James died in October of 2009. Right around the time we began to “shop” this book. We were very excited to finish it up, having spent several years working on it as time would allow. James’s sudden passing left me wondering what exactly to do with the not-quite-finished tome. James was a substantial talent and an incredible mind. And his mastery of all-things SEM far surpassed my own. I thought hard on what to do with this treatise. The more I did, the more I became convinced that it had to see the “light of day.”
I approached Tony Verre, a long-time friend and colleague of ours. When he heard about “the book” he volunteered to see to the unfinished threads that would have fallen to James to complete. This book could not have existed without Tony’s expert knowledge, ability as a creative writer, and without his demonstrable human-ness.
The love for a dearly-departed friend is impossible to describe. I am not any closer to being able to verbalize the depth of loss or its profundity than when I first received the early-morning call. There are certain things we, the surviving, often would like to say to our departed loved ones. Things we wish we had said. But, alas, we cannot go back in time and say those things. What we can do is to honor them by seeing through to fruition unfinished business, to resolve the final notes of the song otherwise left hanging in the air begging for resolution.
I do know some things about deep affection for others. Much of it learned through 25 years of friendship with James. I know for sure that he is well pleased this book has been finished. I know he is proud of Tony’s efforts to see through the completion of this book on his behalf. I know is that he is likewise proud that Tony (one of his former understudies) has developed into a real sharpshooter in the disciplines of search marketing. Finally, what I know is that while none can replace James, a man could not have a finer friend than Mr. Verre. Of course, James would find many things to change in this edition . . .beginning with my long-windedness.
In the end analysis, I would submit that no truer words have been spoken than these: “The language of love is sacrifice.” James laid down his life so that another could live. His final moments were those of a hero. I give thanks to this man who has translated from this storyline to the next: In honor of his memory, in honor of friendship everywhere, in honor of his surviving wife and children, we offer this work of love.
God Bless James Shore. Loving father and husband. Beloved son and brother. Rest in the arms of God, my dearest friend. We persevere with you in mind and very much alive in the memory of our hearts.
P.S. James would be shaking his head and saying, “Would you just shut up already and get on with it? Do you think these people have all day?” And that would set me to blathering on and on and on, just to really tweak him.