I've been spending quite a bit of time in Hendrick's County Regional Health this week.
A great man in our life is critically ill. Papaw Shillings is fighting the good fight to stay with us and may not win the war. He's a World War II Veteran with the 8th infantry. He's earned a purple heart for his effort. A humble and steady man to all who know him. He's a treasure we are trying to keep close to us.
This picture is truly iconic. He's got a gravelly voice from drinking too much coffee and smoking too many cigarettes. A unique tone that is low, remembered and respected. He's also known as a superb gardener. He's not had the energy to garden this year for the first time ever, a real indication of his declining health. He was raised during the depression, the youngest of 9 siblings, and the last of his clan. He was known to sneak an extra biscuit at breakfast and hide it under the table for later, just so he'd have some supper.
We're all rooting for you Papaw.
James "Jim" Ross Shillings passed away just after 3 a.m. on September 11, 2011.
He will be sorely missed.