Today is the anniversary of our friend Tim's death. Time has healed the hurt, mostly, and thinking about him isn't painful anymore, but, as Beth says, I'll always have a Tim-shaped hole in my heart.
Today i was looking at pictures that i took of him, and a couple of things struck me. One: I always feel like we were friends for years and years, but we really only knew each other for about 2 years. Maybe even less. But Tim became such a really close friend so quickly that it feels like much, much more. And two: We did a lot of really fun things in those two years.
I can't even remember exactly how we became friends. I know that i first met him on my unit at Wedgwood, when he came down to talk about one of the kids that was moving from his unit to my unit, sat in the office, and then just ... stayed there and talked to me for an hour or so. I know that Juanito started doing Young Life with him and Aaron and Phil, and the four of us would go out every Thursday night afterwards to Village Pizza. And i know that he was one of about four people who came to our (very awkward because our boss showed up too) Halloween party. But i'm not sure, exactly, when in there we became friends.
But once Tim was our friend, we were friends. He was over at our house nearly every single day, and on the days that he wasn't, i remember talking to him on the phone for hours and hours, especially during the months after a tragic accident at work that devastated me. There's a corner of my house where the couch used to be, and i would lie on the couch and talk to him on the phone, and he would make me laugh when i didn't think it was possible.
Juanito had Tuesdays off, and after work, Tim started coming over. And then Mark. And then Beth. And then it just kind of became a thing. For a couple of years, we had "Tuesday nights" at our house, where anyone from Wedgwood was welcome to come over after 10:30 pm. Lots of us worked second shift, so we were just getting off work, and people would come over and play games and watch movies and shoot bb guns and make pretzels and play computers and generally just hang out and talk and laugh a LOT. People would stay until 2 or 3 or 4:00 in the morning, and Tim was always, always one of the last ones to leave.
We went to Chicago one Saturday. Juanito and Tim and Beth and Phil and i all piled into our little car and drove down and spent the entire day walking all over the entire city. We got city passes and went to the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Sears Tower, and, possibly, the Art Museum. We walked and walked and walked, and by the time we left, everyone was completely exhausted. But it was SO MUCH FUN.
A huge group of us went to Cedar Point the summer that the Millennium Force came out, and he and i rode in the front seat. It was awesome.
Juanito, Tim, and i drove down to Florida, almost without any planning at all. He was all, "Hey! I'm going to Florida in two weeks! Want to come?" And we did. He took us to his favorite spots, including a weird zoo for abandoned exotic animals where he totally pet a tiger.
We had a campout on my aunt and uncle's beach one night.
We'd walk around downtown in the middle of the night. (In fact, he was the one who actually showed me downtown for the first time.)
We towed his van - Juanito driving one car and me the other, because Juanito and i had lots of practice with our own cars - for miles and miles one night after it broke down.
He and i made fun of all the people playing on their computers at the New Year's Eve party the year it turned over to 2000. And then, within a month or two, he turned over to the dark side and got sucked into computers too.
He was Juanito's best friend.
And really, no matter how many other things i can remember or say about him, that last one is the most important. He was our friend, and we miss him.