The speech I gave was pretty hilarious, with interrupts, distractions, screaming children… my girls shouting into the microphone… but I think I got my point across. No doubt the speech I wrote was too long. I’m glad to have a record of both. Below is the speech I wrote to give at the (Altamont,) New York Celebration of Life.
I drove in yesterday and it struck me that it was almost 10 years since I drove in wTim for the first time… and he gave me a detailed tour
I was amazed by the town of Altamont then, and I am amazed now.
I thank each of you for the welcome you have given me and to Tim and my children, and for everything that went into making this event what it is. To Chief and Nana Chris for everything they’ve done for us to keep Tim’s memory alive and to pull off this amazing event. But also to each and every one of you who pitched in in such an amazing way with your unique talents.
Tim would have been amazed. Dumbfounded. He truly would have.
Tim would have wanted a happy celebration. He would have loved seeing all these different sports jerseys and t-shirts. He would have felt right at home and could have walked in here and immediately struck up a conversation with any one of you, on any sport. I said this in Virginia, but its even more true here in Altamont!
The thing I really want to say to all of you that watched him grow up….or are his family and really loved him…. was that Tim was really very happy until the very end… and he hated goodbyes….. so as horrible as the situation has been for all of us who loved him it gives me some comfort to know that it was the best thing for him.
I think because what happened to Tim….. to my family… was so unbelievable I have found that people try to put more believable thoughts around it ….that just don’t exist. The weekend before Tim got sick he went to Richmond with his friends for a brewery tour and he had a fantastic time…. that week he went for a 5K run through the neighborhood ….he was always trying to take care of himself and eat well and exercise and he was very happy.
Tim told me when he had a hangnail…. he didn’t want to go to work if he had a sore throat…… Last year he had a ingrown hair that got infected that he reached out to his aunt about because she’s a doctor and her husband’s a doctor and he wanted some advice …. Tim didn’t have extraordinary complaints that last weekend that he was home with us… he stayed in bed a lot. He said he didn’t feel good but he asked me when I went to the grocery store to pick up ice cream and tiny chocolate chips and chocolate chip cookies…then when I was putting Declan down for his nap on Saturday, Tim and the girls made me chip wiches. For mother’s day. Because I love chip wiches. He kept thanking me. He said I’d get a mother’s day do over.
We went to the doctor on Monday morning when I insisted… he went to the ER with me on Tuesday when I insisted on that… and many of the doctors there told me they wouldn’t have even brought him in as soon as I did.
The fact that he never reached out to his aunt tells me he had no idea how bad this could possibly be… Before they intubated him he knew he had low white blood cells and he knew he had pneumonia. I asked him if he was scared and he said yes because it was all very scary…. particularly the idea of being intubated and not being able to breathe on his own. But he had no idea that this could happen. He never knew he had cancer. He said he should have asked me to bring his extra phone charger. He asked me if I brought a book.
It was a crazy ridiculous series of events and while I wish that I could have said goodbye in a different way… and when I know that people who loved him wish they could have said goodbye at all… I am sad for us but I’m still not sad for Tim because he would have hated goodbye.
So let’s not say goodbye today either…. let’s try to preserve wonderful memories of him that you have that I can share with our children when they’re having a hard time and they want to remember dad… I’d like to make sure those memories are there for them because their dad was such an amazing man.
I brought with me some of the things that people learned from Tim and some of the memories of Tim that we had from the Virginia celebration of life. If you read them you’ll find a lot had to do with pop music…. which I totally get because I find myself now even when a poppy song comes on the radio that’s annoying and I probably would have changed it before….like Rebecca Black’s Friday or Carly Rae Jepsen’s call me maybe or anything by Britney Spears… now I always leave it on the radio because Tim would have listened to it and it feels like a little bit of a hello from him.
Thank you for all of the memories you share.
Keep talking about him… keep his memory alive here and for the days to come. Never feel afraid to mention Tim to me or to the kids for fear of bringing it up and upsetting us…. We are always thinking of him and it’s great to hear his name said by someone else.