Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Friend Tim

I wrote the following about a friend of mine who was diagnosed in January with a very aggressive brain tumor. After I found out I just started writing about it with the intent of publishing it here on my blog. But I didn't, and I'm unsure why. Even now.
Well, we just got the news today that Tim passed away, and I feel the need to post this now, so I am. For those of you that knew him you know what a wonderful guy and inspirational presence he was at the paper. For those of you who didn't, you'll just have to take my word for it. He will be missed terribly.

I have a friend and colleague who has brain cancer.
He is one of the most charming, funny (downright hilarious, actually) and life affirming individuals I have ever met in my life. No one who has met him has ever had a bad word to say about him and he has never had a bad word to say about anyone either.
This cancer appeared seemingly out of nowhere and has grown virtually overnight and is threatening his existence in a way I have never seen or ever want to see again. It’s been a tough ride for all of his many friends and, of course, even tougher on his family. I have seen it affect the people he used to work with, and I am not immune. Quite a few of us have used a particularly silly photo of him as our screen saver to remind us of his humor and zest for life. Speaking with him the other day from his hospital bed, he jokingly asked me if the newspaper we worked for would like to do an in depth article of his particular situation, which he hoped would lead to Dick Chaney paying a visit to our little town in Northern California so he could see first hand the devastation our current health care policy has on a “registered republican’.
My friend was a sales person in the advertising department with the largest geographical territory we had, which meant long daily commutes to see his clients. To pass the time he had his iPod, which was filled with an eclectic mix of artists and genres. Before this happened he made me a mixed tape from his favorite station, KPIG, which is comprised of folks such as James McMurtry, The Devil Makes Three and The Trailer Park Troubadours. It’s fun, life affirming music filled with hope and humor, just like Tim, and I listen to it whenever I am in need of a boost.

I hope he beats this thing, I truly do.


Phil Fountain said...

Tim left us, but he left us speaking of him as a good friend and a good man. A legacy any of us should aspire to at our own passing.

Hal Johnson said...

What a loss. We don't have enough people like Tim. He sounds like the kind of guy who put folks in a better mood by just walking into the room.

Holly A Hughes said...

A beautiful tribute. This reminds me that we should cherish all the good people around us, even if they're not battling a life-threatening disease. They're rare commodities.

I had a musician friend who committed suicide last fall -- I would say "suddenly," except in retrospect everyone could see that it had been waiting in the shadows for months. I really regretted not having written about his music when he was still alive to read it; he was such a neglected talent, and a little recognition would have meant so much to him. At least the piece I posted about him after I got the news was some comfort to his stunned family.

I hope Tim's loved ones have a chance to read this and see how much he was valued by his colleagues. My condolences.

Uncle E said...

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts.