Dear Tom,

Dear Tom,

Tom - Lynnette - Carolyn - Yvonne - Jeff - David  -- 1962
Tom - Lynnette - Carolyn - Yvonne - Jeff - David -- 1962

Happy 51st birthday!

September, 1970
September, 1970

You were just a kid when I left home – a 13 year old pest to be exact!  At that time you were still making dumb and inappropriate comments about and to my friends.  You were still wrestling with Jeff until something or someone got broken.  You were fighting with Mom about cleaning your room.  You were avoiding daily showers.  You were so obnoxiously normal.

High School Senior - 1978
High School Senior - 1978

As you grew up, you became a very likable guy.  (or maybe I’m the one who changed?)  You had a great sense of humor and made me laugh a lot.  You did some great impressions – remember “H-e-l-l-o, B-e-a-r”?   You were a great football player, even though you were part of a couple of heart stopping moments on the field.  You were fun to be around, and my kids thought you were the best.

Tom with son, Brandon - 1983
Tom with son, Brandon - 1983

You handled leukemia with faith and courage.  I learned a lot as I watched you establish priorities knowing that your time on earth was limited.  After doing all you could do to prevent or delay the inevitable, I watched you accept the outcome gracefully.  I have a good memory of our last phone conversation the day before you died.  Who knew the end would come so soon after that?

January 22, 1989
January 22, 1989

Because your life was so short, we haven’t had a chance to be adult friends and siblings.  I’m pretty sure we’d have had a good time together.  But I’m also sure the chance for more good times is in our future.

We still miss you, but we know that you’re in a good place.

I’m thinking of you on this day.  Give my love to Mom.

Love, Lynn