When we originally asked for stories about Tim, we had no idea what we were going to receive. Then they came in multitude, in all forms imaginable from photographs to poems, from songs to anecdotes. They have been funny, heartwarming and educational. We have found so much joy in this form of celebration that we invite you to continue this sharing here.
Thank you for sharing Tim with us. His friendship was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever known. I have come to realize that.
A friendship with Tim was so uncomplicated. There was no competition. There were no mixed feelings. There was never fighting. There were no harsh words exchanged. There were no attitudes that were displayed. A friendship with Tim meant a warm embrace, a loving tone, an understanding ear, and a familiar and sincere smile. This was at all times. He was nothing but love and kindness at all hours. It still amazes me. It would probably be impossible to believe had you never met him. It frustrates me when I’m explaining Timmy to my friends that don’t know him, because words alone cannot demonstrate how amazing and incredible he was. I feel like I’m describing a character in a movie, because he was just too good to be true. To have known someone who was just sweet and loving and kind and adorable at all times was an amazing experience, and looking back I realize how truly unique and admirable that was.
The Earth has truly suffered with the passing of Tim. It has lost one of its brightest lights, and I sincerely believe that. The conversations I’ve had with my fellow Navajo teammates, or my friends from the class of 2003 who were also close with Timmy all reveal the same message: We must all become better all the time, to try in some way to compensate for the loss of Tim. Perhaps if we all do this all of the time, the universe will be filled with half of the light that Tim displayed completely on his own. That’s how radiant he is. That’s how much love he demonstrated, all the time. It would take all of us being kind and good all the time to match what he did single-handedly with no thought or effort.
Perhaps it sounds cliché, but Tim was truly too good for this Earth. I’ve heard people use that justification before, but only now does it make sense or seem applicable. He was just too good. When our friends have spoken about Timmy since his passing, we all have this feeling that he was truly an angel here. He lived his life as if he had some sort of subconscious sense that time was not endless. He made the most out of life always. I have been telling people that Tim ALWAYS lived his life the way my 87 year old grandfather has come to live it only in the last few years. My grandfather understands that he does not have many years ahead of him. He has let go of lots of his anger. He lives such a peaceful life, filled with love and kindness. He spends time only on the things that matter. I think older people in life come to that point where they realize that they have to appreciate each day, and let go of negative energy that serves no one any good. They have some sort of realization that when their time is limited, that it should be spent in a positive way. I feel that Tim always had this sort of understanding about life. He had a sort of spiritual maturity. He seemed to understand somewhere in his soul the way life ought to be lived. And he did it in the most beautiful way. We all should learn from Tim.
I feel so lucky to have known Tim. We lived in the same hall freshman year, so I’m one of the lucky ones who had the chance to know him from the beginning of college. I told Tim on one of my first times meeting him (which he reminded me of in an email after he got sick) that he was one of the best huggers that I had ever hugged! His hugs have become something that we, his friends, have spoken of recently. No one hugged like Tim. People can put their arms around anyone in a polite gesture, but Tim always seemed to make the conscious decision to radiate love, warmth, and positive energy from EACH hug he bestowed upon his friends. I just hope that with each hug that I took for granted, Tim left me with a piece of his amazing energy that I can continue to use for good.
Tim was a quiet presence, but if you were blessed enough to get him into a conversation, you were blown away by the depths of his observations and his thoughts and ideas. He was so bright. He may not have been saying much all the time, but he was observing and analyzing everything. He was also HILARIOUS! He was not the loudest guy in the middle of the room who was cracking the most obvious jokes, but if you were lucky enough to stand next to him and hear his hilarious responses, you were left laughing for a long time after! Some of us from the Navajo team were together before the wake exchanging stories, and we shared some of his one-liners and stories about Tim that just made us crack up all over again. He had made some CDs for our trip and they were some songs on there that were so very funny that we laugh whenever we talk about them. And his laugh was so contagious. I hear it every day now.
