Now what?

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I am at a loss for words. I can't believe it and I don't want to believe it. How can it be that Jimmy Cox is gone? This is a nightmare. I know Jimmy wouldn't want us to be sad. He would want us to move on and remember him as the fun, loving guy that he was.

I'm trying. But I can't get those images out of my head. I was watching TV that day. It was my day off. I had just woken up. As a news junkie, the moment I noticed the chase, I of course started flipping through all the channels. Once I noticed our chopper was up, for some reason I switched to Channel 12. Their helicopter reporter yelled, "We have to move away from the chase there's been a helicopter crash...two news helicopters just collided." I knew right away it was us...and I knew right away it was Jimmy. I started screaming, I felt so helpless. I immediately drove to the scene, I was hoping maybe it wasn't as bad as what I had just seen on TV. But it was worse. By now we all know what happened.

Now what? Jimmy and Scott are gone. It's so surreal. At the same time, I feel a sense of peace. You see, for the last few weeks, Jimmy for some strange reason had been showing up at my live shots just to say, "Hi." I would ask him what he was doing and he would just say he wanted to say "hi" or bring us some water.

During one of those visits I was having a really bad hair day. My blowdryer had broken that morning and my hair looked like a Chia Pet. It was bad! Jimmy showed up at my live shot, jumped in the live truck and said, "WHAT'S UP???" with a huge smile on his face! I was so happy to see him! He stayed for a few minutes, dropped off some water and before he left he said: "I love the curly hair, love it!" I said, "Jimmy doooooooon't leave stay here with us and enjoy this 190 degree weather, pleeeeeeeeease!" He smiled and said, "nope, see ya!" And he was gone!

The Monday before the crash, Jimmy had been at the chopper for the morning show. Afterwards he stopped by the station...he saw me and said, "Claude I was thinking about you!" I asked why and he replied, "because I just heard Michael Jackson on the radio and I immediately thought of you!" Yes, I like MJ's music. Jimmy started dancing and had a huge grin on his face and then he was gone.

On July 25 I was sent out to cover the storm that pounded the Valley. We did a very interesting liveshot involving people who ignored the flooded washes and got stuck in the middle of the road! Right after I was done, I checked my phone and had a text message from Jimmy. It read: Great live shot! I was so happy. You see, if you got that kind of compliment from Jimmy, you know you did a good job! He was after all, a perfectionist! The three little words in that text put a big smile on my face! That was the last time I heard from Jimmy. I truly believe that everything Jimmy was doing lately to see me, was his way of saying goodbye. He was trying to say goodbye to me and he made it beautiful and memorable. We had the chance to have those last few visits, those last few laughs and those last few touching moments. I now understand why he was randomly stopping by. Thank you, Jimmy. I will always adore you!

Claudia