My friend Jim: Still bringing out the best in me, 40 years later

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So I have this friend named Jim who has been lovingly nagging me for about six months to write a blog. Me? Blog? Why? Who on earth would want to read it besides, I guess, Jim?

Here’s a little background on Jim and me:

Urban HIppie, left, with her BFF - best friend and foil, Jim.
Urban HIppie, left, with her BFF – best friend and foil, Jim.

Jim and I have known each other since grade school. We grew up in the same city of Levittown, Pa., and both had pretty challenging childhoods from which we both emerged fairly strong and resilient… eventually. We both struggled with mental health issues in our 20s and, most important of all, both fell in love with the same young woman. I tucked her in my heart where she’ll stay forever as my very best friend. Jim decided to marry her and build his life and family with her. It’s this love for her that has kept us connected all of these years on our journey through life. But while Carol was our original connective tissue, Jim and I have grown to love each other all on our own.

Jim has been in my life longer than both husbands. He knows me, really knows me, warts and all and for some reason still loves me. I trust him implicitly and my love and admiration for him knows no bounds. He is the most amazing father and husband I have ever known. He voluntarily signed up for fatherhood at a very young age when most young men would have run. Helped raise four of the most intelligent, funny, smart, beautiful people on this planet. Hung in there through all kinds of marital and parenting woes and is beloved by his family. So what?, you might think. That’s lots of men.

Well, I didn’t have that growing up. I didn’t have a dad who hung around, who loved unconditionally and stayed with me through thick and thin. So when I look at this man and think of the boy I knew, that crazy kid who was always getting locked out of math class for being late, that young man who moved out of his family home while still in his teens (as did I) and started his adult life far too soon, and see the man he has become, I am truly awed. Jim has always done his own thing, gone his own way, long before it was “cool.”

I used to think he was such a nut, and now I see he is such an incredible, real live INDIVIDUAL, something many strive for with obvious effort, and Jim makes it look so easy. He is who he is, with few apologies. Yes, he’s made – and still makes – mistakes. But he owns them, and stays true to himself. I’ve never known him to compromise himself or his beliefs to get ahead, be more popular, make more money, be loved more.

He’s always just been Jim. My friend, my love, my verbal sparring partner, who challenges me to really THINK about things, not just regurgitate what’s been drummed into my head. And because he loves me and for some reason thinks I might have something interesting to say, and won’t stop nagging me to do so, I will write a blog.

So here you go Jim, this very first one is for you, dear. Thank you for your friendship and love for the last 40+ years. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a Jim in their lives. But they’ll have to go get their own, you’re already taken.

Screen shot 2014-09-14 at 5.48.14 PMAbout Urban Hippie: I’m a middle-aged tie-dye wearin’, tree-hugging, hippie who is trying to leave the world a little better for having been here. I reside in the Philadelphia, PA, area.


BLOG ON MANCHESTER INK LINK: Full disclosure: Urban Hippie is a longtime friend of mine, and Jim is a longtime husband of mine. But you don’t have to be related to me in any way to blog for Manchester Ink Link. If you’ve got something to say, say it here. Manchester Ink Link invites all voices, big and small, on all issues, from life, love, politics, pop-culture and pets, to gardening, mid-life, parenting and, well, anything. Email Editor Carol Robidoux at

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