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Sad: Mike James' mother's funeral same day and time as bowl kickoff

What a sad, sad situation.

As you probably know by now, UM running back Mike James'  47-year-old mother, Elgusta James, died last Monday morning, Dec. 20th, in a car accident in Haines City.

James immediately left UM with his uncle to drive to Haines City when he learned the news after practice last Monday. His sister, who was driving the car, and her 5-year-old son survived.

We learned from UM this morning that Elgusta James' funeral will be the exact day and time of the Hyundai Sun Bowl kickoff in El Paso, Texas, where the Canes are heading this afternoon and where they will meet Notre Dame at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Dec. 31.

UM said Mike has chosen to play in the game because that's what his mother would have wanted him to do. What a painful decision that had to be. I'm saying my prayers for Mike, who could probably use them right now.

Mike is expected to join the team Monday in El Paso, according to UM spokesman Chris Freet.

Tailback Eduardo Clements said last week that he texted James.

"I told him that I love him and anything he needs, I'm here for him, " Clements said last week. "He texted me back and said, 'I love you, too, bro. Thank you.'''

UM said that anyone who wants to send flowers in memory of Mike's mom should send them to Holmes Funeral Home in Haines City. For more information, call (863) 419-2700.

> I'm in the Dallas airport now and have to go board my connecting flight to El Paso. We'll talk to coach Jeff Stoutland later.

_SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

Comments

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Unless you've lost a loved one, you cant imagine the hurt that this young man is going through now. Mike our prayers go out to you and your family.

That is a really tough situation. I applaud Mike for his courage in playing for his mother, and hope he will have a great game in her memory.

Our positive thoughts and sympathies are with you, Mike!

God bless u Mike!

God Bless MIke James and his family, the Hurricane Nation prays for Mike, his sister and nephew and the entire family.

We are with you in this tradegy and ready to help you heal and in time when you think of your mom you will smile and maybe laugh instead of crying.

I lost my dad when I was 19 and a very good man shared that thought with me and he was right...my son is named after that man and the wonderful parent I lost.

The Lord be with you.............

Mike, our prayers are with you and your family in this very difficult time.

Our thoughts are with you Mike, have a great game in your Mom's honor. Stay strong and keep up the awesome job that you do.

my prayers go out to u and ur family mike, hope and wish u the best in this difficult time.

Can't say anything other than..........Wow.

I could never do it. Play with strength, young man.....

GOD bless u and ur family. That's commitment.

Listen, I KNOW this is a great kid who must have a huge broken heart. And in the end, I'm not in his shoes nor am I in his heart. I also have read how close he was to his mom, and he knows better than me what she would have wanted. So my heartfelt blessing goes out to young Mr. James. I just can't help but think that there's only one final day to say goodbye to his mom and share in grief and love with his family members at the funeral. There will be many, many more football games for him. In the end, I respect him for making such a difficult decision. I just think that he might want to think this one over a bit longer. I'd hate for him to regret it as the years go by. Again, either way, my prayers are with you Mike.

I'm still trying to figure out why they can't postpone the funeral a few days so her son can attend. There is no reason why the funeral MUST be at that exact date and time.

God bless this family!!

Tough to lose a loved one in such a fashion. I can't help but think this young man has his big-picture priorities out of order. Only he knows, but it could be a choice that haunts him the rest of his life. But I do agree with others, why couldn't they delay the wake a couple days?

In my opinion, the family is doing this young man a dis-service. This service should take place tomorrow, Tuesday or Wednesday. Healing comes when you put closure to this very tragic situation. He need to be with his family at the funeral. C'mon family, think it over.

Howdy Mike,
Our thoughts are with you! I certainly respect your decision to play. You have honored all Canes by playing the way you do .

Good Luck

That says something about the character of this young man and i'm sure his Mom had a lot to do with that by raising thim the right way.

I actually had a chance to coach against James when he was in HS, and he is nothing but a class act and great person, which i would assume he learned from his late mother. From the FSU fan base here in South Florida, may God be with you and your family at this time and I hope you gets seven touchdowns in the Sun Bowl in her memory!!!

Makes no sense to me why they would schedule it like that...

I would not miss my mother's Home Going. I might get to play another football game. But, it's a known fact that Mother will have only one funeral. I'd be there. After all, that's mother.

rip moms. If you guys ever play hard one more time please do it for mike!

Maybe he wanted it like that because he knew it would be to hard to say bye to his mom. Maybe he just wanted to remember her the way she was not seeing her in a casket. Stop pointing fingers please he's doing what he wants to do, everybody grieves differently. MIKE JAMES MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU.

@THE RULA: TRUE DAT

Tough to lose a loved one in such a fashion. I can't help but think this young man has his big-picture priorities out of order. Only he knows, but it could be a choice that haunts him the rest of his life. But I do agree with others, why couldn't they delay the wake a couple days?

Posted by: FIUer | December 26, 2010 at 03:27 PM

I've known a lot of people who lost their loved ones and was very difficult for them to attend the funeral. It's very hard to say goodbye to your love one that way, instead you can go out what you know you love doing and what your mom knows you love doing, it's a great honor and dedication. Think first what you say coz' none of us know what the young man is feeling.

Mike James is such a great kid, I feel so bad for him. Hoping for a bright future for him as he continues to make his mother proud.

Same time but not same hour.

