Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011

I have struggled with how to recognize today: what would have been, and what should have been, Tom's 58th birthday.  So I thought I'd share some more moments. In no particular order:

This was Agent 96's first cous cous dinner. About a half-step lower on the spectrum than a Thanksgiving feast, cous cous dinners were a ritual at our home. In fact, on Kwaj we once had a cous cous feast instead of a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Tom loved himself some Moroccan food. Tom loved himself food, and sharing it with his friends.

We had to put Neko to sleep in 1998, when she was 18 years old. I knew we'd be going to the vet later this day, and my heart knew Tom wouldn't get to hold her again. Poor little Neko looks comfortable in this photo, but she could barely stand, and could no longer walk. A few months before she died, Neko, who had taken to hanging out with Tom in the office (where Tom had jury-rigged a running water fountain out of a plastic box, an aquarium pump, and tubing) and increasingly tired of walking up and down two flights of stairs to the litter box, had taught herself to use the toilet. We were alone in the house one day, just Tom, sleeping 96, and I, when from the kitchen we heard someone using the bathroom upstairs. We looked at each other, and remarked upon it, but it wasn't until days later that we actually saw that little kitty sitting up there, assuming the position.

Oh, how we loved our tropical Christmases. And what better way to spend Christmas Eve than teaching your 4- and 5-year-olds how to drive? 

 This might be my actual, official wedding portrait ...
  ... but here, my friend Laura caught Tom speaking his vows  -- proof!  This is my favorite wedding photo.  In our church service a few months later, Fr. Hehir, unhappy that we used the same vows, tacked on to the end that God had put Tom in charge of family security, and put me in charge of the household. So whenever I'd ask Tom to take out the rubbish, he had to do it  ... because God said so!

About two weeks before we pcs'd from  Kwaj in 2002, Tom and I spent a long weekend in Pohnpei, FSM, where we visited Nan Madol. We met our friends Mooch and TOO (short for "The Other One") who let us stay in their thatched hut at The Village as long as we fed them.  I don't remember which is which, but I know they were fatter when we left than when we got there.

Our first visit to the Big Island, 1999.   Don't you love  96 & 98 all matchy-matchy like that?  I'd still put them in matching t-shirts if I could! This was moments before the dotcom bubble burst, and if we had had our checkbook with us the day we stepped off the plane on that vacation we would own a little piece of paradise today. And we would never have left.

Lake Mooselookmeguntic, Oquossoc, Maine. Tom had been going there with friends for years before we met, and I was quite honored the first time he invited me along. We went once with the kids in the early days, but were so mortified by "the great magic marker debacle of '99" that we were afraid to make reservations again until the summer of 2006. Ever wonder what to do if you find an unattended black magic marker?  Stop.  Don't touch.  Leave the area.  Tell an adult.

I don't know which was more of a chick magnet: the cool Daytona, or Maxwell. They're both pretty hot. Hmmmm ... all three of them were pretty hot, actually!

I treasure every moment, every memory.  The lifetime of moments that make the life of a man.


  1. Did my heart good. Thanks, Linda (and Tom).

  2. I can feel the love you have for Tom and I have never met you so to be with you must have been wonderful for him because he felt and knew he had that love. I know you still grieve but I have to tell you that I wish I could have with someone, even if for a very short time, what you had with Tom. I hope your heart feels a little lighter today.

  3. Thanks, Georgette -- I do usually feel a little lighter after I write about Tom, particularly.