To live in the hearts of those we leave behind …
is not to die
It’s been a trip we never wanted to make but somewhere in the back of our minds we knew the time was drawing near. Cancer had taken an all Marine Boxer more than eight years and many rounds of Chemo to the mat. A feat not even his Marine sparring partner Leon Spikes could achieve.
Marines fool themselves into thinking we will live on forever…it helps us keep that flame of life burning in our hearts and minds.
As time passes the initial shock and grief has eased some. I feel that I’ve passed through my grief and I’m left with a sense of gratitude. I’m grateful to have known and loved Jamo as a friend and brother. I’m grateful to have had the kind of friendship that hurts deeply when he passed but grateful knowing he will be with me in spirit here and when we meet again.
Honoring the spirit of brother Marines who have passed before us is our duty. We traveled to Austin Texas to pay our respects one last time to a brother Marine Jamie Page.
Our friendship has spanned 48 years starting in Quantico Va. as USMC Military Police.
Jamie battle cancer for eight and a half years yet never spoke to me about fearing death. In fact he planned his burial and celebration of life down to the very last detail.. I was told he traveled to the reception hall weeks before passing to ensure the Texas barbecue served to his guests would pass muster. Jamie told us ….when the time comes arrive sober and on time. One of his many motto’s was “to be early is to be on time….to be on time is to be late and to be late was unacceptable”.
During the ceremony Jamie’s son’s Shane and Trent gave an emotional tribute to their Dad. They spoke about the impact he made on them as men. As I sat through the many tributes to his life… husband, father, all Marine Boxer, Military Policeman, Range Instructor, and Texas Sheriff I felt small by comparison. Like Texas his adopted home, he lived large and cast a shadow over most average men.
We gathered to toast our brother and to celebrate a life lived well. His memory lives on in our hearts and as the saying goes “To live in the hearts of those we leave behind…is not to die”.
This photo was taken in 2019 in Boston when he and his wife Kelly came to say his goodbyes in person to a group of his buddy Marines from Quantico. He was told then he had six months to live. As old Marines do we drank, ate, laughed, told stories from our misspent youth together and embraced each other one last time with a promise to meet again on the other side.
Ask any Marine and we’ll tell you that the gates of Heaven are guarded solely by the United States Marines.
But, If there was ever a doubt Jamo’s passing proved beyond any reasonable doubt to me that it is fact.
On the night the final ringmasters bell rang, I went to bed grieving his passing. When I woke that next morning I witnessed a sky filled with blazing Red and Gold Marine Corps colors …..I knew then that Officer Page was riding Code 3 (lights and siren) all the way through those pearly gates as the Marine guards stood tall and saluted him. That was his style…out in a blaze… we all will miss him.. Semper Fi My Brother…