Monday, October 11, 2010


A while back, I asked you all to help me pray for my brother-in-law Tom who was seriously ill.

You came through wonderfully for me and I am so grateful. Perhaps your prayers and healing thoughts are what gave him just a little more time to be with his family. They were able to have that long goodbye. We lost Tom last week. He just had too many battles going on in his body.

He was Tom to everyone but me. I insisted on calling him Tommy. If he resented it, he never let on. He was like a younger brother which is why I think I stayed attached to the child-like form of his name.

The above picture was from last Christmas and he was in his favorite shirt. No one was a more devout Dolphin football fan. I am a serious fan but he was intense. That picture was as close to smiling as Tommy got for a camera. In person, he was the life of the party and full of fun--- for the camera, he either made funny faces or scowled. This picture was taken by his daughter and was take 10. He was sick then, we just didn't realize how sick he was.

When I first met Tommy, he was a senior in high school and dating one of my sisters. He dated both so I am not sure which one he was dating then. We used to laugh that I was the only sister he didn't go out with. I was 8 years older so there was good reason to not even think about it.

He eventually married my sister Jan and they were together for over 30 years, raising two daughters. He adored his girls and would do anything for them but I think being a grandpa was his finest role. Gosh he loved those babies.

He passed his love for football on to his 3 year old granddaughter Kaleigh, who thanks to him, could almost officiate a game. She is well versed in all the official signals for touchdown, off sides, delay of game and holding, Not sure if it was learned from her love of football as much as her love for grandpa.

Tommy was liked by all who met him. He was just comfortable to be around. He often tried to hide his enormous heart with Marine toughness but inside that man, his heart was a marshmallow. He was generous almost to a fault. If you wanted something and Tommy had it, it was yours. He was everyone's rock. If he didn't have it, he would get it even if it meant doing with out on his behalf. I once saw him take the shirt literally off his back and give it to someone who had admired it.

Tommy had a wicked sense of humor. Sometimes it was slightly caustic and he used it to poke fun at others but only to their face. We all knew however that he only teased if he liked you. If he didn't like you, indifference accompanying a cool stare was his persona. Trust me, if he didn't like someone, there was good reason. I can't remember anyone taking offense at his teasing however. He really was funny with a quick wit.

Tommy was always interesting to talk to. He was well read with a sharply focused mind. He quickly saw through the phonies of the world and could size up most situations very succinctly. I always enjoyed his take on serious matters. Tommy was always a favorite of mine to find a quiet spot at a family gathering and have some serious talks. Of course his fun loving nature could only be serious for so long. Still I enjoyed those moments.

So was he perfect? Gosh no--- who is? Was he one of the nicest, most generous men I have ever known? No doubt. Will he be missed? Very,very much. Was my life better for having him in it? Absolutely, as it was for everyone who knew him.

You left us way too soon Tommy. Rest easy my friend. You were so loved by so many. I will miss you so.


  1. Patti, what a beautiful memorial about and to) someone you loved. I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. Patti, I wish I knew you better so you could write my eulogy when I die. This is a wonderful tribute to the man. I noted when you said if he liked you he teased you, but if not, you saw the indifferent cool stare. That describes mr. kenju exactly!!

    His wife and children are sure to be pleased by reading this.

  3. I am so sorry for your family's loss. A beautiful memorial for a loved one...

  4. It seems you've lost a wonderful person in Tommy...sorry for that early loss, Patti! Your lovely post will comfort the whole family!

  5. Patti, what a lovely tribute to someone you loved. I'm so sorry for your families loss.

  6. What a fabulous tribute to your brother-in-law, Patti.... He almost sounds like the type of man who didn't come into your life... What a shame --that you never found someone like him... Yes--none are perfect, but it sounds like Tommy had many more good qualities than bad ones...

    Sorry that you lost him in your family... May God be with the entire family...


  7. My heart-felt sympathy to you and your family. This was a most beautiful tribute to the man. I hope his memory is kept alive for his grand babies.

  8. What a lovely tribute. He sounds like a great person. I'm sorry for your loss.

  9. I am so sorry for your loss, Patti. Your post is a lovely tribute to his memory.

  10. I am very sorry for your loss.

    "To live in hearts we leave behind
    is not to die."

