Today we, as a staff gathered to mark the transition of Jamie from being The Correspondence Department of Wild at Heart to a month of full time nesting and then mothering for a life time. I was so aware that this is a transition. Jamie will no longer be 3 doors down the hall. Gone is the potted “Charlie Brown” succulent sitting on her window sill. While the picture of Beaker remains centered perfectly on her door, the stuffed Kermit in a small vase is now gone along with the great photos that warmed the room of her and Tyler together smiling and dancing. Her recycling box… always full of plastic water bottles is absent. Gone is Junuh, her sheepish dog curled to her left next to the overstuffed chair and the sharply arranged stacks of mail in military order on her desk.
Earlier this incredibly wonderful team of men and women I work with gathered around to enjoy a few of Jamie’s favorite things: sushi, Greek salad, Izzes soda, cashew poppy-cock, and southwest salad with chicken, a huge fruit salad and of course… chocolate. We munched and shared heart-felt words with Jamie.
We thanked God and Jamie for taking our correspondence to a new level and for being the voice for Wild at Heart to thousands of people in scores of countries with so many diverse questions and stories. There were remembrances of laughing, journey, mission, how God was in her coming to Wild at Heart, swing dancing, that funky-stylish-cool-Jamie look and the beauty of her heart. She told a few stories about her favorite letters and a few of her “Pen Pals”. We circled around her and blessed this daughter of God for the seasons she’s been with us and for the season that begins in May.
I’m sitting in the overstuffed chair taking in her vacated office thinking about the people God brings in and out of our lives… some we miss, some not so much. … I miss Jamie… AND am so very happy for her. I’m thinking of what my friend Vern said about people who are here and then gone, “…there was a distinct whiff of the life God delivered through you. I hear the echo of your words, and attitudes that belie having been influenced by God through you. It is amazing to me how God uses us to give life, and how long the echo of that life resounds in the lives around us.”
This empty office echoes Jamie’s life.
- Craig McConnell