Jim picked up his first guitar at five years old. The steely strings were sharp on his fingers, but with the tunes of the beach boys filling his head, he kept strumming. At thirteen, his tapping toes turned into driving back beats and smooth brushstrokes on the drums. He packed up his dreams of rock and roll and headed out on the road at age sixteen. One band led to another and soon Jim was writing song after song, night after night. Songs inspired by love, life and an ever-growing faith.
After living out of a suitcase for years making music, Jim returned to Hamilton to care for his ailing mother, only to see his own health deteriorate. A spinal cord injury made it impossible to hold a steady job and for over 20 years he struggled, alone, with only a beautiful stream of melodies and lyrics to greet him.
With both his mental and physical health worsening to a critical level, Jim faced the reality that he needed ongoing and increasing care. But more than that, he needed compassion and understanding.
Jim moved to the Villa. With his wit and creativity in tow, it was easy to make friends fast.
You’ve probably met Jim. You can’t forget his smile. Being considerably younger than most of the residents at the Villa, Jim recognizes how different the daily needs are for each resident and to what extent the Villa goes to make sure that they are met.
Jim has been a donor to St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation since the time he moved in. “Who wouldn’t want to take care of our home?” – he always says. “The Villa brought me back to life. My friends at the Villa are my family now. It’s my way to say thanks.”
No one knows what twists and turns of life lead to the Villa. Some residents stay with us for a short time, while others, like Jim, live many happy years with us. The Villa is the place to help overcome challenges, to tap into hidden talents, to thrive. Every single day.
The words of Jim’s song say it best – everyone at the Villa will “always feel accepted, always feel loved. You’ll see the sun, you’ll drink the water, you’ll find peace, so you can rest. You’ll be blessed.”