“go with a good heart”
The literal meaning of Vadeboncoeur.
On Friday evening, July the 7th, my dear friend Jim Vadeboncoeur passed away.
Jim had called me earlier this year to let me know that he was dying. He was told that he had anywhere from two weeks to 10 months. Vicky and I arranged a trip to visit him in Ohio where his sister, Yvonne, was caring for him in her beautiful home with a serene setting. I hope everyone is as lucky as Jim to have someone like Yvonne to care for them on their final days.
The last time that we spent with Jim is something that I will cherish forever. Jim expressed that “knowing” was a blessing. He shared that he was at peace. He expressed how lucky he was to have lived his life as he chose and how fulfilled he was. He was truly happy and we spent our time focusing on the people, moments, and things that we are grateful for. We said everything to each other that we wanted to express. While sad, since I knew that this was most likely the last time I would see Jim, the time together was soothing and warmed my heart. I feel so lucky to have had a friend like Jim. My last mental image of Jim is of him smiling, blowing us a kiss and waving as we left. I miss him dearly.
Jim loved being a part of the fandom community, being a publisher, and a bookseller. He spoke often about how much he appreciated all of the people who he interacted with and made friends with over the years. If you had ever interacted with Jim you know that he thrived in being helpful and appreciated you.
Jim spent his final years living in Paris. He loved walking the streets and sharing meals and wine with people there. He was very happy and grateful up until the end.
On Thursday, July 6th, I had one last chance to tell Jim how much we love him. His reply, his last words that I heard, epitomizes who he is as a person.
I’m sure Jim is smiling now as he wishes for all of you to “go with a good heart” as you love those around you and extend your help to others.
Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.