A Tale of Two Jimmys

My son just turned nine a week or so ago and it wasn't until my father happened to mention it that I realized that was born less than a week after his namesake.  Thus begins a tale of two Jimmys.

The first was my uncle.  He was my father's younger brother.  My childhood memories of him are of quick visits and then he was off again.  The army was his career and he did several tours of duty overseas.  I knew that he had been stationed in Germany (where he met the woman who he would marry) and then later did a year long stint in Korea (a deal/sacrifice he made so that his family could stay in one place for the rest of his army career.)  I remember what stuck with me after his time in Korea was his telling my family that you had to be careful when you went to the bathroom; apparently rats had invaded the toilets (at least wherever he was stationed).  Definitely an image that stays with a kid!

My final memory of my uncle is at my wedding.  He flew out alone from Colorado to be there.  Our wedding was at the Jersey Shore in September and one of the guests, a friend of my parents', also happened to be one of Uncle Jimmy's former girlfriends (maybe even his first, I'm not clear on that).  Though both were happily married to other people, the two of them "cut the rug."  They were fantastic together...dancing like the teens they once were.  There is a photo in my wedding album of the two of them grinning as they dance the night away; having a blast. Less than a year later Uncle Jimmy would pass away.

Not quite a decade later while we were waiting for my son's appearance, my husband and I tried to come up with boy's names.  James just seemed right.  Went well with our last name.  But more importantly it honored all of the "Js" that were part of our lives -- my paternal grandfather (John), my maternal grandmother (Jessie), and of course my Uncle Jimmy.  (It is also worth noting that my father is officially a John, my brother was a John and my paternal aunt is a Joanne -- so we were also carrying on a family tradition with a name that began with the letter J.)

As he grows up, I'm happy to see that "my" Jimmy is not unlike my Uncle Jimmy.  He has many of the traits that I admired in my uncle.  He is personable and charming.  He has lots of friends.  And yes, he loves to dance.  Someday I hope to have a photo of "my" Jimmy that show the same fun and joy that my uncle had when he danced at my wedding.


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