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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

James L. "Jim" Gross, The Man Who Taught Me How To Fly...And To Land




 

We broke a shovel putting this great man into the ground.  He learned to fly when he was a young man and when he retired as a grey haired man he taught us how to land.  He left the sky to begin a career and a family and when both were grown he left the ground and returned to it, and took us with him.

  I remember doing "touch and gos" over Jim's watchful eye as he sat on the runway entrance as "Runway" the cat sat in his. He knew that the smooth morning air would be hospitable.

  As we stood with Jim's family on that cold December day to celebrate, friends were asked to share their "Jim" stories.

  Here's mine

November 23, 2005

Dear Friends,

Today is an anniversary for me and I would like to share my story.
I was doing my first short cross country solo on this day a few years ago (which took me the same amount of time the long one is supposed to take) out of Hartselle. When I got back to two open arms. My friend worrying about me and waiting for me.

I buried my Dad on his birthday this past April. When I think of him, in my minds eye I see him waiting for me in a beautiful country where he is at peace and can breathe freely. I buried my beloved Uncle 4 months later, as I had the honor of giving him his last sip of water on this earth he said, I'm tired, and in my minds eye he is resting 'neath the shade of the trees in that beautiful country. They are waiting for me to complete my cycle of life so I can be there with them.

All we can hope to leave on this earth is a legacy. I am a part of the legacy of Jim Gross as surely as I am a part of the legacy of my Dad and Uncle. As long as I live I will speak their name until I to shall arrive, cold & scared, and be welcomed home with open arms by The One Who loves me the most, Jesus. Until that time I had only gotten glimpses of Him in the lives that have touched mine.

Jim Gross was one of those lives.

I weep with you my friends,
Cheryl Patton






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