Back in February I had woken up around 4pm from my day-sleep after working the night before. I was in the kitchen getting ready to go back into work when Eric looked at me and softly said, "Hey babe, I have some bad news." 

At that moment your brain quickly scans possible "bad news" scenarios, but before I could really come up with anything he said something to the effect of "Jim called me last night. He has been having a hard time breathing and they found some spots on his lungs...it looks like cancer."


I was stunned. We were stunned. Our bigger than life, positive, caring, energetic, always laughing/smiling friend Jim and Sarah were about to be given the worst news of their lives. Stage IV Adrenal Cortical Cancer. 

Over the next few days and weeks E and I cried and prayed and often sat speechless together thinking of our sweet friends and this terrible horrible cancer. Why? How? No!!

In the meantime Jim stayed positive. Ever gracious as his friends and family worked to best serve them. Jim did not accept the fact that this cancer would take his life. He fought it and smiled and served and shared concern for others while he focused on his sweet wife and children and their well being.


In just 6 short weeks Jim passed. Some people say that it was God and maybe it was "his time" or "the Lord's time." I just don't know...maybe it was just cancer and cancer's time. Irregardless it was too soon and for the sake of his wife and children, family, and friends too much to lose.


I constantly think of Sarah. I ache for her every minute of every day. I want to take it away. I want for it all to just be a horrid dream for her. I know that she is in the depths of the greatest deepest sorrow any one of us can imagine. Or can't imagine. Her and Jim's love was one for history books and they compliment each other perfectly. Jim supported Sarah in a way that I have never seen a husband support his wife. And as great as Jim was/is Sarah is equal. She is fierce and strong. She is determined, organized, bold and sure. Right now she is broken but she is a fighter and I know that she will come up fighting.

We would go to dinner with them and Jim would order almost everything off the menu. Nothing was off-limits. He and Sarah loved getting charcuterie boards and multiple desserts with the most decadent entrees. We would sit and eat and laugh and talk about our children, careers, future plans, religion, and family. Jim would ask great questions and was always interested and all-ears when someone else was talking. Eric has said that he will miss asking Jim for advice even though Jim would usually just listen intently and say, "You got this. You'll make the right decision."

When we told Jim and Sarah that we were thinking of moving to Idaho I could tell that it saddened Jim, but he was always supportive and would tell us all the things we would love about Boise. He never said a negative thing about it. He was just genuinely happy for us and wanted us to know that even though they would miss us they understood and loved us and wanted our success.

After a lot of thought and going back and forth we decided to drive rather than fly to Colorado for the funeral. Driving gave us more time to mourn with our friends and support Jim and Sarah's families. It was so good to be there and it reminded me how great our Colorado family really is to see them rally around Sarah.


I wrote the following on the Memories of Jim Rowberry Facebook Page:

The Rowberry's moved to Colorado just 6 months after we did and we became fast friends. Our lives have been intertwined ever since with daily interactions at church, school, and activities to quality time spent camping, exploring, and going on double dates. My fondest memories of living in Colorado include spending time with them. Hearing Jim's laugh and seeing Sarah's smile was a gift. He would do anything and everything for Sarah - her happiness was his happiness. Jim had a knack for making everyone feel important and want to do better even as he was busily chasing Jane around the church halls, parking lots, and soccer and baseball fields. Last summer Max and my Ginger played on the same t-ball team. Jim and I were standing around at a game chatting about my new iPhone. I mentioned that I was worried the case wasn't so protective. Jim said, "Oh, I have that same case and I drop it all the time! You're good!" I was surprised. Really? "Oh yeah!" he replied. Then he proceeded to raise his phone to shoulder level and let gravity take it face-first straight to the concrete. He retrieved it unmarked and with dropped jaws we both laughed. "I can't believe you did that!" I said. He promptly exclaimed with his big laugh, "Me neither!" My dear friend Sarah, how I adore you and believe in you. Take all the time you need. We will continue to pray for the comfort of you and your sweet children.

So many people have offered support to this dear family that it takes my breath away. A support fund was set up right after Jim's death and in just a few days family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even strangers donated funds to help Sarah with funeral costs and education/mission support for the kids. I love seeing people pull together like this in true times of need. It reassures me of how inherently good people truly are.

So many people have been inspired by Jim. He was a great example to many and many people have committed to living a better, fuller life due to the way Jim impacted their life.

#becauseofJim I will open my heart and relish in the moment with my friends and family. 

#becauseofJim I will be generous with my heart and show forth an increased love toward others.

#becauseofJim I will laugh and sing and live out loud! 


Because of Jim, Eric and I have been kinder to one another. We have held each other tighter and been more patient with our children.

If you want to be inspired by Jim and read how he so beautifully lived please visit the Facebook page linked above. 

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