It was a cold winter morning in January. I woke up early to start my day and get ready for work. The morning routine consisted of waking up, turning off the alarm, laying in bed, checking Facebook for a few minutes and then getting up to start getting ready for the day.
As I was scrolling through the newest status updates, I saw multiple friends with the status of “RIP Tim. You will be missed”. Initially, I kept scrolling, not making the connection of the friendships. Then I reached a status. At this point, it’s such a blur, I can’t even remember who posted it. The message read that Tim, one of my best friends from college, had been murdered in St. Thomas as he was leaving work. My world froze.
I vividly remember standing in the shower, thinking that I couldn’t have read it correctly. Thinking that it was all a mistake. I remember feeling numb and lost. I drove to work in a daze. It was still too early to message anyone about it, although I’m sure they were all awake. I remember parking my car and calling Tim’s cell phone. I prayed that he would answer. I got his voice mail and sobbed as I heard his voice again.
You see, Tim and I became friends in college, during a difficult time in my life. I was away from my family and Brian and my step-father was battling prostate cancer. His prognosis was worsening. We knew he didn’t have long left to live. I was about to graduate in December, so needed to be at school. I was so close to finishing, yet I didn’t want to be there. Each weekend, I would drive home 2.5 hours to be with my family and Brian. Every Sunday night, I would get in my car and drive 2.5 hours back to school. Those were the loneliest of car rides. Lonely and heart breaking because I was leaving Brian and my family, during a time that they needed me most. It was the worst feeling.
Tim always knew how to cheer me up, make me laugh, be my sounding board, or just listen to me when I was frustrated with life. He knew when I needed my space and he knew when I needed to be forced to leave my apartment. He was a silly guy, and one that was loved by so many. He had a heart of gold and would have done anything for any of his friends. He was one of the best!
I graduated from college and moved home. Tim graduated and stayed in our college town and worked at the local high school for a few years. We would catch up here and there, but as I’ve mentioned before, life gets in the way. We’d play phone tag, go a few months without talking, and then finally catch up. A few months before Tim died, he had been given the opportunity to move to St. Thomas to manage a bar for a friend. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I was so excited for him…yet jealous beyond words!
Just a few weeks before he was murdered, he called me one morning. I was just walking in to work and only had a few minutes to chat. He sounded great and said that things were going well. As always, he asked when we were going to come visit him there. I promised him that we would visit and then let him go. I told him that I would call him back that evening. I told him that it was so good to hear from him and that we would catch up! I never called him back.
I am so thankful that I had just talked to him before he was taken from this world. It’s odd how things work out like that. It had been 6 or 7 months from the last time we talked. I still hate that I never called him back and that I won’t have the opportunity to do so. I am so thankful though that we had a chance to catch up and I was able to hear how happy he was.
Although Tim’s story is tragic, I’m thankful for this…there’s an expectation that there’s always tomorrow. Tim’s story reminds me that tomorrow isn’t promised. It reminds me to live each day to the fullest, to be aware of my actions and words, and to live each day as though it’s my last.
I miss Tim dearly and think about him often, but I’m thankful for the memories I have of him and the constant reminder…to live your life to the fullest, because the expectation is false… tomorrow’s not promised.
I’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!