Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tom = Music

My auditory memory is pretty good. I can recall the baseboard I was sanding when I heard that one part of the This American Life episode about the kids that made up the family they were babysitting for all summer when the mom almost busts them. I can recall when I first heard the Indigo Girls sing about four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper. And I was free.

And I can recall a million conversations with Tom about music. Ok actually I can remember Tom talking. I listened. Especially when he was with Donna and Hugh or Jeffery. They would talk for hours about bands and artists and songs. Tom just shined.

Tom was music to so many people. A comment was posted to this blog by Trey, a man dearly loved. He wrote about Tom drumming on the dashboard of his car. And Tommy sent a link to a new song with lots of Gibson SG time. He wrote it was 4 minutes well-spent. (Yet another example of fine rock and roll played on the mighty Gibson SG... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_iBKacXIA4).

And I recall Tom sitting in the family room pickin' and strummin' while I fell asleep. Life is so much richer for the music, both literal and figurative, that Tom created.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tom's new car

Tom and I had an interesting relationship with each other as it pertained to money. Tom set the rules, I fought forever and gave up. Then it worked out fine.

Basically we each handled our own money. We split the bills, saved, invested, and if someone had some extra or was short the other person covered it.

Tom was slow on most things but not on saving and not on buying. Take his car for example. One day he went out and bought a car. He deserved it. His old one was falling apart and he had been driving it for decades. But it cracked me up when he got up one day and said he was going to look at cars and came home with one. I always thought married people did all that together. Now granted, I did not care what he bought, where he bought, or how much it cost. Tom was reasonable. But to this day it cracks me up.

Months later I was without a car. I needed to go buy one. I told Tom we needed to go get me a car. He kindly said to call him if I got in a bind. Then I went and bought my own car.

And to think we did not get married for 7 years because I needed to retain my independence.

Now I still drive his car and look fondly at this six year old picture the dealer gave him with a funny memory. And I know I can go out and buy my own car.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tom of no fear

My mom was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and with that event, as is totally expected, came her fear and the concern of the family. She checked into the hospital, had a great operation, healed fast, and is home.

But it brought back a lot of my memories. One of them was a reflection on Tom's attitude. In his 20 months after diagnosis, and five tough months at the end, and the final 30 days or so in the hospital Tom rarely complained. When he did it was about making a mistake like forgetting to put on socks, me pushing him to get out and exercise, or plain old not wanting to go to work. He did not complain about being sick. He never asked "Why me?"

But even more so was that he was never afraid. That is not an exaggeration. He was not afraid of the operations, the chemo, the radiation, the changes in his body, or dying. He did not think he would die of brain cancer, but if he was going to, he felt it would all work out in the end. I still don't know what that means.

I tried to divert my fear into manic energy and pretty well succeeded. Tom did not divert. He faced his illness with optimism and honesty and the more time that passes the more I see how unusual and admirable that was.