In Memory

James (Jimmy) Bramlett

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01/22/18 02:37 AM #1    

Charles Henderson

Until we were about 16 years old, Jimmy and I were the best of friends, along with his Brother Sammy. The four of us, including my brother Paul, spent a lot of time together, mostly at their home on Old Leland Road, across from Fish Lake near the bridge that crossed the Lake at Stoneville. They had a larger house and a multi-acre lot with many pecan trees. Until we were15, Jimmy and I practiced parallel parking in an area we had set up beneath the trees behind their house. During the summer we took a lot of long bicycle trips, sometimes as many as twenty miles.At other times we took treks along  the banks of Fish Lake, even swimmying in that muddy edifice.

Jimmy had an easy going personality; and I loved to here him really laugh when he became amused at something. That didn't happen much which made the occasions that he did laugh even more memorable. I appreciate him now as one of the best friends I've ever had.

I hadn't talked to Jimmy in over 40 years until I found, in 2017, that he lived in Germantown, TN, a separate city adjoining Memphis. I sent him an email, and he responded. We made arrangements to meet for lunch in downtown Memphis where he worked. I live about 30 miles from there. But the week we were to meet, I went into the hospital suddenly for some tests. When I got  out, with all the turmoil involved after a hospital stay, I forgot our planned meeting for a few weeks. 

Then my brother called to tell me that Jimmy had been diagnosed with Lukemia. I wasn't extremely concerned since my poor medical knowledge led me to believe that medical science had good control of that disease. I have a friend in Missouri, in his 80s, who has lived with the malady for decades. I sent Jimmy an email with my phone number, explained what had happened to our previous meeting, apolgized for not contacting him earlier, and asked him to call him. He didn't call but rather sent an email reply stating that he was in the hospital and joking about the coincedence that we both both sick at the same time. He said he would call when he got out of the hospital and we'd get together.

A sadness that I live with presently is that I waited as opposed to going down to Tunica to the hospital while he was there. I didn't wait long because within only two weeks, David Grayson conveyed a message, via our  ,school web page, that Jimmy had passed away. I must sadly repeat in my spirit the poet's line, "of all lhe words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'it might have been' ". I MIGHT HAVE gone to the hospital as soon as he replied to me; and had I done so, I MIGHT HAVE  been able to talk to my old friend face to face again; and I MIGHT HAVE been able to inquire about his relationship with Jesus; and I MIGHT HAVE been able to pray with him for both his healing and his salvation.

I will live from now on with this sadness and the multiple "MIGHT HAVE BEEN (S)."

I miss you, Jimmy; and if I were Catholic, I would pray, even now, for your soul.


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