which now, as always, remain the foundation-stone of a good society; to resolve anew to bend our minds and energies toward the pursuit of truth, the creation of beauty, and the advancement of freedom. Beyond the welfare of our native land, we look to the world at large and seek the happiness and progress of all humanity upon this fruitful earth — to the end that everywhere men and women enjoy life more abundantly.
When those who gave us birth and guided us or loved and befriended us die, we are devastated and suffer and cry; but like today, we can also rejoice with their memory, their legacy, and their fruitful acts of love. We can celebrate the life that our loved one James had lived.
Music: Neil Diamond, “I’ve Been This Way Before”