As most of you know, my brother Tom passed away on Saturday, August 4, after a ten month battle with pancreatic cancer. At some point I want to post a tribute to Tom, but he impacted my life in so many ways over my 52 years that's it's really hard to sum that up.
In the meantime, I'd like to post a letter that our dear friend Dave Wilson wrote to Tom the evening after his death. Tom and Dave were best friends in the truest sense of the word, and as you can see in Dave's letter, Tom has left a very big hole in all of us--myself, his daughter Kelly, and the love of his life, his wife Becky...but none any bigger than that of his best friend Davie.
Until I can get my post done, Dave gave me permission to share this amazing and personal tribute to our pal and brother, Tommie Boy Hoover:
That you were a loving father is evident by your daughter. People like Kelly rarely grace this world and never by accident. I know being a single parent and owning your own business couldn’t have been easy. And as a brother? Greg is the last guy that needs help from me with words, but c’mon, nobody has ever had a better brother, or deserved one more. I won’t continue with names, it would go on too long. Anyway, it isn’t necessary because you made all of us feel so special, like each of us were the most important person in your life. And maybe we were.
I also claim some responsibility for what I think was your favorite nickname, although Kate is the one who really came up with it. After you moved my company out of the valley, the very night the levee broke in ‘93, she nicknamed you Clarence; after the angel that pulled Jimmy Stewart out of the water in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Truthfully, you saved me more times than that.
Our friendship went far beyond being able to pick out a single trait I liked best. But one of the things I admired was your ability to avoid the rote. I never heard you respond to a question with the standard answer or the common answer. You always introduced some new angle which let the person you were speaking with know you were engaged in the conversation, and had actually considered their words. Because of that, people were quick to ask your opinion and trust it.
And one more thing I loved was your irreverence, which was really your reverence. As if you knew that without challenge, things could be taken for granted, something you never did. Remember when we would always tell people that our friendship was “nothing special”? Some people looked puzzled by this observation, but the informed mind knows that when nothing is special, it’s the same as saying everything is special.
Oh it’s useless to go down the road with what I admired, everyone who knew you admired it too. You never held back from anyone.
So anyway, wherever you are, I hope you are well. I’m really, really going to miss you.
Go ahead and make that tee time, but don’t blink your eyes first. We always talked about how fast time moves. It won’t be long before we’ll meet up. And just like every time before this, I look forward to it.