|Jim and Olivia. "There you go."|
Later Jim opened his own Quiznos in greater Chicago - it was a giant step forward for his family and his future, but because of a number of reasons, not much parking, bad location, it didn't work out for him. So he had to take two jobs, and was working full time for his wife and beautiful daughter when the stroke hit.
|Jim and his daughter Nadia at Quiznos|
Needless to say, he's been thrown for a loop.
I'm doing what I can from Santa Monica to keep up his spirits. He called the other day, deeply depressed at his current situation, as he felt he was driving his dear wife and daughter to distraction with all the care that's needed. I suggested that he needed some kind of mental exercise to keep his mind fit - to keep it off the situation he's currently in and to help him in general. I was talking to him about meditation - and an image popped into my head, and I suggested that we play a full cricket match together.
|Jim and my mom. She adored Jim.|
Now I don't know the first (or last thing) about cricket. I do know that when I was at a cricket match with my friend, the Australian film director Phillip Noyce, I turned to see tears in his eyes. I said "What's wrong?" He said "As a little boy growing up in Australia I would listen to these games on the radio, played in this far off exotic place called the West Indies. And now here I am." I never met a truer cricket fan. Until I met Sajjad.
When he was working for my dad, he told me he was taking a class in public speaking to help him communicate. Tall, handsome, with a quick wit and easy laugh, I was surprised he became tongue tied in public. He was taking a course in speech giving, and I suggested talking about something he loved; cricket. He took at bat down to the class and gave his impassioned speech about a game he loved. It gave him the confidence to be able to pursue his dream of owning his own business.
So when I suggested a meditation, I said "Why don't we play a cricket match together? You supply the players, pick each one - and you'll imagine each and every pitch." He said he could do that. We chose a stadium. Lords in London. He began to choose my team for me.. and his own for him. We started off in the match.. and seven hours later, he called to tell me, sadly, that I had lost.
|Former Cricket player & film director Phillip Noyce|
"That's not fair!" I protested that I had lost the match. I contacted Phillip to ask him for a couple of imaginary players to be added to my imaginary team; he gave me two historic players; Don Bradman, the greatest Aussie batsman of all time, and Shane Warne who can really throw a "wrong 'en." (Which I guess is a bit like throwing a googli, another throw I've heard of, yet have no clue how to do it.)
Anyways, our teams are below, and the next match is Monday. If you're moved by Jim's passion or plight, please don't hesitate to write a reply to this post, I'll pass along the messages to him. IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A DONATION TO THE "JIM FUND" - follow the link, and I will see that he gets every penny.
Our two teams:
"The Mighty Martinis"