The earthquake that rocked the east coast yesterday was far overshadowed in my life by the unexpected death of my high school friend Tim last weekend.
Tim was the guy in high school who was larger than life, ready with a hug, an infectious laugh, a true smile, welcoming all into his circle…unless you were against him on the opposing football team. Then be afraid. His friendships extended the clique boundaries, as he spoke his mind, celebrated life since I have known him.
Tim was instrumental in keeping our friendships alive since high school days, as he planned mini-reunions and holiday gatherings for us. Still there with his hug, a toast, asking about our lives, joyous about his family, his children, memories of high school coming forth.
Facebook expanded his circle further, reconnecting him with fellow alumni who he might not have known very well during high school. His political views were opposite mine, but it was fun to bait him after his 50th political cartoon of the day. He posted well wishes to many people I knew.
Monday morning I logged into Facebook and began to see a trickle of comments about Tim’s shocking death last weekend, which became a pouring of well-wishes and memories as the word so quickly spread around the internet. There were phone calls and internet hugs and a vicious bike ride as I let this horrible, stunning news sink in, followed by tears in the shower, salt mixing with water and shampoo sluicing down the drain.
Tim: father, husband, son, friend, brother, neighbor was clearly loved by many people, based on the outpouring of emails I have seen this week. We lost a great person, an honest man, a social leader for our group. Heaven became a happier place this week, as Tim joined some of our other friends there: Bill and Scott coming to mind first.
I feel the most loss for his wife and children, trying to accept their new reality. We will connect with our high school friends this week at his wake, his funeral–tears and hugs abound. Not the annual social outing we look forward to repeating again in the near future.
Friends, hug your children today and tell them each day how special they are, how loved, how important. Tell your friends how they bring joy into your lives, don’t let your spouse stand forgotten. Sadly, Tim’s death is a reminder of the brevity of life, and how we need to live and love each day to the fullest.
Tim, rest in peace. We wil celebrate your life and miss you greatly. More tears as I write this. We miss you already. C