In a tribute to the late Opry star, who died on Jan. 2 at age 94, Paisley says that Dickens was the best friend any human being could ask for. But he also explains why Dickens was his hero.
“Why was he my hero? Jimmy made more out of his time on earth than anyone I’ve ever known; an incredible life in every measurable way,” Paisley wrote of Dickens.
And for a few good reasons:
“Longevity? Yes, practically unheard of.”
“Faith? Totally and wholeheartedly.”
“Humor? There was no one funnier, or with a better sense of it.”
“A true entertainer? The best I’ve ever seen.”
“Love? This was a big one. I think he loved everyone he ever met, and if not, he never let it be known. More importantly, I think everyone who ever met him loved him instantly … and forever.”
“Romance? He and Mona had the most romantic story I’ve ever heard. Check it out sometime.”
“Friendship? Well, I can honestly say he was the best friend any human being could ask for. Bar none.”
Paisley goes on to say that Dickens’ legendary accomplishments could fill a book, but that that’s not how he will remember him.
“I will remember the human being that best check-marked all the boxes of a complete and wonderful life. My hero,” he writes about Dickens, who was born and raised in West Virginia like Paisley was.
And then, he gives us these parting words to make us all a little more Dickens-like:
“Do not mourn Little Jim. Celebrate him. Relive and share the memories. Aspire to be like him. And above all, laugh at the punchlines, the craziness, and the way he so gracefully made this planet a funnier, better, richer place while he was alive. And in doing so, he will continue to for years to come.”