We had shared with Timmy on our trip that the Rascals’ song “A Beautiful Morning” was his theme song, and I wanted to share that with you. “It’s a beautiful morning. I think I’ll go outside for a while and just smile.” That opening line and the whole song just seemed to capture Timmy’s energy and presence so well. We could all just picture Timmy walking around outside smiling with that song on in the background. Those could have been his own words that he wrote. It was just so Tim. Happy, carefree, loving, enjoying the simplicity and beauty of life, and smiling. Walking around and appreciating nature, loving and appreciating each beautiful day, going for a walk just because it’s a beautiful day, and smiling. Always smiling. We have it captured on the Navajo vide.
I loved sharing the Navajo experience with a friend I knew outside of Global Outreach. It was nice to expand on our already tight bond. I learned so much from Tim, and loved seeing the experience through his eyes/lens. He had such a gift in capturing the beauty in simplicity.
Tim has inspired so many people to better their lives. The Navajo teammates have come up with our little mantra “WWTD? What would Tim do?” and this is how we are planning to approach life now. In any situation, we will figure out how Tim would have handled it, and since it would only have been with love and patience, we will learn from him and follow his teachings. We are determined to have this be a part of his legacy in our world.
I have lost many people in my life, but Tim is the first that I feel is really my guardian angel. It’s the first time I feel I really have someone to pray or meditate to, and who I know will always be listening with a compassionate and understanding ear. He had that gift here on Earth, and I really believe deep in my soul that he now has the ability to extend that gift to all those who need him at all times. I know he promised you all that, and it is the first time in my skeptical heart that I feel assured that I have someone there to protect, guide, and listen to me. I am so deeply pained by his physical loss, but comforted by my spiritual gain.
I know that it is so difficult to understand why someone so good had to experience so much bad. One thing that has brought me comfort, and I hope that brings you comfort is the following thought: Tim had almost a year of people emailing, calling, and writing letters every single day telling him how amazing he was, how loved he was, and how people were sending him so much good energy. Most of us do not have the opportunity to have people tell us how wonderful we are every day. It’s unfortunate. What a better world it would be, and how much happier we would be if people expressed their feelings of love and care every day. Had Timmy never been sick, he would never have had so many months of feeling so loved. Most people do not get to experience that. I know that brings little relief, but it did bring my heart some peace when I thought about it. I’m so happy he had all of that time to feel so loved, and that everyone had the chance to tell him how special and amazing he was.
Timmy loved you all so much, and spoke of his parents, siblings, and niece and nephew often. He was so proud of his family and felt so close to you. I knew of you all since college and he had shared many stories and this sense of pride back then, but when he became sick those stories intensified. I know how much your support and love meant to him. You were mentioned in almost all conversations, emails, or letters. You are such an amazing family, such an incredible support system, and such a loving and solid unit. It’s obvious where Timmy got his amazing spirit from.
Tim’s last phone call to me was on Sunday, October 21st. I feel so fortunate that I had the chance to hear his voice one last time, to tell him I loved him and missed him, and to tell him how I would always be there for him. I had no idea then that things were progressing so quickly, but if he did, he showed no signs of it. He continued to demonstrate positivity, gratitude, and love. He said he was calling to thank me for my support. To think about how much he was suffering, but that he still took the time to acknowledge my gestures, it says so much about Tim.
The Navajo teammates have all agreed that they have “felt” Timmy in a number of different ways. We have all had signs and strange occurrences that we attribute to him. It brings us comfort, as I hope it does for you.
I love Tim so much. I’m grateful I had the chance to tell him on a number of occasions. I thank you for blessing my life with this amazing person. Thank you for providing me with a guardian angel.
I promise to use the lessons Tim taught me every day. He will be in my heart forever, and I am a better person for having loved Tim.
We had a lot of fun as kids. Those were the days when you could play outside unsupervised for hours. "Sure, go down to the beach, just don't go in the water until we get there." Kids of all ages just messing around. Timmy was out with us as soon as he could walk, the light blonde hair and big brown eyes. He was often photographed in just a pamper. Maybe that is why he became so fond of layers later.
