Kaeleigh Farrish wrote the following note on the second of February, three days before James' service. She and her family are very dear friends of ours. Kaeleigh is the daughter of Dan and Pam Farrish. Dan is one of my very best friends, and they watched James grow through the years whenever we were fortunate enough to get together. Thanks for sharing this Kaeleigh.
Remembering James: "Take time to love someone"
by Kaeleigh Farrish on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 3:01am
On January 15, 2011 James David Eunice, a kind, intelligent, compassionate 17-year-old boy who meant a great deal to my family, spent a familiar Saturday afternoon duck hunting with a friend on Ocean Pond in Georgia. Suddenly, Drew saw James’ boat traveling in circles--without James in it. After an agonizing 16-day, 24-hour-a-day search, James was finally found and brought home early Monday morning. We are blessed for the closure his body provides, but unspeakably heartbroken that it comes back without him smiling from inside it.
When he was very little James would call my dad, “Mr. Sir” because he couldn’t always remember his name--he only knew that Mr. Sir was his dad’s best friend from the Air Force and when they got together they would laugh for hours. James would stand near Mr. Eunice to listen to their phone conversations and note the way Daddy made him laugh. As he grew up, James and Daddy shared a very special bond as the lively, happy and joyful people they are.
In school, and in life, James was known as the kid who would look out for the students others might forget—he would seek out and speak with those who had no one to talk to:
“Making my life seem like it has actual meaning," said Michael, who thanks James for leading him to God. "That I have a reason to be here. Without James, without CrossPointe, I wouldn't know where I'd be right now."
Heike was touched by James' support Friday (the day before his death), "He grabbed my shoulder and said 'You're not leaving school, you're not giving up anything. You're staying right here. Even if I have to help you myself with your classwork for hours a day. I will do it.'"
He was a young man with strong Christian convictions and lived them. When the student manager on his baseball team was killed in a car accident last spring, it really bothered James that he did not know much about Joseph and didn’t make the time to interact enough with him before his tragic death.
He wrote this on his Facebook after feeling that loss:
“Take time to love someone. Today, tomorrow, for the rest of your life. Because when that unexpected day comes that they pass on, you'll be left wondering what you could've done better. How you could have made them feel more welcome, and show that you do care for them. Don't wait until it's too late like I did.
Show the love that Jesus has for you to everyone you see. Let your heart break for what breaks His. Christ is enough. Let Him show you life. You never know who He may touch through you. It is so sad that it takes a tragedy like this to comprehend how our days are numbered. Only He knows. Keep your faith in Him. He will bless you beyond belief. Our job is right now. This very second. So often, God gives me a little nudge towards someone... and I put it off until the next day... and then the next and then the next. Stop stalling. God put us on this earth for HIS glory. Not ours... and so many times, the things I do always point back to me and my stupid self righteousness. So do something with me. Everyone. If this just touches one person, I will have done my job. Don't stall. Judgment is a heart beat away.”
James was living those words in the months before he died. His family was in awe of all the people coming to them with stories of James’ kindness--but they should not have been surprised. Mr. Eunice and Ms. Tammy raised their children with such wholesome, honest love and support any child would be lucky to feel even in passing. Johnny and Lindsey can attest to that, and have shown inspiring strength when faced with the loss of their baby brother.
Those of us fortunate enough to know and love the Eunice family can share a mere 5 minutes with them and leave feeling positive, uplifted and loved. Without exception. The family emanates love and compassion, and James was certainly no exception. The time we all shared together never failed to fill our hearts with warmth, laughter and peace.
James‘ legacy will live on. And if even a few people stop and simply do what he asked--“take time to love someone today”--then we all partake in honoring the life of this remarkable young man. Don’t stall, don’t wait until it’s too late. Love today.
You all have touched my life and I am thankful for you. I love you.
And James, you have touched my life and I am thankful for you too. I'm sorry I didn't get to tell you more when you were around. I don't understand why this happened, and I don't think I ever will. I miss you. I love you. Goodbye.
P.S. Whenever I order sliders now I'll think of you.