Monday, October 27, 2008

James Shibley: 3-26-69 to 10-27-08


I knew things weren't going all that great. James was weaker than I remembered, almost inaudible on the phone. Still, this was how things could go in the normal course of firing up a new immune system. The big danger was that something lethal would come along and attack him during this long dangerous stretch. We regret to inform you that this is exactly what happened. James was attacked by a fungus, and went back to OHSU where his prognosis was described to me as grim. I last saw him Friday. He was in terrible shape by then, yet whispered to me, "How's it going?" So his last words to me anyway were an attempt to be funny. This encapsulated the courage and toughness James has displayed throughout. The idea of him suffering like he was for very much longer was unbearable to me. We held out hope to the end for that miracle comeback, but it was not to be.

When he died this morning, I felt quite a bit of relief that his suffering was over. As the day wore on, the sadness welled up. I've lost a great friend here and the idea that the James Shibley Era is over in my life and in the lives of so many others, is just too harsh. He was a great person and very, very funny. I just hope it won't be long before the images of these last few days fade and we remember him in good health, full of life and humor: The irrepressible, irreplaceable James Shibley. ---Bill McDonald

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

James will forever hold a special place in my heart. He was an amazing person and a loyal friend. I will forever miss his laugh and his wit. Rest well, my friend, the world simply isn't the same without you. To his family, just know that James had a positive impact on all of us whose lives he touched and we loved him very much as well. Troy Wagner

Cassie said...

James was by far one of my favorite cousins. He was a wonderful person. I remember every family get together James would always be his witty and sarcastic self. I could always count on him for a source of consistency in the family. I will miss him dearly.

Stacey and Robert: Josh and I are praying for you. If we can be of any help to you please let me know. My new email is ckanable@me.com

Anonymous said...

"You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd, we ain't too pretty, we ain't too proud. We might be laughing a bit too loud, but that never hurt no one. Darling, only the good die young..."

Billy Joel

Lisa said...

I will never forget meeting you for the first time in Paris, Stacey. Together with James you formed a happy couple, deeply in love. It was a thoroughly unexpected opportunity to see James again in the city that has become my home. I very much enjoyed taking you to some of my favorite places and suggesting a handful of sights to explore on your own.

Without question, the news has been harsh to accept for every single person touched by James’ kindness and humor. But of all the coincidences, today I spent the day showing a visitor around Versailles. Over the course of an afternoon, memories of the two of you holding hands in the marketplace, laughing and gazing wide-eyed at all of the fresh produce and other goods on display occupied my thoughts. Later, there came our picnic in the woods. And that melon that somehow rolled away, down the hill and into the creek with you not far behind…

Tomorrow it will be tough to accept another reality, but for now it’s far easier to reminisce. Much strength and love, Lisa

Anonymous said...

"They say there's a heaven for those who will wait. Some say it's better, but I say it ain't. I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun. Darling, only the good die young..."

Billy Joel

SrLampara said...

That's so James... to have Billy Joel as a friend, and never once having name-dropped.

HUP said...

I have been away from Portland way too long but, the special people that I knew long enough will remain forever in my heart -James is one of those people. Cheryl S

Bruce said...

Stacey,

I'm so very sorry for your loss.

I've enjoyed reading Bill McDonald's comments at Bojack.org for a long time, which is what brought me to this site.

My son just turned 4 years old and he's an only child. We have lots of gently used clothing in the 12 month to 3-T sizes. I would be happy to box it up and give it to you if you're interested.

If you reply by email, I will give you our telephone number.

Paulette said...

James Robert Shibley impacted this small corner of our world with a magnitude that will not be duplicated or surpassed by the mere mortals who strove to walk shoulder to shoulder with him...
[I can sense him now, giggling with glee while rolling on the floor. (Spirit bodies can roll on the floor.) He quickly regains his composure, then says,
"Good one, Mom."]

Jamye, my world is so much smaller now.

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