Monday, March 8, 2010

My friend, Tom

I am so sad today because a long time and dear friend, Tom, died this past weekend.  He died Saturday, on his birthday, and on his twin Charles' birthday too.

My friend Elizabeth called to tell me.  When she said it, I thought she meant Charles because Charles was overseas with the Navy.  I immediately thought it was combat related.

But no, it was Tom.  Tom who lived in NYC and was celebrating his birthday with his friends.  I didn't react at first.  Any death takes time to digest.  By yesterday night, though, I was sharing with Alex some of my favorite Tom memories.

Tom was one of most naturally smart and witty people I have ever known but he didn't care.  He didn't perform for the sake of other people.  He performed on his own terms.  You know the type, right?  1600 on the SAT, didn't study for a test and still pulled out a B+.  Didn't read the book and could still fake it on an essay test.  Although I could have resented him (I, not being the most naturally bright, studied and worked hard to keep up with my classmates), but I didn't resent him because he was kind and funny and had the most infectious giggle.  He was my friend and he entertained me.  He was everyone's friend.  It was always fun to be in class with Tom.

One of my favorite memories of Tom was in college.  We didn't go to the same school but they were close and he'd visit often.  It was Homecoming and I was the date of a good friend.  No romantic feelings, just a good friend.  We ended up at the bar in town (the town is tiny) and were perhaps a little over served.  The plan was to end the night at the bar and walk to my house which was 2 blocks away.  I said it was a tiny and most charming town, right?

And sitting at the bar was Tom.  I was delightfully pleased to see my good friend.  We talked and hugged and he noticed I had perhaps been over served.  He asked if I was okay and said he suspected my date's intentions to be less than pure.  Tom was looking out for me.  And that's what he did.  He was a loyal and generous friend to all who knew him.

I'm traveling to his funeral.  And sadly it won't be just to say good bye to my friend Tom.  It will also be to hug my friend, Tom's twin, Charles.  Dear, dear Charles.  Oh Charles, your sincerity deserves a post of its own.

There will be many childhood friends at this funeral because no one in my peer community growing up wasn't touched by this pair.  My heart is broken for Tom, for Charles, and for all the lives they both touch.

7 comments:

My life so far said...

Thank you for sharing that, so sad. Do you know when the funeral is?

Alex said...

Funeral is at 11am Saturday at St. Michaels

Paul, Lauren, Witt, and Nash said...

I am so sorry Emily. Tom sounds like a dear person who will be missed so much by many. I'll be praying for you and for his family and other friends.

Peace,
Lauren

Brookie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Emily. I'm keeping you and his family in my prayers.

glitzee76 said...

I am so sorry to hear this, Emily.

Molly said...

what as sad, but sweet, story. it sounds like charles will be there? that's a huge blessing for the family i'm sure. and i'm glad you'll get to be there too.

catherine said...

I am still in complete shock by this. I hope to see you at the funeral and I hope you have safe travels here.