Being a family of five children, there was a always a lot going on. Often, Tim was along for the ride. He was a serious carpooler by the time he was ten. He was always excited to see whatever sibling he was picking up that minute. I can only imagine how many little league and basketball games, soccer matches and track meets that kid went to. We loved to go to the games that my Dad would coach, joining in on the cheers from the crowd and heckling the coach.
Timmy also got to commute to school with my Dad throughout high school. Those always made for good stories. Come to think of it, I am not sure when Timmy actually started driving. Whenever it was it was probably too soon. Did you ever ride with him? He had his own special way of driving. My favorite was tearing off the sideview mirror on Gram's car when backing out of the garage.
As we all got a little bit older we had even more fun together. Holidays were extra special, whether we were making cookies with my Gram or playing cards until the wee hours of the morning with friends that would stop by. Tim never cared if he was the first out of Texas hold'em. He would say that he really wanted to just be the dealer anyway, and he meant it. What I realize now is just how much we enjoyed being together. I wish I could remember all the funny one liners that Timmy was so famous for. We would be doubled over in laughter while someone across the table would still be asking what was so funny. He drank too much wine sometimes. And I am not sure we will ever know the real ingredients in a Timitini.
I think about Timmy's friends, he has so many. So many that meant so much to him. Oh and Timmy loved a wedding. Boy could he dance...with anyone. And then there was the time we went to see Timmy at a a Fordham Football game. One of his jobs at the time was to carry the long cord for the coach's headset thing. It was so funny. We laughed with him all the way home. We did a whole commentary on it, "he moves left, he shakes of #22, oh and he jumps the cord to avoid a near trip..." So fun.
I think of his laugh and his smile, his layers of shirts. I think of how patient he always was with my children, but not always giving in to their demands. And they loved for him to take their pictures. We were always so excited when Timmy sent pictures. You never knew what they were going to be and sometimes even when you looked at them you did not know. He enjoyed taking pictures so much.
Timmy was not perfect of course. He had the tiniest ears and teeth of any adult that I have ever known. I made up a song about it once, "he's got little ears and little teeth, he's little Timmy..." It was good, he loved it.
Timmy loved to make other people happy, he did it with an indescribable ease that came from truly enjoying it. It is one of the things I took for granted and one of the things I miss the most.
We even have some happy memories of the last days we had together. Timmy was still finding moments to make us laugh through our tears. When we knew what was happening I said to Tim, "I just don't want to live in a world without you." and he said, "I know, I wouldn't either."
at anytime. i will always remember your courage. my recent bout with breat cancer, i was able to beat this cancer.it was found very early. during my process though surgeries,and radiation i am now cancer free... for now ... though my adventure i did hold tim's compassion for life and fight to beat
his cancer very close. for each day is a true gift .. thank you tim...theri b
It is difficult to express how a man I never met could have any impact on my life, but he did.
Tim's eloquent messages of hope made me see things in a new light ~ and served as a sometimes least expected and most needed reminder to "take another look".
The timages are beautiful ~ and I am thankful this email came today ~ I have been in need of a reminder. Thanks, Tim.
"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."
"And then I think about my fear of motion
Which I never could explain
Some other fool across the ocean years ago
MUST HAVE CRASHED HIS LITTLE AIRPLANE."
We both looked at eachother, a little freaked. Was it a sign? It had to be a sign. We shouldn't get in the plane. Maybe we're not supposed to get in a plane!
We didn't know what to do. Uneasy, we got fitted for our snoopy-esque WW2 fighter helmets and, stomachs in our throats, climbed aboard our potential doom.
Clenching hands above the island, we ended up laughing as we looped over Dan Akroid's abode.
It was awesome.
A repeated line in the song Galileo is: How long till my soul gets it right?
I felt like mine had it right that day. And I know it had everything to do with sharing the moment with Timmy.