Sunday, November 23, 2008

RIP Tommy

Once again I drove the 2 plus hours home to say goodbye...

Tom (always known as Tommy to me!) died last weekend...
Tommy is the brother of my BFF of 34 years, Diane. I have been around this family most of my life. I know the layout of their childhood home almost as well as my own. I have so many pleasant memories of this family. And of course Diane has been with me through thick and thin...

Tommy was the cool senior guy who always spoke to us lowly, giggling, awkward freshmen girls. He always seemed really interested in whatever I had to say when I was at their home. Tommy always took time to listen. When I talked to him, I felt the full measure of his attention. I felt special. Apparently everyone who encountered him felt the same way.

Tommy was a huge man. Tall and broad, yet incredibly graceful and gentle. Qualities that I see in the hubster. Perhaps Tommy was one of my role models for what I wanted in a mate. Because he made me feel special, safe and secure.

Tommy loved animals. I remember his dog Sigmund. Sigmund was beautiful. I remember one day watching Sigmund and Tommy play together in the fall sunshine and that remains in my mind as a moment of pure joy: boy and dog, leaves crunching, sunshine and shadow, an achingly beautiful blue sky mirrored in his eyes...

Tommy's son Brian hung out with me on my wedding day. Brian was only 8 or 9 and since his aunt Diane was my only attendant we were getting dressed at her parent's home. Brian watched as we put on our makeup, talking quietly, focusing his full attention on us like his dad always did... having Brian around calmed me immensely. He brought the same peace and tranquility into the room that his dad always did. He is perhaps the finest gift Tommy gave the world.

Tommy also reminded me of my father in law. Like Dad, Tommy performed good works under the radar. Person after person spoke of his many kindnesses, mostly unknown to anyone but them and Tommy.

Tommy appeared to be a simple man to the world, a truck driver, but that wasn't who he was. Tommy was complex, he was more than who he appeared. Tommy was a true gentleman, a gentle man, a deep thinker, a man who loved deeply and wholly. Tommy gave of himself fully. He was a sterling example of a son, brother, spouse, father and friend. He spread kindness in a cruel world. He gave hope to the hopeless and touched thousands of lives about which we may never know anything. I am proud to have known him.

Rest now, Tommy, your work is done. Your love remains.

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