Jim Borkowski has all the right kinds of Country Connections. They go back to the family farm where he grew up, and they show up now as a “hobby” farmer with a pristine 2-acre garden. They also led him to his wife, Kathy, and played a part in how he raised his son Adam to be hard-working, kind and compassionate.
Jim has that laid-back, country approach to life where family means everything. He knows no different than to roll up his sleeves when work needs to be done, including basic household chores, and he puts everyone else’s needs ahead of his own.
“He is very hard working and he always puts us first in every aspect,” Kathy said. “He’s just very unselfish. If we’re talking about doing something as a family, he will put what we want to do ahead of what he wants to do. He’s just very caring and very loving. He will pitch in and do dishes and do laundry, plus all the other stuff he does. He’s just a very giving person.”
Jim has always been that way as a young kid learning the ins and outs of farming in Minnesota. He grew up with strong influences from his father and grandfather, who taught him to appreciate the military, love his family and work hard at everything he did.
Jim has applied those principles to his own life and shared them with Adam through tough love, a deep faith and a mutual love of sports.
“I have learned to be a strong independent person who treats people, especially women, with respect,” Adam said. “He taught me about sports and the beauty of competition. He helped me learn more about my faith and to know right from wrong. He taught me how to help others in need.
“He instilled a good work ethic that I admit doesn’t always show, but I’m still learning. He also taught me to respect our military and all they do and he showed me you never kneel to the flag. You always stand with your hand on your heart or behind your back.”
More than anything, Jim has always taught by example just as much as he did with his words.
At the root of his simple country approach has always been selflessness and sincerity. It’s clear his family adores him for it, but Jim has been just as good to his friends by putting his full focus on them, too.
“Jim is my one friend that is always comfortable to be around because he lends a ear but never judges,” his friend Chad said. “And a true friend like Jim is to me, is that we can just pick up where we left off. We don’t talk to each other every day, but I know I can always call on him for any help.”
Jim’s real Country Connections came through a dating service of the same name that led him to Kathy. The milestone 25th anniversary of their marriage is coming this September. It’s a relationship that felt like destiny at the start and has only gotten better since.
“I truly believe that God brought us together,” Kathy said. “I love him more than he even knows and always will. He’s the love of my life.”
Adam feels the same way, and this belated Father’s Day is a chance to share just how much his dad’s love and guidance have meant to him.
“Dad, I just wanted to say that I know I don’t always show it, but I love you so much!” Adam said. “You have taught me so much from farming to my faith to respecting our military. And how to treat a woman, you show me that every day with how you treat Mom! You will do anything for us, and you mean so much to me! You are my biggest role model, and you taught me everything I know! I love you so much, so thank you for being the best dad in the world and making me who I am! You and mom did a great job!
“‘Watchin’ You’ by Rodney Atkins is the perfect song to sum it up, Dad, because I am who I am because I had been ‘Watchin’ You.’”