Sunday, May 10, 2015

In Memorium: Jim Baruzzini - An Ending and a New Beginning

Jim in his new leather jacket hamming it up at home, April 2015.
About a month ago, something life-changing happened.  My partner, love, significant other, housemate, best friend of 13 years died suddenly.  This statement still takes my breath away.  How could such a vital, happy, loving man, father, friend, love of my life, pass so suddenly? One minute here and the next moment be but a memory, a last photo, a final phone is beyond understanding.  I am reluctant to write of this but yet so many of us have or will experience this loss of a partner. 

Tree Swallows at Magee Marsh, Lake Erie Beach 2015.
Many things assure me that he is still here, in another form and in another place but yet still present.  I see him in the birds that fly....he knew I loved birds so when they startle up from the ground and fly free into the sky, I remember how much he loved being the 'fly guy' and relished the freedom and variety that flying somewhere gave him.  I feel him in the wind as it touches my face and reminds me of his hand on my cheek. In his presence, I always felt a deep sense of being at home and safe....he being a mixture of all the things I loved in a man, strong, supportive, a pain in the butt when I was being a pain in the butt, someone who would give me that 'look' when I needed to rethink something I was considering ..not in a judgmental way but just a are you sure look.  When I walk somewhere in the woods and breath in the sweet scent of the woods, feel the sun on my face, hear the sounds of the trees, he is with me my memories of times we did these very things or just enjoyed life on our back porch.

Jim & Vera in 2002
He was someone who enjoyed that vital cup of coffee in the AM as much as I did and often brought me one as he was always up long before I was...we laughed a lot so when I see other's laughing I remember our private jokes gleaned from funny or irksome things we did ...we made them into jokes so that they wouldn't be bones of contention between us but reminders of the fact we all have aspects of our personality that our mates must accept ...the good always with the irritating...all made up the complete without the other would a different person make.  So, often, I find myself remembering that we made each other laugh. How small a thing that seems but often was the glue that held us together.

Jim Contemplating
Contemplating things that we said to each other and words of wisdom he said to me...I realized that his quiet strength lay in his ability to "see" a person for who they were, accept them and then solve problems based on what he heard while trying to understand not respond.  This is a giant a-ha ...he learned this from years of introversion and customer service jobs where fixing a machine could safe a person's life. 

Jim with his smallest to hold on to Aiden as long as allowed.
He started at the simplest of places to solve a problem, "Is the machine plugged in" which reminds me to start at the smallest place and deal with issues/problems one at a time. He, also, trusted that he had the skills to deal with anything that came his way...he trusted himself to have the inner strength, wisdom, brains, combination of all those things to deal with whatever came his way...this certainty sometimes disturbed people who were less sure of themselves but he was able to figure out the trickiest of problems using this understanding of himself and patience.

Jim, Vera, friends, Matt & Anna at Harper's Ferry 2003
Confidence in one's abilities goes a long way towards keeping one calm in a difficult situations...panic starts from the basic feeling that WE cannot solve or handle ourselves in a crisis.  Another big a-ha for me ...realizing these things have helped me through this ...for I believe in myself...I have the skills and strength to get through this and emerge a 'better' nay stronger more understanding person.

Still lovin' every minute of it.
I think the most powerful truth which has come forward for me is this, that Love never shrinks but always expands.  When Jim died, I became a completely different person....I was alone.  I felt small, frightened. I spoke only of the support person had gone leaving me homeless...because I could not speak of the deep...that the person I loved the most had left me suddenly and inexplicably and how in the world would I go on, what was my purpose, where would my path lead me now?  I wanted to shrink into myself until I realized that above truth...what/who we love always makes us bigger, always expands and to deny this would be a I chose to open my heart even wider and embrace all that is and was 'us'. 

Me now, still smilin' -  walkin' the journey thanks to supportive friends....Photo credit: J Andrew Davis Photography 2015
...and really, each new day we awaken to the fact that nothing is the same, I am not the same.  Life is fleeting and we cannot know the moments we have one with another.  So enjoy, do, be, live, love, do not accept mediocracy.  Be all that you are supposed to be embrace the unknown and the scary.  I do not know right now where or what I'll be doing so don't ask...:)  I do know that life is a great adventure and I will walk confidently forward.  Many thanks to all those who love and support me....without you, life would be a lot less interesting and definitely harder.  Please stay tuned.....


  1. A TOTALLY moving and heartfelt eulogy (and blog.) Jim would be proud!

  2. Led to read this today, Vera. Thanks for opening deeply and living fully!