A Man Called Tom…
A man called Tom introduced me to the book A Man Called Ove who, as you know if you’ve read that book is an interesting, sometimes confusing and confounding and always human character; a man who cared about things you and I might’ve passed over without a thought.
This man called Tom was even more complicated than Ove. He had a very well-developed sense of humor which, coupled with his sense of drama, life in general, personal experiences and timing led to stories that had me laughing so hard that tears came to my eyes. He was that special sort who was not a giant in stature but who had easily mingled with giants of the business world, and yet found an interest in me as I had found in him.
We were brothers since that was how he developed his friendships. Before you knew it, you were ‘all in’ in the vernacular of poker. That was part of his magic, and I could easily see how he had been so effective developing relationships with those of all levels of society, selling, whether product or service or his version of love and a life well-lived, throughout his business career and his lifetime.
The book I am reading today, just a day or so after Tom’s final breath, is similarly important. ‘Scalia Speaks’ obviously concerns our Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. That book also came to me as a gift from Tom. That gives you an idea of the breadth of his personal interests.
If you never had the opportunity to meet my friend Tom, I know you can easily picture him always with a smile, a certain gleam in the eye that made you know he was thinking of something, and a sense of devotion to family, life, and friends that is seldom found in this too-busy world in which we live.
These are the kinds of people that God put here for reasons that we’re only too happy to come to better understand. He was not without his problems as we all have problems. But, he was, with me anyway, almost always able to transcend whatever that problem du jour might’ve been often with a jokingly casual statement that belied the depth at which he personally felt the problem. He was not about to accept any pity, and if you felt that way he’d set you straight pretty quickly…but always in a lovingly jocular way.
This ‘Man Called Tom’ has left us for the moment, but he left many of us with memories we’ll carry for so long as we breathe on this earth. If you think of how many people we interact with as we course through this lifetime, and then think of the impact a very special handful of those people had on us, you will be able to conjure up your own image of my dear friend Tom. If you can’t see that image, work a little harder on finding additional friends who give you what Tom gave me.
The effort will be well worth the time you expend in the quest. And smile while you are on the way. If nothing else, it’ll make them wonder what you’re up to and it’ll help them find their smile, too.