ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from James's life.

The Pink hibiscus story part 2

Shared by Anna Card on August 28, 2020
My sister in law Deb Haab lost her husband Glenn Haab recently. A great man who l thought the world of and Jim knew this and respected my connection to my Card family. Deb saw my Facebook post of Jim and my Pink Hibiscus search. She sent me this text.
"Hi there.  I read your post last night about your quest for a pink hibiscus with Jim.  Imagine my surprise when I brought my coffee out on the deck this morning to discover that someone planted a pink hibiscus in a the stump of my tree that came Dow in a recent storm.  I mentioned to my new assistant (landscaper's mom) that I was going to put a plant in it.  How coincidental that they chose a pink hibiscus I think Jim and Glenn must have been talking ❤️"

There can be no doubt our lost loved ones speak to us ❤

One year of heartache, Sept. 29th 2012

Shared by Anna Card on November 10, 2012

James Willsey

My Love,
The world hasn't stopped for my broken heart,
a year of tears and heartache has come and gone.
With each passing day I miss you more than the last.
Forever loving you and holding you in my heart
until we are together again.

Anna

Mikey Parisi

Shared by Anna Card on June 22, 2012

Jim and Mikey have been friends since their teens.
Mikey fudged his birthdate and began driving over the road when he was 17 years old.
He continues to do so with a brief break while he lived in Vegas, a shared love of Jim's and Mikey's, Vegas. 

Back in the day Mikey took about all of the "gang" cross country. Nothing to do? hey grab a ride with Mikey to California seemed to be the motto of the time.
Jim often told the story of his and Clark's trip to California with Mikey and how I loved hearing it every time.
A few of my favorite highlights,
Arriving outside of Salt Lake City Jim and Clark were in awe of the view of the city as they crested a mountain. Mikey had seen it a million times and inspite of Jim and Clark's desire to get out of the truck and be in civilization Mikey needed to sleep.
Mikey settled in for much needed rest while Jim and Clark left the truck to explore their mountainous surroundings.
They climbed a steep mountain slope, the climb was arduous as the rock was shale like and slippery,they perservered up the rocky terrrain and after much effort arrived at the top and were rewarded with a wonderful view of the city from this vantage point. They rested and loooked around only to find nicely made steps going down the mountain that had they only looked around a bit they would have seen them and simply walked to the top of the mountain.
Along the way they grabbed handfuls of sage brush, having never seen or smelled this before they thought it was very cool and wanted to bring some along with them. Jim and Clark along with handfuls of Sage brush climbed back into the rig to await Mikey's awakening, well that occourred very quickly when Mikey was awoken by the "stink" (as Mikey called it) of the sage brush. Mikey, who was very grumpy having been awoken  in this manner sprang out of the bed grabbed the sage brush and threw it all out the window, all the while yelling at Jim and Clark for bringing it in the truck.

Somewhere along the trip Mikey was getting tired but did not want to pull over to sleep. They were on a section of highway that Mikey traveled often and knew it was a straight stretch for many miles, requiring no shifting just easy cruising, so he had the brilliant idea of letting Clark drive. Now those of you who knew Clark are thinking "was Mikey out of his mind" Jim definetly was thinking this and said so but Mikey and Clark would have no part of Jim's concerns.
Without stopping or missing a beat Clark climbed into the driver seat as Mikey climbed out all the while barrelling down the interstate. Soon Mikey was sound asleep and Clark was in his glory, Jim was beside himself! Lo and behold the best laid plans often have kinks in them and such was the case with this plan.
Major construction was being done on the interstate, oops.
Clark didn't know how to shift a Mack truck so on they went at full speed thru the construction site, thankfully it was idle so no workers and little traffic.
Clark had to keep the truck between concrete barriers with only inches to spare on either side of the rig. Jim and Clark saw no reason to wake Mikey because there was no way he and Clark were going to switch out under these harrowing circumstances.
After several miles of white knuckle driving they cleared the construction with nary a scrape on the rig. Aw yes one of Clark's more finer moments indeed.

Mikey and Jim had lost touch through the years as Mikey's home was in California where when on the rare occassion he wasn't on the road he lived with his wife and children. I knew about Mikey as Jim had a knack for telling me stories of his friends and their adventures. To this day I feel like I knew every single one of his friends before I met them and I cherish the stories and being able to share them. Even if I never met some of them I feel as though I know them.

When New York State introduced Quick Draw Jim, whom always not only liked but needed mathmatical challenges, began calculating the best way to bet, how many spots, how much to wager, how to "read" the board etc...
One night we got a call from Mikey, Jim and he had not been in touch for years. The two of them began talking about Quick Draw, Mikey had been fascinated with Keno for years and was anxious to get Jim's input, and so began the renewal of their friendship which remained strong until Jim's passing.

Mikey stopped over the road trucking for a time and lived in Las Vegas for several years. Jim would travel to Vegas several times and stay with Mikey. When I would travel to Vegas with Jim we would meet up with Mikey and spend time together. In the above picture Jim and I were picking Mikey up and bringing him to our room in Aria, Mikey had a brief break and spent it with us.

