Thank you all so much for your comments, tweets, and emails. The outpouring of love and support from all arenas of my life buyoed me along for the past few days and will continue to do so.
For Jim, from Terry:
In his words, these are the thoughts of Terry, Jan's husband, and relay the first, and perhaps most important life lesson from his father-in-law.
When I first met Jane and Jim in 1974, though Jan and I had been dating for only a few months, I felt sure that Jan was "the one." My hair was about the same length as Jan's, which is to say, about halfway between my shoulders and waist. Some of you might recall that from our first meeting at the Scruggs' Christmas Eve party that year. My hair style was more common in Austin at the time than in Waco, and it struck Jim that I might not be the best match for his eldest daughter. So Jim wrote as much to Jan in a letter shortly thereafter. Jan did not respond, but I did, in short saying "please don't judge me by my appearance. I know your concerns are heartfelt, but given a little time, I think you'll come to know and appreciate me the way I do you for having raised a daughter like Jan."
I added a PS which said: "Please also keep in mind that our feelings are already pretty strong for one another so I'll likely be around for a while."
Jim did not answer that letter in writing, but instead spent time getting to know me, from which grew a bond of understanding, deep love, and affection.
Jim's life lesson #1 for me was: Take time to instill your children with strong values, and then let them flourish. Along the way, don't hesitate to express heartfelt concerns and even disapproval. But trust their choices and listen with objectivity when your concerns are challenged.
Many more life lessons resulted from Jim's example as he became the most valued role model in my life. His influence affects my decisions both large and small. I love him dearly and am blessed to be a part of his family.