(This is what I read at Tim’s memorial service. I was proud of myself that I did not shed a tear nor did my voice crack during the eulogy, but there were many before, plenty since, and surely more to come. I’m just glad I was able to look strong in front of a crowd of over two hundred. I had written it the day before but wanted to add the poem. I kept having too many interruptions so you will see when I finished that.)
Standing here before you to memorialize my husband is not something I had ever planned on. We all know how precious life is, but we still take it for granted. Many of you are here because you know me or another family member, but many of you knew Tim. You surely knew what a big Astros fan he was, but did you know he cried the night they won the game that took them to the World Series? (Yes, I’m sure a lot of you men did, but wouldn’t admit it!) I consider myself blessed to have a home to live in now because he always swore that if the ‘Stros ever went to the World Series he would mortgage our house to get tickets.
You probably knew he was an animal lover, but did you know he cried when a rabbit ran out in front of the car and he couldn’t avoid hitting it? Needless to say he was not a hunter or a fisherman. You might have figured he was like the rest of us and didn’t particularly like memorials or funerals though he did enjoy the food and fellowship afterward, but did you know one reason he isn’t here for viewing today is because he thought that the custom was morbid and wouldn’t have wanted you remembering him that way. Yet, we spent much of our honeymoon and twentieth-anniversary trip walking through cemeteries and reading headstones.
Tim was a very tender-hearted and gentle man who loved animals and children and only tolerated many adults. But he was good about holding his tongue most of the time and didn’t say what was really on his mind because he didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings.
Losing his dad twenty-two years ago was probably the hardest thing he ever went through. His dad was best man at our wedding, and his love of sports came from his dad, as well as his love for the ladies. When we would go out to eat, I always had to tell him not to flirt with the waitresses. But he was a gentleman who still believed in opening doors for ladies.
Tim was a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, but he also liked quiche. He loved his mom’s chicken and dumplings, and any family member here can tell you the childhood story of Tim wanting to plant his own dumpling tree. Maybe he can grow one in Heaven next to the River of Life. I certainly hope by now he has gotten that big gulp of Living Water because he was so in need of a drink the last week of his life.
I know Tim loved me, Joey, and our extended families dearly because he was never afraid to say it or show. He loved his friends, though he may have never told you, so I am telling you now.
(I wrote this poem about three in the morning before Tim’s memorial service. I have written poems for anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, etc. and knew this would be my last time to honor Tim in this way before family and friends. I had written him short verses on homemade cards before though I had never written a longer poem. I would have done it for his fiftieth birthday in 2009, but he didn’t want a party or celebration.)
“Never Getting Back to Normal”
It’s normal that we miss you,
It’s normal that we cry,
It’s normal that our love for you
Makes it hard to say good bye.
This year it won’t be normal
As we gather round the table
To eat and celebrate our Lord
And His birth inside the stable.
We would love to hear your voice again
And see your smiling face
But we can be thankful your pain is gone,
And you’re comforted by God’s embrace.
Time may erase our heartache
And good memories may ease our sorrow
But life will never be normal again
Without you in our tomorrow.
You are your sisters’ only brother,
And your mother’s only son.
Our home with only Joey and me
To finish things left undone.
If time goes as quickly without you here
As it seems to do year after year
We will be reunited by and by
And share our mansion in the sky.
I have but one request of you
You’ve done this since we were wed
I’ve needed this since you’ve been gone
Please warm up my side of the bed.
I love you, Tim.