Mikey and Jim spent countless hours on the phone with Jim trying to convert Mikey to a craps player and Mikey trying to convert Jim to a Keno player. Mikey can indeed read patterns and has hit for thousands of dollars. As a matter of fact Mikey took a casino for substantial amount at the Keno machines, when he returned the next day those very machines were gone! I don't know but Jim and I liked to say "yep they took those machines away beause Mikey took 'em down on them! " :)

Mikey stays in contact with me and I am honored to recieve this text:
"On Holy Ground" Mikey always texted this to Jim (no matter the time, day or night)whenever Mikey entered Nevada. A love of Las Vegas shared by both of them.

57th birthday May 14, 2012

Shared by Anna Card on May 14, 2012

James Willsey

On this your 57th birthday,

no birthday cheer,

no candles will be lit,

no Happy Birthday sung,

no presents unwrapped,

no birthday hugs.

Instead I will treasure our memories,

quietly on this your special day.

As my eyes overflow with tears,

I will be holding you tight in my heart full of love.

My mind filled with thoughts of you,

and with memories of birthdays past.

Birthdays celebrated with family, love, laughter

and a knowing in our hearts,

that our souls had indeed found their mate.

Today on your birthday and every day of my life,

I will love and honor you.

Forever loved, forever remembered.

Love, Anna

 

Jim and Shalee

Shared by Anna Card on March 31, 2012

Because of certain circumstances Jim knew that Shalee needed to be raised by him and not her mother. Jim was 26 yrs old when Shalee was born and from the moment he saw his little girl he fought to do what was right for her.
 
Jim succeeded in gaining custody of his baby girl and began the journey of a single Dad. Jim took Shalee all over the place with him, to the basketball courts, to the fair, to the store often walking as he did not always have a car in the early days of parenthood.

At times Jim did not have a job because he wanted to be home with Shalee.
It was Jim who would comb Shalee's hair, give her baths, read her stories from the special Big Red book of stories. This book is still here on Gerard Ave. and it was very special to Jim, this book held great meaning and stirred many wonderful memories of Shalee as a little girl. I borrowed this book once and briefly took it to Little Meadows. I brought it back to Gerard Ave and only recently did I learn Jim thought I had not returned it and had been upset about this. How glad was I to be able to get it from the place it has been for years and show it to him. All was right with his world again.

As Shalee got older trips to the track were included. Shalee would play games in the game room and would return to sit next to Daddy with an armful of stuffed animals she had won. She would busy herself running about the track apron picking up discarded tickets accumulating piles of them. On one trip Jim bought Shalee Nachos and cheese and told her "stay right there" while he went to place his bet. When Jim returned Shalee was covered head to toe with cheese!
 
Jim, Shalee and Gramps lived together on Gerard Ave. It was a busy home with many of Jim's friends coming and going. If a friend needed a place to stay Gramps would welcome them in without question. Gramps would send Jim to the store and of course Jim took Shalee with him. Gramps would have them get the variety pack of cold cuts. Always the variety pack he would insist upon it BUT Gramps would only eat the Bologna never the other meats!

After Gramps passed Jim and Shalee continued to make Gerard Ave their home.


Baptism

Shared by Anna Card on March 31, 2012

It was very important to Jim that Shalee be baptized in the Catholic church. Jim met with Father at St. Patricks in Binghamton and arranged for Shalee to be baptized. Jim always wanted the best for his daughter and did what was needed to ensure he succeeded at doing so.

It was Jim who gave his baby her name. Always an avid fan of Harness racing Jim had seen a Filly "Mistletoe Shalee". This filly was named after the daughter of a trainer whose name was Shalee. Jim although not expecting to become a father loved this name and when he did indeed become a father she was given this special name.

Mistletoe Shalee went on to be honored with Filly of the year honors in 1978. The premier race for filly pacers is The Mistletoe Shalee Open. Jim would never name his daughter for anything less than the best.

Ooops

Shared by Anna Card on March 31, 2012

One day Shalee was scooting around in this walker when Jim heard a loud noise from the kitchen. Jim ran into the kitchen and there was Shalee in her walker,she had pulled a potted plant off a table and was covered with potting soil. Jim said Shalee looked stunned with big, big eyes in a face covered with dirt.

Jim and Howie

Shared by Anna Card on March 30, 2012

Jim and Howard were the best of friends.
Back in the day when Jim was working for BSR Howard was one of several friends that Jim hired on as his crew. Jim would tell countless stories of their adventures siding numerous homes throughout Binghamton and beyond.

I met Howard soon after Jim and I became a couple. Jim, Howie and I would often remember that first meeting and how magical that time was. Howie immediately sensed something special about our relationship and proclaimed only kismet could account for our being brought together.

Well before I met Jim, Howie was a true friend and a part of Jim and Shalee's life. Howie shared in birthday parties for Shalee, spent countless hours with them on Gerard Ave., helped Jim commandeer Shalee's Playstation and was simply a great friend.
On days when the weather would not allow for work Jim and Howard would spend hours playing Playstation, one of their favorite games was Golf.
When the Gulf war broke out they watched hours and hours of the war as for the first time a war was covered live on TV.