God bless Mike James and his family...to the posters that are questioning his decision, who are you to judge? Mike James has demonstrated what a class act he is, I wouldn't dare to judge him. That is a very personal decision.

Go Mike....the U family is with you regardless.

God bless Mike, his dear mother, and his entire family. The Hurricane family will be here to lift them up and surround them with love.

If the 'Canes have a performance that resembles their recent bowl games Mike James might regret this decision his entire life. There are no guarantees on football fields. You'd like to think the 'Canes will light up ND in a show of strength and brotherhood on MJ's behalf. We all will certainly be expecting that. On the other hand, the emotional stress of the moment could see the team be flat. I've said goodbye to many loved ones and don't remember ever wanting to go blow up guys as a release. But football players are a little bit different and it might be a good way to release their hurt. Dunno. The 'Canes have come out flat too many times to count. These kids, and coaches are going to need to pay extra attention to getting their focus squarely on the task at hand. It will have an extra element of challenge Friday. Good luck to them. Win or lose, we know what the story line will be. A violent competition shrouded in tragedy.

My thought and prayers go out to Mike James and family.. Now we have added motivation for the game. For the James family, coach Shannon and coach Golden.. Go Canes!!

I am at a loss for words with story. This kid is amazing. There will be atleast one Cane playing with some emotion in this game.

God bless Mike James & may Mike's mother look out for him in heaven, both at this game and throughout his football career!!

We LOVE YOU Mike James!!!!!!

This is going to sound harsh but it'ss not meant to be. But why on earth are they taking so long to lay this women to rest. The poor women perished on the 20th of December. If she were the president of the United States she would have been laid to rest before the 31th. Such a long period of time make it even harder on the family. The burial is the first step of the healing process. Manny, are you sure you know what your talking about.

BTW I had already posted my condolences on and earlier post.

Bob Sullivan--I totally agree. And since they're waiting 11 days, why not a day or two more to give Mike time to travel back from El Paso for the funeral? Something here doesn't make sense.

Dad's know the crucial role they play in their children’s lives. They know that nothing is more important than their children growing up with a fighting chance at life.

People heal differently, but they heal with the people that love them and by doing the things they love. This Kid Mike James, is committed to his football team like family and to the University of Miami. Remember that he bled orange and green the next time anyone wants to bash him or any of his teammates.

When you dedicate your life to something you love the worst thing that could ever happen is the thing you love does not love you back. This is not the best Hurricane team ever assembled but as fans they are our team our extended family

God bless Mike.

Traditional funerals are the American way of death.
Why is it so difficult for the mainstream to understand that not everyone needs a pre-programed grieving session?

God Bless You Mike,

Canes Nation---let's just be supportive whichever decision MJ makes. I lost my grandmother a few years ago. It was only the 2nd funeral I've ever attended and at times I wish I didn't attend!

I hurt more remembering her at the funeral than my memories of her my smile and laugh and big warm heart. Other family members get together and look at the dvd of her funeral on her bday. But I never join that gathering. Just don't like remembering that episode.

So I can dig MJ not wanting to see mom in that fashion. Busting through big holes made by the highly motivated OL might be the best therapy for the young man.

Either way our job as posters on this topic is to provide healthy opinion, proper perspective and most importantly; be supportive.

GO MJ and GO CANES!

Think about it again Mike. Being with your friends is easy. It is your choice.

All of you people questioning mikes decision need to mind your own business!!!!

I know Mike and knew Gussy; and she would want nothing more than for mike to play.

R.I.P. Mrs. James

God Bless Mike.
Your family is in our prayers

Mike's decision is just that - Mike's decision. And when a friend or family dies, if they are a Christian, this is more a day of joy knowing they are with the Father in eternity. Perhaps Mike knows his mother is in heaven and he'll have etrnity with her and a finite number of games to play and showcase his God-given talents.

I know what he feels, I lost my mother unexpectedly at age 51 on Labor Day 2009(MIA @ FSU, that game will stay with me forever). My thoughts and prayers go out to Mike. The feeling doesnt ever go away, just be strong and let her live thru U!

PS Beat the Irish!

The U Family is behind you 100% Mike James. Sorry for your loss, our prayers our with you and your family.

I don't blame him for not going to funeral. My dad's funeral was pretty much the worst day of my life.

What's really important is that he somehow recovers from this tragedy.

To God be the Glory for all the good things He has done. The family and friends in Haines City respect Mike for being the loving and upstanding young man he is to honor his mother in this manner. Mike also wrote as a part of his mother's obituary, a beautiful passage entitled Remember. He spoke of their beautiful, loving and unique relationship with his "cool" Mom. He referred to her as the greatest Mom in the world. Someone made mention at the service how his mom would cheer for him when he was much younger. They didn't understand at the time why she was cheering so loud after the football team had completed a play. She informed them that she was cheering for the Water boy (her son Mike at that time, she said he didn't waste a drop). What a waterboy, they didn't know, but God did, God was making him ready for this great day. His Mother is looking down with a smile at her baby boy who has tremendous courage and much respect for his Mother and football team. God Bless you Mike Jr., Mike Sr., Jasmine, Ms. Inez, Rhonda, Janet, Loretta, Jayden and the entire James-Thomas Family. Much Respect and Christian Love from Marie and Theophilus Anderson in Haines City, FL

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