Life At Both Ends

I refuse to call it a man crush. I’m pretty sure that I’ve watched everything that Aaron Sorkin has ever written.

I refuse to call it a man crush. I’m pretty sure that I’ve watched everything that Aaron Sorkin has ever written. The Big Screen- Malice, A Few Good Men, The American President (which paved the way for the greatest TV series of all time.) Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs. I’ve seen on the Small Screen Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Newsroom, and…drumroll…The West Wing. As a matter of fact, I’m watching the series through for my third time now. Nothing compares. All that other stuff on television plays second fiddle to his Magnum Opus.

I love The West Wing, and all of Sorkin’s work, in part because of his idealism. He’s a romantic. He’s an optimist and in him I find a kindred spirit. He convinces me in every episode that the government, yes the government, can be a force of good and service and justice in the world. If Josiah Bartlet were running for president today, he’d win in a landslide- not that his competition this year lends itself to a convincing argument against his brilliance.

I’m a romantic. At least, I think that I am. Yet, at the same time- my life isn’t cooperating right now. Somehow in a romantic’s world, the boy always gets the girl, the cop always saves the day, good wins, evil loses, love prevails, Heath Ledger is knighted as Sir William in A Knight’s Tale, Meg and Tom fall in love in every single movie together, Sadness and Joy work together to give Riley this complex emotional and fulfilling life, and Jed Bartlet is president forever.

But that’s the movies. The difficulty with being a romantic in a difficult life is the temptation to deny reality. In fact, denial is part of the grieving process. So, I tip toe this line between romanticism and finding “the beauty in the sorriness of life.” I know how this ends. I drive by the nursing home where my mother-in-law died from this disease every day of my life. On the right side of the road is the nursing home, and on the left side of the road is the house that Tiffanni and I built together. Brayden was born there. My kids have a treehouse still there. We celebrated Christmases, Trick-r-treated, hunted Easter eggs, all three kids began Kindergarten there. We barbecued, hosted New Year’s Eve parties, we lived there. A tunnel of grief. Death on one side and nostalgia on the other.

But it’s the drive. I leave my new house where our beautiful children laugh, and play, and dream, and live. We have pecan trees, and chickens, and bees, and our Golden Retriever Fortinbras. And I make my way to the places that form my kids, and encourage them, and breathe dreams into them. I drive through the shadow of death every day, on my way from life and to life. From our home of safety and personality nurturing on our way to their school and our church, we pass through the tunnel of grief only to hope again.

I’m a romantic. And the beauty of the drive isn’t the death in the middle of the journey, it’s the life at both ends. Death doesn’t have the first word and it won’t have the last.

37 Comments for “Life At Both Ends”

says:

Just when I think “Oh, He’s not gonna get me to cry again.” You do. Jeremy, thank you for your brilliant honesty. You certainly give Sorkin a run for his money.
Love ya, Jerm!❤️

Note to self…Do not read this blog while putting on makeup.

Judy Smith

says:

Your post is great. I look forward to reading your blog often. I want to get back to this for myself and some writing I have done and continue to do. Please send me a chance to read your blog regularly. I’ve written several short things in the past and enjoy it every time I have time to write.

Jeremy Sims

says:

Judy, did you see how to send it directly to your email? There is a subscribe area on the right side if the page.

says:

No, but I don’t see it on the right side of the page. I did fill in my email on the same right side that includes this. If you meant farther to the right than this, I didn’t see it. Sorry. I’m dumb. Of course, remember that I am dumb also.

says:

Okay, I see that I forgot to put the name of my website on here. All right, I goofed. My really needing updating website is “judyandfriendsandfamily.com”. Also titled “Let’s Keep in Touch.”

Janet Smith

says:

Hey, Jeremy,

Every time I come out of our neighborhood and am sitting at the stop sign, I look down the street and see the house where ya’ll lived before building your new place. I think of Tiffani and I think of you and the kids, and I say a prayer. It’s a quick one, but it’s said every time. I drive by the nursing home several times a day, and I think of Glenda, and Tiff taking her wedding dress to show her mom. I think of Ron singing to Glenda, and falling asleep beside her. I think of the love that this family had during a difficult time, and how that love has continued and will continue. Bless you all, know that you are truly loved, appreciated, prayed for, and that your faith and steadfast walk has left such a Godly impact on so many people.

says:

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Just when I think I have problems, I read your post and feel shame that I complain. I also know you have children who are diabetic. My husband was also a diabetic, I know the responsibility involved in that. I Pray that God sustains you. Many, many people are praying for you and your family. God bless you

says:

Aaron Sorkin is my all-time favorite too. Take This Sabbath Day (from West Wing) takes my breath away every time.

It is true, there is life on the other side. But those daily reminders of the life you had, as well as future decline, are intense. I don’t pass them often, if I can help it.

Beautifully written, as always.

Sandra M

says:

I too loved West Wing. We should all stay as a romantic for this keeps us alive in this place called life.
Sandra

Cierra Wallace

says:

Brilliantly and beautifully written Jeremy! Your writing is thoughtful and poetic, and I’m so glad you’re sharing your voice and story with the world.

Karen McMillan

says:

The other posts were wonderful but this one speaks to me and touches me in a personal, deep way. While my “death” in the middle looks different than your journey, I look toward the future with hope. I have to remind myself to let myself be happy. To trust.
Thanks Jerm!

Wanda Childers

says:

Jeremy, you don’t know me but I was at Kingwood during Glenda’s battle, I saw over & over Ron’s love & devotion for her. I hate Huntingtons. I hate Cerebral Palsy which has struck our middle grandson. These are things I have no explanation for. But God is good & that’s all I know. Our Asher is in Carsyn’s class at KCS & he tells me how smart & funny she is. We pray for you & your sweet family & appreciate your openness in your blogs. May Gods blessings be on you all.

Candice Higdon

says:

Jeremy, I look forward to reading this every week. God has truly given you the gift of writing among other things. Just wanted to let you know we pray for you all. Even somewhere in the middle of last night when Allen and I both found ourselves awake, the LORD had you guys on our hearts. He is a good good Father.

cindy Herschberg

says:

Wow, Thank you for your transparency ! I am convinced that the Lord is using you to speak to me and the difficulties and losses in my own life to look at what I have and not what I dont. I do try too but sometimes i just get overwhelmed with it all having to depend on others . Thank you and please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. i miss u guys !

Mary Kathryn Tyson

says:

Beautifully expressed. I’m so sorry you all are having to go through this. Praying for you and Tiffany and your sons, Jeremy. For more beauty and grace for the continued journey.

Missy Holcombe

says:

Just when I think it can’t get any better, it seems like you’re able to read my mind and put words to my feelings. Praise God that He didn’t allow death to have the last word!!

Mario Jimenez

says:

Jerm, I’ve never been there…but you took me there. Wonderful!
Praying for you n Tiff. Mucho love man!

says:

Dude. The imagery. Amen to that. Death can only say so much until it’s silenced. (side note: the line “A man can change his stars.” from A Knight’s Tale gets me every dang time. straight up.) Love you, Jerm! Keep sharing when you can.

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