When Howard hopped on a slow moving train to ride for a few hundred yards it was Jim who traveled to Scranton to pick Howie up. Yes, as Howard clung to the side of the train it picked up speed, faster and faster until it was up to full speed and headed south. 
Howard eventually moved out of the area settling in New England. The distance never impacted their friendship. Jim and Howie would talk on the phone for hours at a time, often multiple times a week. If I couldn't find Jim in the house all I had to do was go out on the back porch and there he would be conversing with Howie.

They were on the same level about so many things, movies, music, sports but most of all they shared a unique bond of deep respect and understanding.They simply were connected on a level few ever experiance.

Howie continues to be a great friend, Howie truley loved Jim and I know Jim felt the same of Howard.

Do you believe in magic?

Shared by Anna Card on February 16, 2012

 

When I first met Jim he had a Lovin' Spoonful cassette wth this song on it. This song was not a favorite of Jim's but I have always liked it. Jim gave me this cassette and I would listen to "Do you believe in magic?" on my drive to Jim's house. I clearly remember driving on the highway, getting close to the exit and singing at the top of my lungs. My mood matched that of the song, I was on top of the world, on my way to see my love.
 
A few days after Jim passed Daniel walked into the kitchen singing this song. I stopped in my tracks. "Daniel why are you singing that song?" "I don't know why," he replied. "did you and Jim listen to that song, did Jim ever say anything about this song?" Daniel says "no never." I asked Julianna if the song happened to play on TV while Daniel was in the living room, she told me no.

The next day Julianna asked Daniel what the song was that he was singing that made Mom cry. Daniel told Julianna he didn't know, didn't remember what the song was.

I do believe in magic, the magical mystery of love continuing inpsite of death and the magic of a man that was strong enough to be able to continue to show me his love.

My Hibiscus "sign" from Jim

Shared by Anna Card on February 10, 2012

Several years ago Jim and I bought a white hibiscus bush and planted it next to the stairs to our back porch. This bush thrived and lookes very pretty.
A few years back we decide we wanted another Hibiscus bush to plant in the front of our house, Jim wanted a pink one.
One beautiful spring day we decided to go pick out a bush. A quick trip, so we thought. We went first to Lowes there were many Hibiscus bushes but none were pink. Several other stops were made with no luck. Seriously! what the heck. We made anoher stop again there were many bushes but all were labeled with tags showing they were white. Even more frustrating was the fact that many bushes tags had fallen off, and some of the tags said pink! but there was no way to tell which ones were pink. We kept looking as the day got hotter.
Finally we just bought a bush hoping it would be pink. We planted it and of course it was white, ugh. Oh well not the worst thing in the world.
Jim and I would occasionally laugh about our frustrating, unsuccessful pink Hibiscus hunt. One of those little events that was amusing and fun to share between us.

A few weeks after Jim passed I happened to walk around to the front of the house. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, there was a pink Hibiscus growing. It was very skinny and had two beautiful PINK blooms! It had not been there before nor had we planted a pink bush anywhere.

I discovered this bush after I had found the Rose from Jim. I know why this bush was given and who gave it to me even if so briefly. Our love is strong and enduring even after death. This bush is now gone, disappeared as though it had never been there. One day I happened upon it and one day I happened to find it simply gone.





Beautiful Rose a "sign" from Jim

Shared by Anna Card on February 8, 2012

After Jim's funeral I brought flowers home, there were so many and all of them were so beautiful. I broke these flowers down into individual arrangements and put them throughout our home. My wonderful sister in law also made beautiful arrangements for me.
As it turned out we could not possibly use all the flowers I brought home.
I had taken particular care to remove all roses from the various arrangements. It was especially important to Jim's mom, Roberta (Bobbie) to have a single rose as a special remembrence of Jim, her beloved son. This made an  impression on me therefore I made sure I harvested all the roses.
Jim would want to buy me roses for special occasions and I always told him, "no don't get roses they are so expensive, I like other flowers better."

Left over flowers and greenery were set aside near our back stairs. Many times I and others walked past these "left overs." The arrangements that I had so lovingly put together and even more lovingly watered and took care of faded and wilted despite my attention.

I returned home one day, as I rounded the corner of our house there were the discarded flowers ready to be disposed of. BUT amongst them was a single perfect long stemmed red rose, it was lying on the ground kind of away from the other flowers. I remember thinking there is no way anyone could not have seen this beautiful rose before this. This rose was so vibrant, there were dew drops on the bloom, I could not believe what I was seeing. I could not have bought a more perfect rose. The dew drops are obvious in this photo. An untouched photo clearly showing the most picture perfect drops of dew.

I picked up this most beautiful rose and said "thank you my honey" I knew immediately that Jim had given me this gift as only he could have.

I do believe in the wondrous power of love and in the power of belief.
Jim had said on many occasions he would give a sign if ever it came to that and unfortunately it had.  Most wondrously my honey was able to give me this most beautiful gift of his love.

