Friday, March 25, 2011
The skies here in my neck of the woods today are cloudy and gray, heavy with intermittent rain. It is dreary and I want to crawl under a blanket and do nothing but watch movies or read (not happening, by the way). The sky mirrors the mood here in Utah after BYU's defeat to Florida in the Sweet 16 NCAA tournament game last night. Certainly, not the bleakest of events occurring in the world right now, but one in which BYU fans were hoping for a different outcome.
All the "Jimmer" and BYU fans in our house felt a little beat down and sad for the ending of a great run---even with all the setbacks the team had throughout the season. As I checked my emails before bed last night, I noticed my sister had sent my siblings a memoir written by her husband Gary about my dad--also named James who went by "Jim" (pictured above) in his younger days and was a gifted athlete. I mentioned him briefly in my last post, but my brother-in-law's words made me a little misty-eyed as I reflected on this great man who is no longer with us. I wanted to share a few exerpts:
24 March 2011 Thursday
We were thinking about you today: basketball, March Madness, hoops, Final Four. BYU is playing Florida tonight. Jimmer Fredette is making Mormons proud; he is quite the scoring machine. Many of your progeny find great joy in getting “jimmered”.
It's not 1948, nor will we be gathering around the radio to hear you play. Great-grandma Wray would get so upset when the commentators would talk about your aggressive plays and fouls. University of California-Berkley lost that final four game; but you played in Madison Square Garden and gave your family bragging rights for decades, that you played on the national sports stage- you, just a farm kid from Idaho. We have the newspaper articles and pictures of you, (sorry you didn't have Air Jordan’s in the 40's); we've heard the stories; for some of us we've seen your athletic prowess. You are gone, but your legacy continues.
You would have loved this BYU season- it would have been so great for you to walk from that little white brick home on Fir St. to the Marriott Center. Not like that first year when BYU had a 0-25 season...it did get you on a mission though; no sense staying in Provo to watch the cougars lose!
There's been a whole nursery of babies born since you and mom left us, but, you know that, don't you. Most of us are trying to do what you taught us, and are teaching our children; and our children are teaching their children. We hope you are proud. We are taking care of your name.
Our faith is strong. Oh sure, there are those little things that try our faith, that keep us relying on God: tsunamis, the economy, earthquakes, floods and famines, potato harvest, etc.
Well, we just wanted to say hello- we thought of you playing in the March Madness tournament. We miss you dad; we miss those reunions where we tried to keep up with you; we miss how you and mom worked as one for our benefit. We miss your competitive spirit. Tonight we will yell and raise our blood pressure for 'the Jimmer'. You are our “Jim”. We miss you dad. We wish you were here.