Friday, October 4, 2013

When the memories are happy and hard

My Cousin Tom died this summer, unexpectedly of a heart attack in his sleep.  He was only in his fifties. 

As my Dad told me over the phone I sank hard to my stairs and sobbed into the receiver.

Tom working on our kitchen counters
"What? This is impossible, I just talked to him the other night. This can't be real."

My kids watched me sobbing from the living room.  They wanted to know what had happened, what was wrong.

"Tom, grand-cousin Tom is dead."

We all cried as the harsh reality of the words sank in.
Tom showing Kody some shooting skills.
Grand cousin Tom, the one who took Kody hunting and shooting.  Who had him spend the night and do 'guy' things together.  The one who took Kalen on the Santa motorcycle run just last Christmas. The one who took the kids who were big enough on motorcycle rides around the block.  The one who loved my kids and me and all of the family without end.  The one who had rebuilt our bathroom when we found mold had taken hold in the wall.  The one who was always their when you needed him. 

Tom took this picture of Kalen at the motorcycle Santa run
When I moved from Washington State to Connecticut in the Spring I knew that losing a family member might happen before we got back home.  People are aging and it was a definite possibility.  I never suspected that it would happen so soon and to one so young. 

I am making split pea soup today and the memories of my cousin are flooding my eyes with salty waters even as they bring happy smiles. 

He would have hated this meal.  His hatred of peas was well known.  It was the only food he would not eat.  Any kind of pea with any kind of preparation.  Last time I made it he chided me on facebook about it.  This time he isn't here to tease and that is hard.

I have only happy memories of my cousin Tom.  They go all the way back into my earliest ones.  I miss him so much, but I am thankful for the good he brought to me and my family.  I can hope that someday I will get to see him again.

As I eat my soup tonight, I will think of him and smile.
Tom and Kody have always had a special bond. 


  1. I miss Tom too. I think about him and family often. I'm gonna stop there before I get too melancholy.

    FYI,.. miss you guys too. It was a little odd not having you guys at the beach.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute to him and so thankful you have a close family.

  3. Paul, it was weird not being at the PPBP this year. One of the kids said, "You mean they are having the party still WITHOUT US!?" Yup, we all missed being there.

    Thank you fellow Karmen with a K. We do have a very close family. It is hard to be all the way across the country from them now.


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