Out and about after the flood

Shared by Anna Card on February 8, 2012

When the rain finally stopped Jim, Maddison and I had cabin fever and decided to take a drive and see what we could see, Bailey and Keith decided to stay home. We found we were able to go further than expected on our little adventure and see more than we had thought we would.
As Shalee had gone to work she assured us many roads were indeed open, so off we went.
Maddison is taking a picture by the truckstop in Kirkwood, just down the road from her house. After this we got on the highway and lo and behold we kept going all the way to downtown Binghamton, much to our surprise.

It was surreal as we had been high on a hill far away from the devestation and totally untouched and a few short miles away there was much destruction.

A convienence store on on Broad Ave. was even open, surprise! This was a must stop, I needed beer (lol), Maddi and Grandpa needed snacks and goodies.
As we were approaching the door the clerk burst through it saying "give me a minute, all I need is just a minute!" The three of us looked at each other, what the heck? As the clerk lit up a cigarette. Of course we chatted her up, we had to know what was going on. She had been working by herself since about 5am at this point it  was around 4pm or so. I asked her if she was worried about getting home? No, she replied she walked from her home down the street. She was the only employee of this store to come in and kept it open and running because she knew there were people that needed it to be open. As for the "outburst" she had been at the cash register for hours with no break as the store was busy and she simply needed a moment, a break and a cigarette!
She quickly finished her cigarette and returned to the cash register.

We were also surprised to find we were able to drive right into downtown Binghamton. Having thought for sure all roads were blocked but this was not the case. There were people walking around and very few cars and lot's of police.
We parked across from the Riverwalk Hotel and walked towards the river, unbelievable amount of water. We saw the flooding The Riverwalk suffered.

As Jim, Maddi and I continued on a sight we didn't expect to see appeared, the McDonalds on Front St by the highway was open! no way! Well this was a must stop. There was quite a line at the drive thru, including police and first responders. We knew this because they were all talking to and shouting to each other from their cars while in line.
Had to call Keith to get his and Bailey's order. I can't remember exactly but we ordered something like 64 chicken Mcnuggets amongst other things, oh my. When the young man handed us our order he said "and here is your 64 Mcnuggets" we all had a good laugh.

We returned to Shalee's house having had our "adventure" with Maddison, spending a few hours riding around enjoying each other's company.

As the day became night Jim and I learned we could return home. God love Maddison, she had waited on Jim and I all day taking good care of us. She had made one of her special teas for me and brought it upstairs after she and Bailey had woken up to discover Grandpa and I were at their house. Maddison over heard Jim and I worrying about the state of things and she said "C'mon Grandma take a shower it will make you feel better" Maddison went with me into the bathroom to prepare everything for Grandma. "Do you like your shower hot or just warm grandma?" "I like it pretty warm Maddi" "Grandma you can use this scrubbie it's the one I use and here's the shampoo you should use it's my favorite." Maddi got everything already for me. The water temperature was indeed perfect. As I took my shower off she went to hang out with Grandpa.

When it became apparent we could go home Jim and I told everyone we were going to return home that night. Maddison didn't like that at all. She wanted Grandpa and I to stay longer. She had been listening to the news and updates about the flood and she told Jim and I that the water was cracking thru the retaining walls and it probably wasn't safe. She made a few more arguments for us to stay but it was time for us to go home and sleep in our own bed. She was precious indeed trying to convince us to stay. After we got home she called to check on us to be sure we were safe and again to tell us we probably weren't and should return to her house!

Handicapping at The big M

Shared by Anna Card on February 7, 2012

This is one of my favorite pictures. Jim, the teacher teaching Daniel how to handicap a horse race. Daniel is listening intently and Jim so loved to share his knowledge. Daniel didn't even know I had taken this photo until after Jim died. I'm not sure if Jim knew either or if he ever saw this photo.
Notice the precise way Jim holds his pen, Jim probably showed me hundreds and hundreds of programs throughout the years and I always loved the way he held his pen. I can hear him now breaking it down and telling me why he was betting a certain horse.

Jim, I, Julianna and Daniel went to the drag races in Englishtown in 2010 and then to The Meadowlands to bet the horses. Julianna had gone with us several times before but this was Daniel's first time with us. Jim and I had in the past few years started going to the Meadowlands on the Saturday night of the drag races. I had suggested it one year as I had never been to the Meadowlands, the mecca of Harnes racing. I knew Jim would love to go and he was very happy when I made the suggestion. By this point Jim enjoyed the drag races but was not as into them as I. Jim gladly went every year to Englishtown partly because he knew how much I enjoyed it. I knew he did this for me and I wanted to do something for him in return, my suggestion to go to the Meadowlands was that "something." We went that first time and continued to do so every year after.

The tote board in the background is dispalying the date of the Hambletonian, the Kentucky derby of harness racing. Jim and I had planned on going to the Hambletonian in 2012. One of the races on the card is the "Mistletoe Shalee"  this race is the Kentucky derby for filly standard bred pacers with a purse of over $250,000. Recognize that name? Yes indeed Jim gave his baby girl her name, Shalee. Aw but that's another story.

