A Legend Never Dies

The past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind for our family. We found out about a month ago that Nick’s Grandfather was diagnosed with multiple different cancers. They had spread throughout his body over time, and had become untreatable. He was 74 years old, with his 75th Birthday coming up later this month. He had his first open heart surgery at the young age of 34, with a few more heart surgeries to follow. He recently started feeling weak, weak enough to bring him in for a hospital visit. That was when we had all found out about the cancers that ultimately took him from this earth.

James “Jimmy” Fox had always been the most present father figure in Nick’s life. Plenty had come and gone, but his grandfather was the only one there to stay. He was the man to teach Nick, his brother, and the rest of the family everything about life. The one to show them tough love when they needed it, and the one to bail them out of whatever troubles they may have gotten themselves into. Always there when they needed him most. And that went for their entire immediate family, not just the boys. Jimmy Fox was who you called. Now you would hear about it for your lifetime because he wouldn’t let you forget about that one time he helped you out, but that’s the tough love I told you about. Always helped you out, but made sure you never forgot how you got into and out of whatever mess he guided you through. There was always a life lesson. Which I absolutely respect and agree with.

There were a lot of tears when we found out his prognosis. And even more tears when he was taken from us. Nick had never really experienced, or had to deal with loss. Especially not someone this close to him. I lost my grandmother last year. She was the last grandparent from my maternal and paternal sides that I had left. I’ve dealt with multiple losses throughout my lifetime, so I thought I would be able to handle this one just as I handled the rest. But seeing my husband hurting the way he was, it killed me. Not only my husband, but our oldest son as well. We have done our best to keep him from pain and sorrow related with death. I’ve lost family and friends, but kept Numero Uno and the other amigos away from it. Numero Dos has a minor understanding of death, but she doesn’t fully get it yet. And I’ll be sure to keep it that way for as long as I can. Numero Uno knew what was going on, and knew what was to come. We talked to him about the situation, and made sure he knew he could come to us if he ever needed a shoulder to cry on, or even just to talk. He was able to handle it pretty well until we went to see Jimmy for the last time.

When we found out that it can happen any day, we took the 3 amigos to see him. Thank God we did, because he was taken from us just a few hours after we had seen him. Numer Dos and Tres just hung out like usual, and Numero Uno payed close attention to everything. He knew what was happening without us saying a word. As soon as I noticed him starting to feel the pain and heartache that comes along with losing someone you love, we left. This was the first time I had seen him upset like that. He and Nick were both feeling the same pain, and it tore me up inside. I cried, cried, and cried some more, but for different reasons. I loved Jimmy for the person he was, and the man he molded my husband to be. Watching and feeling my husband and sons pain is what broke me. That’s what took me from being Nick’s strength to being just as weak and heart broken as he was.

We made it through the past few weeks together as an incredibly strong family. Our hearts still need time to heal, but his legacy will always be with us. He made a huge, deep footprint in the dirt, and in our hearts. One that will never wash away.

Cheers to you, Papoo! I know you have an unlimited supply of Old Style up there with you!

James “Jimmy” Fox








Author: Cassy

I come from your average blue collar, working class family from the South Suburbs of Chicago. Once living so close to the city that I could take a 5-minute bike ride in, to now building a family and home in the far reaches of the burbs. I have worn a few hats in my day: retail, health and fitness, salon and spa, investments, and my most important career as stay-at-home mom. I have most recently become an independent Maskara Beauty artist. Feel free to browse my website and contact me with any questions. Thanks for stopping in!

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