Tomorrow (Saturday), we will bury a giant who lived among us.
Jim Cooke died this week at the age of 49 of a very rare genetic liver disease. Jim was a member of my parish, a fellow Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, President of the Holy Name Society, President of the Family Association, Author and liason who brought to our parish school a Universal Pre-K program, architect of innumerable parish projects, counselor, sage, friend to all, model husband and father.
A good many of us offered Jim our livers for transplant, knowing the risks associated with such surgery (They transplant 75% of the donor’s liver, which then grows back in the donor!). Such was the love this man inspired in our Church. Jim refused all offers and placed his trust in the God he loved. That hope and trust were brought to fruition this week as he returned to the God he loved with absolute faith that all would be well for his wife Joan and three adolescent children.
So in the morning we will celebrate the life of a man who was my age, and a great inspiration to me. Jim made me want to reach for being a better husband and father. We will have Jim’s Funeral Mass and formally commend his soul to God. If anyone has a moment around 10:30, please whisper a quiet prayer for Joan and the children, and the saint we will be commending to God at that hour.