We left The Meadowlands that night with Jim and Daniel winners. Daniel drove prompted by Jim proclaiming "I can't see to drive at night!" as he was driving us back to our hotel late friday night after the drags. Jim and I were quite liking our role as the parents that sat in the back and didn't have to worry about the driving.
All in all a very nice weekend.

Englishtown, Supernationals, NHRA

Shared by Anna Card on February 7, 2012

I took this picture of Jim and I at Raceway Park NJ, 2010. 
Our last trip to the Supernationals. 

When I met Jim I was a Nascar fan and had been since I was young. Jim prefered Drag racing and especially enjoyed traveling to Raceway Park, Old Bridge Township, Englishtown, NJ for the races.
We would debate who's racing sport was better, I was convinced Nascar was and I told Jim "when I have  been at a Nascar race and the drivers fire up the engines, the sound is so loud and so exciting, an adrenaline rush." Jim's response "that can't even compare to a Top fuel dragster firing it's engine." We continued to debate this all through the year til it was time to make the trip to NJ and put our debate to rest.
The time came when it was the weekend for Englishtown, we booked a room and spent the night before our trip having drinks with friends. We enjoyed ourselves a wee bit too much, the trip the next morning was a challenge. We went to our hotel, I said to Jim "let's just stay here in this nice room." I was beat. "No way we are going to the track." replied Jim.
I can remember this like it was yesterday, huge parking lot, track in the distance. I was going just to satisy Jim, I knew I would always prefer Nascar.

Well..........
As we started the long walk towards the track which was some distance from where we parked the most wondrous sound erupted. A driver had started his dragster. It was the greatest sound ever! My eyes got big I looked at Jim and practically started running to the track. In a split second NHRA had my heart. Jim told me he knew I would be instantly addicted and he knew me so well of course he was correct. What a laugh he had when he saw my face the first time I heard a topfuel engine, it was one of many, many priceless moments we shared.

Jim and I continued to go to Englishtown pretty much yearly starting in 1995. Our last trip to the races was the year before last, 2010. We had a commitment this past year that fell on the same weekend as the races and could not go to the track.

In 2008 we were sitting in the stands at Englishtown and an official looking guy sat down next to us. Our first thoughts were uh-oh what have we done? He chatted us up and of course by this time I was thouroughly immersed in NHRA and could have a pretty knowledgable discussion about it. As it turns out this "official looking guy" ran the track!!! oh ya! he asked for our opinions on various things and was super nice.
Then the unbelievable, he told us basically since we had been loyal fans, traveling to Raceway Park year after year, "I am going to put you up in a hospitality suite." Are you kidding me?! could this be real we both wondered. He told us to meet him by the entrance to the Tower behind the start line. As Jim and I made our way to the tower we both wondered if he was for real and would he actually show up?
 
He most certainly did show up!!! 
All the staff knew him, he obviously was the big cheese. He escorted us to our Suite a few levels up just to the right of the start line. Unbelievable! anything we wanted, food, drink, the suite was airconditioned which was great becasue it was a really hot day. and of all times we did not have our camera, can you believe that.
Jim and I literally sat in our private suite stunned for at least an hour to afraid to move or do anything lest it be a mistake!

Eventually we got the hang of being in a suite and absolutely loved every minute of it.

Love

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012






Loving you and keeping you forever in my heart.
Mourning our lost future, cruelly stolen from us.
As long as I live so will you,
in my thoughts, my words, my actions.
I will honor you all the days of my life.
                                                       

Shared by Brandy Shattuck on February 6, 2012

Anna, A.K.A...Buttercup.

I can not count the number of times a day i think you and wish i could just give you a hug and never let go.  I wish I could help ease your pain.  You are such a strong and amazing person.  I could only hope for 1/4 of your strenght. I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!

Love, Brandyl

Ernie

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012

Through the years Jim had told me of his friend Ernie. Jim would share stories of their adventures, such as when your friends father is a Judge and he tells you not to go to the lake and most definetly don't take the boat out, well don't do it! Of course the Judge showed up as they were launching the boat!

Jim had tried to find Ernie, unsuccessfully until the summer of 2011. Jim knew Ernie was living in Las Vegas but did not have an address until this past summer when Jim was able to get an address.

We traveled to Vegas July 2011 and one day we punched Ernie's address into our GPS and next thing we knew we were sitting in the parking lot of his apartment building.
As it turns out Ernie lived one street over from the drug store we would stop at when on our way to our favorite breakfast place Blueberry Hill.
We had shopped at this drug store every time we came to Vegas, Ernie was so close and we didn't even know it.
Jim also had a phone number, he dials it and Ernie answered. A few minutes later we were being shown through Ernie's apartment which had a view of Wynn, awesome.
Plans were made to get together and Jim was about to have another adventure with Ernie.

Ernie's preffered Casino game? .... craps! how cool was that. Jim and Ernie spent some time at a locals casino playing and discussing their "strategies" while I spent the afternoon in the wave pool at Mandalay Bay, oh yes the life. Jim palying craps and me at the pool.

Vegas "locals" don't go in the big casinos much at all so we took Ernie to Wynn and he loved it. We happened upon a table where I overheard the box man saying "is it the table? it's cold" gambling lingo which to us meant that was the table we wanted to play at. All 3 of us cashed out winners.

