To all of you who expressed your concern regarding my friend Tom who I mentioned was sick last week, thank you so much for your sentiments. Tom passed away last Tuesday on September 11th. I didn’t mention it then because I didn’t really feel like I would have the appropriate words to be respectful but still mournful at the same time. I’m sure I still don’t, I mean, can you ever?
I’m going to tell you a little about my buddy Tom Duddy. He was from the North East, complete with the accent and was super offensive to many a Kentucky woman. He was the best. I could go on for hours about all the nonsense that Tom and I talked about, but I’ll just let you know why he was a legend, because Tom was a legend. Tom had this magical ability to find people. People who were hurt or people who needed something, and he would find them a best friend. Tom was there for me on at least a million occasions and I don’t even think he knew it. When I studied abroad, he was one of the few people who kept in contact with me. When this evil chick in college was spreading rumors that I was sleeping with my teacher (and I was still getting Bs?!?!) Tom would introduce himself to my friends and my fiancé, and even was engaged to me for a few months on facebook until the entire thing blew over.
That was just the tip of the iceberg. Tom travelled for work all the time, and wherever he went, he would meet people who just needed to talk. He would listen. I’m sure there are people all over the world who don’t even know he’s passed. I guess that’s how those things are. If you live life right, there will be a huge network of people who have been touched by your existing.
I guess that’s where my feelings come in. I’ve always been pretty good at accepting death as a part of life. You can’t be sad for the dead. No matter what you believe, there is always some rational that death is a pleasant thing for those we love/who are good. Either there is some sort of paradise or there is nothing at all, so you can’t mourn for them. We cry for ourselves, we miss them, we needed them, we don’t like what has happened. Our feelings in death can be such selfish things, but the more upset you are for someone’s death, the more proud you have to be of them. They did something worth missing.
Tom taught me something great. He taught me that I don’t want to be looking for another Tom Duddy, I want to be a Tom Duddy. Tom was a guy who was just your friend because he wanted to be. He didn’t use people. I don’t once remember him talking about his own need to get ahead. He didn’t use people, he was there for everyone. I guess this just makes me want to carry on the legacy. So often we live our lives saying, what about me? Where is my best friend? Where is my support system? Why haven’t I achieved this? Why am I here? Instead I want to be that best friend, the support system. Everything else will fall into place.
I want there to be a huge group of people that can say, when I met Brittany everything changed. I don’t want to be just another person on someone’s list who used them. I want to be as sincere as I felt Tom Duddy to be.
That’s Living the Dream.