Friday, October 09, 2009

A Good Day

We said goodbye to Tom today.

So many good friends showed up at the Masonic hall. Tom's former co-workers, our old friends from law enforcement days, my knitting friends, our antiques dealer friends, Tom's fellow massage therapists, our neighbors, and so many of his Lodge brothers all came to honor him. Even our attorney was there.

A large photo of Tom, centered in a huge wreath of woodland theme, was center stage. I'd love to show you a photo of that wreath - it was very "Tom". It was lovingly designed by one of his former windows clients, a floral shop he'd done business with for more than ten years. They knew him well and captured his woodsy character. I loved it. Masons aren't comfortable with cameras within their Lodge room, so no photo. But that really wasn't important - what was important was the beautiful celebration service the Masons presented their fellow brother. The thoughtful eulogy showed a strong emphasis on Tom's willingness to help others in need, as well as his dedication to the Masons. Through the tears, I couldn't help but smile - Tom did love to help others, and it was so comforting to me that he was recognized for that great trait.

I hold close to my heart the special appearance by a long-time friend who never attends funerals. He just doesn't do funerals. Never. I've know this about him for 30 years, and never ever did I expect to see him walk in the door. That he would honor Tom and me with his presence was like a warm blanket around my soul - it meant so much.

The spaghetti dinner made by the Masons, complete with dessert, was excellent. The portions were huge, leaving hardly any room for dessert. I wasn't very hungry, so I did it backwards - a lovely large piece of chocolate cake for an appetizer, then salad as my main course. Never got to the spaghetti - I just didn't have room. Well, that's what I told everyone. But really, my appetite just hasn't quite yet returned. It will soon. In the meantime, my scale is appreciative - I've lost eight pounds in the past three weeks. Positive things happen in strange ways.

Surrounded by all that Tom-love from our friends was overwhelmingly wonderful. Lots of good tears, and plenty of smiles and laughter too. Only 90 minutes in all, from the beginning of the service until the end of lunch, but it's helping me heal. Sure, it's going to take time to find my place in this world again. But I carry Thomas everywhere with me, and that's my balance point.

One more thing.

Tom is still helping others. His corneas have been donated to two people who desperately need that special gift. Somewhere out there, there's pieces of Tom that will be giving sight for years to come.

It was a good day.


skaro964 said...

And so the healing begins. Your on-line friends will be here when you need us.

Take time for yourself to re-center and breath, Tom will always be in your heart when ever you need him.

Ann Parry NY said...

Beth, what a moving, eloquent tribute to Tom. And thank you for sharing that he donated his corneas. hugs - Ann

p2pix said...

Thank you for your generosity of sharing Tom with us. It's wonderful to know he continues sharing with his cornea donation.

Living Life Photography said...

Beth, so very sorry to read about Tom. My prayers go with you now and as you go through the healing process. God bless you. Carolyn