Next we came upon a table with 3 men at one end and noone else at the table. They were playing the same we play, the "don'ts, from the darkside". It just so happens only one of the men had chips, thousands of dollars of chips that is, betting $30,000 at a time needing a 7 to win.
We 3 amigos bought in with our hundreds of dollars between us. There we stood and played with a player who had $500,000 in chips in his rail.
Money guy's buddy was shooting and kept hitting his point costing money guy $30,000
each time he did so and he did it about 5 times and since we were playing the same it was costing us money too.
Jim gives the guy a look and finally he passes the dice to Jim. Jim can throw 7's fairly consistently for a short period of time and he did so that night. Jim won us our money back plus a profit.

Money guy must have been happy too as he cashed out when we did. We were so hoping he would toss a $1,000 chip Jims way.

Yep, Jim, Ernie and I hung with a whale at Wynn and walked away winners!

Las Vegas

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012

Jim and I enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas. We preffered to stay at Mandalay Bay, our home away from home. Jim had gone several times on his own and developed his "craps loop." When I traveled with him I would tag along walking the loops and eventually playing craps right along with him.
Traveling with Jim to Vegas was pretty nice, his comps qualified him for complimentary stays in suites, prefered seating at restaurants, head of the line at buffets, discounts at the shop, free show tickets etc...
I loved when he would pull that Gold card out. Life was good for Jim and I in Vegas, we loved each other and we loved being together enjoying all that Vegas has to offer.
We have stayed at Caesars , Aria, The Hotel at Mandalay Bay, and Mandalay Bay. At some point we would have stayed at Wynn, Jim's favorite casino and who knows where else?
We would talk about going to Vegas and Jim would check his offers and plan the trip. At work I would get a call "we're booked for Vegas"could it get any better than that?
So many unfinished adventures were in our future, so much left to do, to share, to enjoy together.
Jim gave me wonderful memories of our adventures together. How we would laugh, I loved it when I would say something "quippy" and Jim would be so amused. We were great company for each other.
I was blessed to have had his love.

Flood sept 2011

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012

Jim woke me up at 3:00am the night/morning of the Sept 2011 flood.

Jim and I had walked down to the river to check out the situation around 11:00pm. It was pouring rain we got soaked but it didn't matter it was obvious we were witnessing a catastrophic event. As the band was playing and the patrons were partying at Fritzie's on Court St. the river, just a few yards away continued to rise as the National Guard was pulling into town.
I went to bed, Jim stayed up monitoring the news and computer and listening to the city buses using our street as an evacuation route, bus after bus.

If the Chenango river running along Front St. breached the flood walls the experts could not predict the level of flooding.
We decided to go to Shalee's, she got her wake up call," we're coming to stay with you" at about 4am.
Jim was my hero of the flood, he stayed awake all night monitoring the flood situation. He watched out for us as well as his Mom and Paul. We were not going to be evacuated by boat or awoken by helicopters hovering above us. Nope, Jim had it under control.
We moved some stuff upstairs, packed some belongings in our cars and off we went, me in the lead and Jim following.

As I crossed the river on route 17 and looked out the window I cried. I had never seen water that high in the river nor had Jim.
We arrived at Shay's, high on the hill on Colesville Rd. and there we would remain untouched by the flood.

Jim and Shay monitored the computer, father and daughter fretting over the rising water. The two of them were so cute checking this site and that site together. At times getting all worked up. They were just alike that early, early morning. I went upstairs and Jim and Shalee enjoyed, quiet, father daughter time.
Eventually Shalee had to go to work much to Keith and her father's chagrin but off she went.

Jim and I spent the day with Keith, Bailey and Maddison. Shalee was able to come home somewhat early and joined us for the rest of the day.
The best day ever, for us. As lives were being destroyed Jim and I spent more time with the Grandkids than we ever had. Keith was great, fixing food, making sure we were taken care of.

Jim and I looked back on that day as a gift. How often do you get the oppourtunity to just sit and be with your loved ones for hours on end with no pressure to go somewhere or to get something done, yes Jim and I felt the same way. We would often talk about that day and how wonderful it was.
 
Little did we know that this day would be a gift in a different way. A day that would help us be strong and hold together as a family when 3 weeks later Jim was suddenly, unexpectedly taken from us.

This picture of Jim and Bailey is the last picture taken of Jim. A quiet moment with his Grandson helping Grandpa master the laptop, a very precious moment indeed.

Never ever take your loved ones for granted for tomorrow is not promised to us. In a moment our lives were shattered and changed forever.

