We lost Jimmy today.
It’s too much to comprehend. It wasn’t even really today. It was a few days ago. It feels like weeks since we heard the news. Eons. But instead it’s only been a day or two.
It can’t be true, of course, because Jimmy was young. Jimmy was beautiful. Jimmy was everything everyone needed, all the time. Jimmy was damn near perfect.
As we cry, weep, hold our faces and clutch our aching chests, we try to think of things that will make this less painful. Less tragic. He must have some terrible flaws that make his leaving a little less horrifying, we say, half kidding, half hoping.
But all we can think of, the only truth, is that Jimmy walked this earth the way we all ought to walk: with God as his guide. With courage. With humility. With a heart that changed lives, never running out of grace or kindness. With a brilliant mind, working through problems with patience and commitment. But most of all,
but MOST of all,
Jimmy and Cassidy have loved each other for so long that separating them, even in my mind, feels like trying to pull apart the moon and the sun. Technically, we can’t see one without the other. It won’t exist.
But exist Cassidy must. Jimmy or no.
And that’s the crux of it here, isn’t it?
We are still here. Jimmy is gone, but we are still here.
And that hurts.
It hurts the deepest, sweetest part of us. It scrapes up against the tender underside of our hearts, that corner of being where we hide our nightmares and guard our dreams. It hurts because it’s not how we imagined the future, where Cass and Jim were still married, where Cass and Jim finished graduate school at Columbia, where Jimmy was a doctor and Cassidy a social worker and they lived in a hut, in a tribe, serving and saving, because that was their dream. Those two were saving the world together.
Of all the dreams to lose, that’s the one we lost today.
We love Jimmy. We love him because he so easily moved through our lives. We love him because his laugh filled a room. We love him because he listened when we spoke. We love him because although he lived an amazing life, he did not know how amazing he was to us. We love him because he honestly, genuinely, without question, loved us. He changed the people he met, whether through one conversation or a lifetime of friendship. Jimmy Watts loved with everything he had to offer, and he did it with ease. God used Jimmy Watts to make a difference. And that difference does not diminish with his passing.
It’s just the beginning of a terrible time here, for us, without Jimmy. It’s darker now. It’s quieter. That avalanche swept away a light that shone bright across the globe, and left a path of sorrow too wide to berth at the moment. So we won’t even try.
We just know that we lost Jimmy today.
And that’s all we really have room to hold right now.