My Letter To George Jones

(Country Music legend George Jones passed away on Friday, April 26, 2013, at the age of 81.  He was my favorite singer and a personal hero.  Here is a letter that I would love to send him if only I could.)

George Jones 1Dear Mr. Jones:

Well, it’s been a month since the Lord called you home.  Wow!  Those words seem so strange and hard to write.  I know that the rest of the world has already said their goodbyes and now it’s my turn.  I apologize for the delay in doing so, but it has taken me this long to come to the realization that you are really gone from this Earth.  Heck, I’m not sure that I’ve even done that completely.  Every day, I check Google in hopes that there is a story proclaiming that this was some sort of horrible mistake, but I never find that story.

Mr. Jones, I would just like to say how much your music means to me.  You are, and always have been, my very favorite country singer.  You were my momma’s favorite too and our love for you and your music was something that we shared.  In fact, your music played a central part at Momma’s funeral in 2008.

I first became a die-hard George Jones fan in 1980 when I heard “He Stopped Loving Her Today” for the first time.  I was in junior high school and, while my friends were jamming to the latest rock tune, I was trying to learn to sing through clinched teeth and to make my voice wring out emotion like you did.  Needless to say, I never quite managed to master that.  After all, there is only one George Jones and there will never be another.

Your music was always around our home, but, as I said, it was 1980 when I got hooked.  From that day, I bought every George Jones album I could find and let me tell you that I have a lot of them.  You were quite a prolific singer.

Here's the flier for the very first George Jones concert I ever went to.

Here’s the flier for the very first George Jones concert I ever went to.

I still remember the first time I ever saw you in concert.  It was June 26, 1983 and you were playing a picnic show at the American Legion in my hometown of Culpeper, Virginia.  Back then, I worked at a doughnut shop in town and I couldn’t get the day off, but my momma saved the day so we could all go and see you.  She picked me up from work and brought a change of clothes for me.  As she drove through town, I was trying to wriggle out of my uniform and put on some regular clothes in the cramped backseat… all without giving the other drivers a free show.  It was quite a feat, but boy was it worth it.  You were great that day.  I’ve seen you in concert several time since and you’ve always been great.

Over the years, I’ve made it a point to watch you on TV whenever you were on. If you were in a magazine, I bought it.  If I was changing the stations on a radio, and came across one of your songs, the dial wasn’t moving until you were done singing.  Of course, I also made sure I had every album I could get my hands on.  Whenever Christmas came around, all the relatives knew that a safe gift for Tim was a George Jones record.

Aside from your music, I also found your life to be inspirational.  As the son of an alcoholic, I saw first hand what those demons can do.  My dad never conquered them and he committed suicide when I was 8 years old.  That’s why I cheered so loudly when I heard that you had beaten the bottle and you were living a happy life with your beloved Nancy.  I can’t tell you how happy I was to know that.

Whenever I would talk to my mother, you would surely come up.  I would tell her what saw or read and she would do the same for me.  She always thought that the sun rose and set on you and Loretta Lynn.  She kept a framed autographed photo of you by her living room chair.  It was one of her most cherished possessions.   I think that’s one reason why your passing has been so hard for me to deal with.  You see, you weren’t just a country singer to me.  You were a tie between me and Momma.  When she left, I always took a little comfort in the fact that you were still here.  With both of you gone, I have to face the reality that the things that make this world a happy place for me are becoming fewer each day.  I am glad, however, that Momma may be able to attend a George Jones show again in that beautiful concert hall in Glory.

I’ll never forget when I heard of  your passing.  I had just arrived at work when a co-worker called and said, “I’m sorry for your loss.”  I replied, “Thank you, but what did I lose?”  With that she proceeded to tell me that you had passed away.  I tried to hold it together, but I could not.  I worked a couple of hours and took the rest of the day off.  I did do one thing I always said I would do on that day. I played “He Stopped Loving Her Today” for all of my co-workers.

When I got home, I just listened to the radio tributes for you and spent a lot of time with tears in my eyes.  Heck, I’ve got tears in my eyes right now.

Well, Sir, I had better wrap this up.  I’ve been meaning to send a condolence card to Mrs. Jones.  I think I’ll do that now, while I’m thinking about it.

I just want to say that I love you, Mr. Jones.  I love your music and I love all of inspiration you’ve given me over the years.  Mostly, I love the way that you helped bring me and my momma so close together over the years.  I’m very happy to know that you put  your trust in the Lord and that you are enjoying your eternal reward with our Lord and Savior.  I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you and your family always.



P.S.: In the past few weeks, I have really gotten into listening to your daughter’s music.  Georgette is such an great singer and she has your gift for reaching down into your soul and evoking strong emotions.  She is becoming one of my favorite artists.

I Highly Recommend StarTiger.

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