Memorials

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012

October 01, 2011
A good friend and tremendous athlete,
Jim willl be missed by many. My deepest sympathy goes out to his surviving loved ones. I can remember those days of endless marathon basketball games at Valley St Park. He was so dominating on the court with an unbelieveable "jump" shot that was just untouchable. He took great pride in all his accomplishments and he will be missed. Jim, until we can play a pick up game again, may God Bless you and your family. Rest in Peace!!! ~ Mark Bohunicky


October 01, 2011
My thoughts and prayers are with you all...God Bless ~ Richard Monico


October 01, 2011
Annie, I am so sorry. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Dorene Tomchick, Little Meadows


October 01, 2011
Ann,
You know how much we love you and are here for you at this time. There are no words that will suffice - just know that we love love love you and hold you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Mary John, Apalachin, New York


October 01, 2011
My thoughts are of Jimmy as a little boy carrying his mitt and baseball everywhere! He was such a fan and lived for baseball! A real sweet person, my thoughts and prayers are with you Bobbie.
Mary Lou Valenta (Gosart)


October 01, 2011
Anna and Family,
Our deepest sympathy to you and the family. May your memories of Jim put a smile on your face, warm your heart and give you comfort and strenght to get you through your hard times.
Your in our thoughts and prayers.
We love you,
Your Family Valerie Race


October 01, 2011
Very sad news. Jim was a really profoundly good guy ... my thoughts and prayers are with the Willsey family. Christopher Harendza

October 01, 2011
My deepest sympathy for your loss, Jim was such a good man Dennis Rogers, Binghamton


October 01, 2011
I am shocked and saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. We are cousins who came to know one another as adults in the past few years. I liked and respected Jim and will miss him. God’s blessing on him and the Family.
Cousin George Frew George Frew


October 01, 2011
Ann, I'm so sorry for your loss. You and Julianna are in my thoughts and prayers. Dorene Gosart


October 01, 2011
 I am sorry, Anna, you enjoyed him so much. Easier days are ahead. Brenda Roberts



October 01, 2011
Our deepest sympathy to your family. We met Jim 5 years ago when he rebuilt our home, he did an excellent job and we thought a lot of him. We just talked to him last week, we are so sad to hear this news, he was a very nice man. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. ~  Rocky and Amber



October 02, 2011
To The Family and friends of Jim,
I am so terribly saddened to learn of Jim,s passing.Whether it was watching him play or playing against him he was great to be around.His game reminded me of the great(Pete Maravich).A good friend that I have lost contact with and a hard worker that helped with contracting work on my home.Jim was a close family friend to my older siblings and the many lives he touched.Sleep well Wills.My condolences to all of you. ~  Tony Williams, Naugatuck


October 02, 2011
Anna, Julianna, Shalee and family,
My family extends our deepest sympathy to you and yours. As you know Jim was a great friend to me- one of my best friends. I will miss him dearly. I always appreciated his solid honesty and positive sense of humor and energy. Whether it was work, basketball or just a trip to the track he was one of the best. Please stay strong in God. We are here for you if you need us. God Bess. Vic Merrill & family. ~  Vic Merrill,


October 02, 2011
Ann & Julianna-
We are extending our deepest sympathy for your loss. We'll always remember Jim and are glad we got to be acquainted. May God bless you both.
With love and sympathy,
Doug and Janice


October 01, 2011
 Aunt Ann and Julianna:
My deepest sympathy for your loss. I am thinking of you both. Love and Miss you !! ~  Jaime Chappell


October 01, 2011
Anna and the Willsey Family,
When I was notified of Jim's paasing my heart dropped. I spent many many days with Jim playing ball and just hanging out. I can only say he is one of the best people I have ever associated with. Please take care and my blessings go out to you. ~  George Sedor,


October 03, 2011
To Shay and family,
My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time. Thinking of you... ~  Christa Griffin,


October 03, 2011
Anna,
Hold onto those wonderful memories you have. Right now they will hurt to think about, in the future they will help you heal. Your in our prayers.
Elaine Davis and April Oliveira


October 03, 2011
Anna,
Words cannot even begin to express our shock and sorrow. As you try and comprehend the profound loss of your precious life partner, hold tight to memories for comfort and lean on your family and friends for strength. Jim was such a great guy, always so full of energy. He had such passion for life and had told us many times how much he adored his Anna. Our sincere sympathies are with you and please don’t hesitate to call us if you ever need anything. ~  Jim & Terri Connolly,
October 02, 2011 Anna and Julianna,


We are so sorry for your loss. Please let us know if you need anything. ~  Chris, Greg

 
October 02, 2011
To the Willsey family, So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was a good friend for so many years. From the 70's playing basketball through Golf and even some horse track fun. Jim was always so energized, Going to be missed. God Bless. ~  Rick Mauro, Binghamton, 


October 21, 2011
i am sorry for your loss he was a great guy my prayers for the whole family ~  catherien pierce, binghamton


October 04, 2011
To the Willsey Family,
I am deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Jim. We were very close childhood friends having spent countless hours playing baseball in his grandparents back yard on Gerard Ave and basketball and football on countless venues through the old neighborhood.

Although we had not stayed in contact I still carry those memories with me.

Bobbie, he was a great friend and even greater son.

