I posted this under love while James was still in Hospice.
His room is never empty. His wishes were to be surrounded by loved ones. He is too weak to talk, but he is clearly understanding us. So I ask each visitor to say a few words to him, razz him, insult him, share a key memory or whatever they feel compelled to share based on their relationship with him. Three people visited who hadn't been an employee of his in over 5-6 years. Many said that they were inspired by him either in work or life. One employee said that James is the type of man you only meet once or twice in a lifetime. Another employee said he gave her her first job in America. Numerous employees, many who do not fit the traditional mold of life, said that he gave them their life. James always saw a person's spirit, not just their credentials. He had a diverse social circle. At one time, his room had almost every culture represented: Indian, Chinese, African-American, Hispanic, Russian, Filipino and Persian. He had more female employees than any other Department, in a male dominant field. People were driving miles, one drove 100 miles round-trip to bid him good-bye and hug him as well as me. E-mails arrived from out-of-state and I read each one to him.
You can tell a person's character from how they live. But you can tell just as much about their character, by how they die. He is surrounded by love, laughter, sarcasm, admiration, etc... He never quit, never stopped trying to come out the winner over cancer. He was never going to accept that he had to leave me and his life. And I am ok with that. He will go down a warrior. I am going to go hold him now. Oh, and no medical person can believe how strong his heart is. But I always knew that.