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08 April 2011 @ 12:11 pm
About Tim  
I've been thinking a lot about Tim, unsurprisingly, and want to jot some things down - feel free to skip, this is mostly for me.

When I was in high school, I met Leroy and we started dating during my freshman year. He was a reasonably nice guy, but part of the draw was his family. His mother is such a sweet, giving woman - she had the two boys, but took the opportunity to treat me as a daughter. Sometimes we'd ditch the boys and just have a girls' day, just the two of us, and she was a great, non-judgemental sounding board for all that young teen angst. Grandma Holmes was very good to me as well and Tim, well, Tim had no difficulty adopting me as the little sister he never had. He teased me, picked on me, encouraged me, shared books with me, all the things an older sibling does. Being the oldest in my family, this was new to me and nice, usually. He introduced me to The Wheel of Time series and we shared many others as we were both voracious readers. For a lot of years, he didn't have a girlfriend and I was a safe "notadate" for the times when he wanted company, but didn't want to try asking a girl. He was in the Opera program at UW Milwaukee and part of his "homework" was to go to the Milwaukee Opera a few times a year - he'd get two free tickets and I usually went with him. This close relationship with the Opalas became even more important to me when my parents got divorced. My home life fell apart, but they were there for me to provide support and security. Even after Leroy and I broke up, I continued to see Mrs Opala for lunches pretty regularly. She at at one point even offered "you know, I do have two sons..." It was mostly in jest... mostly.

Tim and I never developed a romantic relationship, despite being compatible in many ways, but we stayed very close. It was easier once I moved to Madison and was further away from his brother. We'd meet for dinner and hanging out - usually at a movie or a book store. We would go dancing - line dancing at the Dry Bean (mostly his thing) or contra dancing at the Union, which we both hugely enjoyed. Wrestling meets and hockey games were other favorites we shared now and again and he came with me when my cousin made it to the State tournament in Wrestling. I took him to a few events, but the SCA was never really his thing. He did play with Thistlecroft (a Scottish interest group) at the Bristol Ren Faire though, so we still had plenty of things to discuss on the history geek side. We'd go to weddings and parties and such together - the sorts of gatherings where you want company but don't want to inflict it on a new date. He showed up at my grandmother's funeral, not because I asked him to, but because he saw it in the paper and knew I'd appreciate him being there. While he was in Madison working for the DOC, I'd see him for dinner pretty often and even run into him around town now and then. Even when he was based in Milwaukee, we'd talk on the phone pretty regularly, just to chat about life and keep in touch...

Most of the time, what we did was the casual, inconsequential stuff - just hanging out, enjoying each other's company - but he was an important fixture in my life for nineteen years. Always cheerful - he had an amazing booming laugh - he was a big guy but not intimidating, even to small kids - they all just loved him. I really think he's a good part of the reason I am generally attracted to very tall, very large, musically inclined men. He was just easy and fun to be around... and solid. There's not really any other word for it. Just a good, good man. He was on the short list of people I could call at 3AM and say "I need you" and know, without needing to give explanation, he'd be there as soon as humanly possible. And I'd do the same for him in a heartbeat. It's just inconceivable that that is gone. Suddenly and irrevocably gone. I can't even really say I miss him - partly because it still just doesn't feel real and partly because "miss" is not the word for that little black hole of hurt in my soul. The whole world is off kilter with him gone - time will repair it, but it will never be quite the same without his laugh.
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable
Gabriel andvakagxdm on April 8th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
*hugs you*
Saraidhsaraidh on April 8th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean in about the black hole in the heart. *hugs*

I'm glad you like his family. One of the hardest things for me when Steve died was that I had no connection with anybody in his life outside of work, so I ended up completely shut out of the official observations and feeling like maybe I didn't have a right to mourn. I'm glad you don't have that issue.
EllieSamelliesam on April 8th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
Oh honey. I am so sorry. (hug!)
Jonya 'Sorcha'spot1111 on April 8th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you wrote this down. Tim sounds like a good person, a forever friend. I'm sorry you are parted; I don't know what your spiritual beliefs are but I believe we find each other again and again, sometimes, certain souls do. It comforts me. I hope you find your comfort a help in the dark.
Ulfhildr: carnivaleyuri_shoujo on April 8th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
): *hugs*
Aaron (Rusty) Lloydrustmon on April 9th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
stitchwhich on April 9th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
I grieve for your loss. Your words made him come alive for me and I regret that he is out of reach to you.
JinglyMushroomjinglymushroom on April 9th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
Eithni, I just wanted to say I'm so, so very sorry. I wish I had words to express it better than "my sympathies", but now, better able to relate to the loss of a friend rather than just imagining how profound it might be, I find myself even less capable of saying something. Please know the thoughts are there, even though I can't find the words for them. Also, even though I may not have a table in a cozy house to offer, please know that if I can listen or talk or otherwise bring you comfort, I would like to offer what I can.
I'm sorry again...
mightyjessemightyjesse on April 11th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
I am also very glad you wrote these things down. I have friends like these, and don't really know what I would do if one was lost. I am sorry you are sad and sorry that I did not know this fine person.