On April 19th, 2011, my beloved cousin Timothy passed away. It was extremely sudden and has left all of us feeling confused and heartbroken. My mom called to tell me the news yesterday evening. She started crying as she said “I have bad news.” Immediately I pictured Chester, my 13-year old Wheaten Terrier. I have been waiting for the phone call for a few years now telling me that my childhood dog has finally moved on to a better place. I never imagined the next words out of her mouth would be “Timmy is dead, Court.” Not Tim. Not my full of life, energetic, 28-year old cousin Tim. The cousin that you hope will be at every family gathering because he can make you laugh just by looking at you. The cousin that is so silly on the outside, but deep and spiritual on the inside. The cousin that asks “how are you? How has your life been?” and really means it. No matter what was happening in his life, he always asked about others and listened. As I sit here and write this, I still cannot believe it. I cannot comprehend that Tim has left us and will not be at the next beach trip or family reunion.
When I think of Tim, I think of our childhood together. We lived 30 minutes apart and our families would get together on an almost weekly basis. Tim and his brothers, Jeremy and Matthew, would torment me to no end. I’m pretty sure I would leave their house crying most of the time. At Nana and Papa’s house we were all assigned to the “Kids Table” during family dinners. Matt, Jeremy, Tim, Charlotte, Christina, Katy, and I would all crowd around Nana’s card table in the kitchen. We would spend our entire dinner talking about farting, listening to the boys farting, and just being silly. My sisters and I looked up to those boys so much. Not having any brothers of our own, they were a real treat to spend time with. We would all run downstairs after dinner and take turns playing ping-pong. Nana had no mercy when it came to ping pong!
I remember a time when we were all in our teens, vacationing at Wrightsville Beach, NC. All of us cousins piled into a suburban and were cruising down the strip making up a rap song. Timmy introduced me to the song “Back Dat Azz Up.” He would sit patiently and let my sisters and I play with his hair when it was long. The scrunchies and braids were always a good look for him.
We used to go swimming in his backyard in one of those above-ground circular pools. He would let my sisters and I sit on his shoulders while we made a whirlpool by running in circles around the perimeter of the pool.
I remember his wedding day. Seeing him burst into tears as his bride-to-be appeared in the aisle is something I will never forget. That is one of the things I loved most about Tim, his sensitivity.
Tim had the best laugh. Just hearing him laugh was enough to send you into hysterics yourself.
I want his mom and brothers to know what an impact he had on my life. On my family’s life. On every person he ever encountered. Timmy was without a doubt one of the best parts of my childhood, teen years, and adulthood.
It is a true tragedy to have lost such a beautiful soul so early. Tim was supposed to be there for the rest of our lives. We were all supposed to have kids, and our kids were going to be friends too. My heart is broken for his two brothers and his parents. I know that he is with the Lord now, not dealing with any more worries or struggles. “Timinay”, your life will be sorely missed every single day. Thank you for making all of our lives rich while you were here. We love you!