Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

September 13, 2013

The lesson of James Eunice

VALDOSTA — This weekend, swimmers will gather for the second James Eunice “The Clock Is Ticking” Seven-Mile Swim on Long Pond. They will gather to compete but participants will also raise funds for a worthy cause and pay tribute to the life of a young man lost too soon.

James Eunice, 17, died on Ocean Pond in January 2011. During the 16 days it took to locate his body, the search for James Eunice touched the community and attracted national attention.

It was more than just the long search but the way Eunice lived his life and how his family responded to the tragedy that prompted this spirit of community and caught the notice of people in other cities and states.

The family initiated rounds of fund-raisers to collect money for outfitting area rescue divers with new and additional SCUBA gear. The Eunice family created events that helped others and had a positive impact on South Georgia and beyond.

The swim is one such event. It is scheduled for Sunday morning, Sept. 15, following a pre-event dinner Saturday evening, Sept. 14. More information: Visit

In addition to raising funds for good causes, James Eunice’s life has served as a reminder that nothing is certain. That no one knows how much time he or she will have.

The swim event takes its name from an essay written by Eunice. The passing of a fellow Valdosta High School student inspired Eunice to write “The Clock Is Ticking.”

“Take time to love someone. Today, Tomorrow, For the rest of your life. Because when that unexpected day comes that they pass on, you’ll be left wondering what you could’ve done better. How you could have made them feel more welcome, and show that you do care for them. Don’t wait until it’s too late like I did. Show the love that Jesus has for you to everyone you see. Let your heart break for what breaks His. Christ is enough. Let Him show you life. You never know who He may touch through you. It is so sad that it takes a tragedy like this to comprehend how our days are numbered. Only He knows. Keep your faith in Him. He will bless you beyond belief. Our job is right now. This very second. So often, God gives me a little nudge towards someone ... and I put it off until the next day ... and then the next and then the next. Stop stalling. God put us on this earth for HIS glory. Not ours .... and so many times, the things I do always point back to me and my stupid self-righteousness. So do something with me. Everyone. If this just touches one person, I will have done my job. Don’t stall. Judgment is a heartbeat away.”

Discovering the echo of Eunice’s words after his passing touched many hearts and many souls.

The clock ticks for us all. What will you do with your day?

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