“I Like Big James Best”

Big James

Big James

Little James in this story turns 12 years old today. Big James was our oldest son, who was taken  from us about 7 months earlier. The following conversation took place in my living room on a summer evening in 2010…




“I Like Big James Best”

When my friend’s son James was born five years ago, our James was 21, 6’2″ and 250 lbs., and had long, curly black hair and a bushy black beard. Little James met our James for the first time a year later… and he was terrified of him. He screamed every time he saw him. Which was funny, because he’s the only child I know who didn’t take to James.

Well, last night, little James and I were alone here at my computer. He reached out to take my little Warhammer figure off my desk… and I put my hand out my hand to stop him. “I just want to look at it,” he said. I explained that he could look at it right here at the desk… that James had painted it, and it had been his.

“Remember Big James?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he said. I didn’t know if he would, since he hadn’t seen him since last summer.

Moments passed, and then seemingly out of the blue he said, “I like Big James best.”

“Yeah, we think he was special too,” I said. I was a little tense, because you never know what will come from the mouths of babes….

“Why did he crash? Wasn’t he looking?”

“Well, he was looking… but it was very foggy that night, and he couldn’t see the big truck coming. The big truck couldn’t see him either.”


I could see the wheels turning in his head.

“When my mom and me were in our car a truck hit us and we rolled and went in the ditch.”

“I know. I was there at your house when that happened. Was that pretty scary?”

“No,” he said with a grin. “It was fun hanging upside down!”

I suppose that was his version of our son Timothy’s post-reaction, when he was nine, to jumping too high on the couch and somersaulting over the railing to the landing half a floor below. It seemed traumatic enough at the time, but the next day he told his friend at church, “If I knew I wouldn’t get hurt, I wouldn’t mind doing that again — it was fun!”

© Willena Flewelling


  1. That’s great story Willena!

    And I know having only been seven months, you still have
    an unfillable void left by the loss of your son!

    We all know only too well the feeling of losing a very dear loved one!

    But it sounds like somehow “Big James” was able to make a favorable
    impression on the youngster! And that what really counts!

    Thanks for sharing such an emotional story!
    Mark recently posted…Critical Thinking: How Little Tiny Hinges Can Swing Open Extremely Big Doors!My Profile

    • Thanks, Mark. 🙂 I’m happy to say it isn’t 7 months any more. That story took place in 2010. We miss our son as much now as then, but it isn’t so painful as it was…

      James made an impression on most little kids, it seems. At his funeral, we had an open mic, where some of the kids from our church went forward and spoke about him. One of the little girls said, “We used to call him Jungle Jim because he would let us climb on his feet and walk along with us!”
      Willena Flewelling recently posted…InterludeMy Profile

  2. so sad ,and losing a son so young .I hope you find some peace today

  3. Hi Willena,

    Out of the mouth of babes! Little James has a great take on life. I do know how deep your faith in God is. With the loss of your son, it is unimaginable to me what that feels like. But your faith and knowing that you will be together again is something to hold on to because it is real.

    I’ll keep you in my prayers and do want you to know that over the years you have touched my soul with your faith and strength Willena.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…The Nature Of Your BlogMy Profile

  4. My thoughts are with you, and praying for you.
    Miriam Slozberg recently posted…An Overview of Making Money from Blogging with Zac JohnsonMy Profile

  5. Interesting Post.

    Short Story about James.

    Thanks for sharing this post.
    Adam Jackson recently posted…10 Best Resources for You On Facebook MarketingMy Profile

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