With my deepest sympathy. ~  Steve Semcho, Cary, North Carolina 



October 04, 2011
To the Willsey Family,
I am deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Jim. We were very close childhood friends having spent countless hours playing baseball in his grandparents back yard on Gerard Ave and basketball and football on countless venues through the old neighborhood.
Although we had not stayed in contact I still carry those memories with me.
Bobbie, he was a great friend and even greater son.
With my deepest sympathy. Steve Semcho, Cary, North Carolina


October 03, 2011
 Anna, Julianna, Shalee, and all of Jim's family,

I am saddend and a loss for words when I heard about Jim's sudden passing. I have many fond memories of Jim when I worked with him at Jack Sherman Toyota.

His sense of humor was always welcome during those long days at the dealership and his definition of a "First Ward Oil Change".

I know he cared greatly for his family and I am sorry for your loss.

Nick & Linda Tomaras


Dear Anna,
Jim was a close friend of my brother Clark and was always very supportive. I just know they are watching over all of us. My thoughts and prayers are with you. ~  Diane Allen/Warfle


October 03, 2011
 Anna, Shalee, Julianna and family,
We will remember Jim with great fondness always. We share in your sorrow and your unimaginable loss. We pray the love and comfort of family and friends will warm your hearts. With deepest sympathy and love, Cousins Jim and Sharon

Christmas 2011

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012

 

My Love

James Willsey

First Christmas in heaven

A loving heart has been stilled,

quieted by the Fathers hand.

No words of good bye were spoken,

no " I love you" whispered in your ear.

A last breath taken alone,

no chance given to hold you in my loving arms.

Precious final moments stolen from you and I,

with such swiftness you were taken away.

Loving you,

Anna

Our devestating loss

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012

Willsey, James



Binghamton: James Willsey, 56, of Binghamton, passed away Thursday, September 29, 2011, at his home. He was predeceased by his father, James Willsey Sr. He is survived by his mother and step-father, Roberta and Paul Tita, Binghamton; his daughter, Shalee Willsey and Keith Zelesnikar, Binghamton; two grandchildren, Bailey and Maddison Boyd; his loving partner of 17 years, Anna Card and her daughter, Julianna Card and Daniel Rowlands, Binghamton; a half-sister, Ruth Rhodes, Maine, NY; also a niece, two nephews and several cousins. Jim owned and operated James Willsey Construction. Jim was a loving father, son, partner and friend, enjoyed his travels to Las Vegas, his many trips to the horse track and basketball. He was especially known for his CYO basketball skills playing for St. Cyril's. Funeral services will be held at the J.F. Rice Funeral Home, Inc., 150 Main Street, Johnson City, Monday at 1 p.m. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Monday from 11 a.m. until time of services. In lieu of flowers, those wishing may make memorial contributions to a charity of one's choice in James Willsey's memory.

How Jim and I met.

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012

We were set up, unbeknownst to us by a mutual friend a bartender at a notorious Binghamton bar. It was 1994.

This photo was taken by JK, we were at Jim's house following Jim's 40th birthday party.
Jim and I were forever grateful that JK introduced us.
 
I happened to go alone to this bar I had only recently started going to. JK, the bartender told me to sit "right here" on a stool at the bar next to an empty stool, on my left. JK chatted with me for a bit then Jim walked in and sat down at that empty stool. JK brought a drink he had been saving for Jim.
JK introduced Jim and I and we started talking and talking. We played pool, we talked some more. I was falling in love. I thought Jim was very good looking with brilliant blue eyes, a swagger to his walk, confident, the bar was a little rowdy that night and I felt safe with Jim inspite of having just met him.

As it turns out JK had thought Jim and I would be a match and had been waiting for the oppourtunity to get us together and that night was the night it all came together. Jim had been at the bar and had left to take Shalee to babysit. As fate would have it I walked in and JK guided me to the seat next to Jim's.
Jim later shared with me that he had seen me at the bar and he admitted to me that he had his eye on me. I had not noticed him but I wasn't out looking for a guy.

I would say it was love at first sight for me. I loved everything about Jim, his stories, a certain way he moved his hands when he talked, his confidence in himself, sense of humor.

He walked me to my car at the end of the night and we had our first kiss, a kiss that I will never forget, from that night on I couldn't get Jim out of my mind.

I would sometimes ask Jim, what if I hadn't gone to the bar that night? what if JK hadn't introduced us? what if you had bought that house in Vestal, you wouldn't have been at the bar. Jim would reply that because we were so obviously meant for each other and destined to be together we would have met somehow some place. Destiny cannot be denied.

Without Jim, a poem by Anna

Shared by Anna Card on February 6, 2012

Without Jim   

A shimmer across the pond
at mornings first light.
The glow of the Autumn sun
upon the hills of gold.
Rain falling from above streaming like
 crystals in the sky.
Diamonds sparkling on the frozen
snow bathed in moonlight.
Morning dew shimmering on the laden grass
as dawn breaks.

Beauteous indeed for all to see
But not for me…
No not for me…

Black darkness looking down into
the depths of the cold pond.
Hills of autumn covered with the death
of leaves once vibrant green.
Teardrops not rain flowing from my eyes
like the raging of a storm.
Frozen snow blanketing, suffocating
all it envelopes.
Wind howling as it mimics the cries from the depth of
my soul.

 

Share a story

 
Illustrate your story with a picture, music or video (optional):