ZEPHYRHILLS — A late night phone call from a long-lost, dying brother changed the life of a Zephyrhills woman and now she hopes the story of her brother’s life will change the lives of others.
Nancy Carroll McEndree is the author of “Remembering Jim,” a book chronicling the life of her brother, Jim Carroll. The book is the story of Carroll’s journey from violence, abuse and terror during his childhood to his young adult life of rebellion then his conversion to Christianity and finally his death — ravaged by leukemia that he blamed on exposure to Agent Orange during the Korean Conflict.
McEndree made a promise to her brother that she would write his story to give hope to others. The book was published in October by WestBow Press.
Jim was one of four siblings raised in Claremont, N.H. Life was hard for the children under an abusive father and a mother that had to work to pay the bills, according to the book.
“We were brought up in a household where we saw physical and emotional abuse just about every day,” McEndree said. “We never knew whether our mother was going to be killed that day or not.”
In spite of the close relationship McEndree had with her brother in their youth, Carroll left the family after the death of his mother in 1997, not to return for about 10 years.
After a failed marriage, Carroll found himself homeless on the streets of Jonesboro, N.C. With the help of a preacher who ministered to street people, Carroll took control of his life, earned a divinity degree to achieve his boyhood dream to preach the gospel.
At that point, he was losing his battle with leukemia. He was dying; he was scared and he wanted to “come home.” He placed a late night call to his sister in 2007.
The book follows McEndree and her husband Duane’s efforts to help him battle leukemia. It also records a battle he had with the Veteran’s Administration for treatment and to take responsibility for his exposure to Agent Orange while in Korea.
Carroll wrote the preface to the book shortly before his death. He wrote: “I have fought the good fight to stay alive. Every day I can feel my body getting weaker … Nancy will finish my book.” He died August 20, 2009 at the age of 64.
The McEndrees live in Zephyrhills and both continue helping others as naturopathic doctors and co-authors of the book, “The Body Temple.”
“Remembering Jim” can be purchased on Amazon .com, Barnes and Noble, and locally at the Little Angel Christian Bookstore.