My friend Tom died yesterday. I just heard the news a few hours ago and while it will take some time to process, I wanted to write something now, because of all the things Tom loved, surely reading and writing was high on the list and writing something about him seems an appropriate way to pay tribute.
I met Tom at a PASS Summit years ago, introduced by a friend who said he was someone I should meet, and he was. Conversations with Tom were always worth the time. Tom was a story teller in the best sense, sharing stories about his life because he liked to share and maybe in part because being ill for so long taught him about which things really mattered in life. He wasn’t just a story teller of course, but I’ll miss those stories and those long thoughtful conversations.
The last time I saw him was in Seattle in 2016. He had just started chemo again and was weak and the doctor was worried about infection, but he managed to come to Game Night for an hour to see friends and just be part of things for a while. Many there knew him, but many did not. I imagine those who didn’t wondered about the quiet man sitting by the door who had so many people stopping to talk for a bit.
I was telling a friend about him today, a story about adversity and hope and human kindness, but I had to stop, just overwhelmed. I didn’t see the story on his blog, hopefully it will get published or I can find a link and will share it later if so – it deserves more than me trying to paraphrase it here.
I miss my friend.