  11. The ultimate compliment: 'Your life is better for him having been a part of it'.

  12. What a wonderful epitaph to a dear man... sorry for your loss but he is now at rest.

    I have been so busy that I have got behind with blogs...have just read the thought provoking previous post ...why are teenage years so hard in our society.

  13. A beautiful tribute to a wonderful brother-in-love. I hope you print out a copy for the family to keep. Those we cherish with love never really leave us, they are held close in our hearts.

  14. marciamayo,
    Thank you so much for your kindness.

    Then Mr. Kenju is special also.
    They do read my blog so they will also receive your wishes. Thank you so much.

    Thank you, your sentiments mean a lot.

    It was too soon but he will be well remembered. Thank you so much.

    Thank you, your kindness is treasured.

    Thank you but he ended up where he was meant to be with Jan. Thank you for your kind wishes.

    We had Tommy, I just wish those grandbabies had him in their lives longer. It is truly their loss.

    He truly was. Thank you so much for your sentiments.

    Pat Arkansas,
    Thank you Pat, since I can't make the services, I felt I had to say something.

    Thank you for your kind and very true words.

    It is a testiment to the kind of guy he was. Thank you.

    Thank you and yes, he is at peace now. No more pain or sickness. Just the pain for those left behind.

    Thank you so much. They do read my blog so they will have access to it. Since I could not make the services, I felt a need to say something.

  15. I'm so sorry Patti - I know your heart is hurting and your loss is great. He sounds like a wonderful man. blessings, marlene

  16. Good job on the post and I am sorry! He sounds like a wonderful man.

  17. You write so beautifully. That was a loving tribute. You are a great comfort to your sister and family in their time of need. I extend my sympathy to you and your family.

  18. My what a beautiful tribute. I suspect he was as fond of you as you were of him.

    I do hope his family will do everything possible to keep his memory alive for his grandchildren.

  19. My what a beautiful tribute. I suspect he was as fond of you as you were of him.

    I do hope his family will do everything possible to keep his memory alive for his grandchildren.

  20. My what a beautiful tribute. I suspect he was as fond of you as you were of him.

    I do hope his family will do everything possible to keep his memory alive for his grandchildren.

  21. Patti, I am so sorry for the family's loss. And apparently a dear friend of yours.

    What a wonderful tribute you paid him. Beautiful.

  22. thank you Patti.. that was beautiful. love, Jan

  23. This was a wonderful tribute ... {{{HUGS}}} Cherish the memories!!

  24. Patti, I tried to leave a comment here yesterday, but blogger had other ideas. This is such a moving tribute to a very well-loved brother-in-law. I'm so sorry that he lost his battle, but relieved that he had his time to say farewells. Rest in peace, Tommy.

  25. Stichinbythelake,
    Thank you Marlene, for your earlier prayers and now kind thoughts.

    Thanks GQ, our family is diminished.

    Thank you so much. They read the blog so they will get your kind wishes.

    I do hope so. Sometimes I felt we had a special bond. I am just so sorry his one year old grandbaby will not know grandpa.

    Thank you so much. Everyone's kind words are making it just a bit easier.

    I just had to say something since I can't be there. My heart is making the trip if my body isn't. Love ya Sis.

    Thank you so much. Hugs received and very welcome.

    Thank you so much for making the trip back. I too am grateful that he got to say his farewells.

  26. My dear Patti, I am so sorry you lost Tommy far too soon. stand by your sister and her family, as I am sure you will.

  27. Thanks for your kind words about the wedding ...yes it was special xx

  28. So sorry to hear your news, Patti. We all need a Tommy in our lives. Lovely words.

  29. I'm so sorry to hear about Tommy. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  30. I want to thank everyone who stopped by to impart words of comfort and kindness. You all are all so very special to me and have made a tough time a bit easier. Thank you my friends.

  31. So very sorry for your loss, my dear Patti...These things are so hard. Tommy sounds like he was a very special human being....I send my most heartfelt condolences to you and your dear family. May Tommy Rest In Peace.