8.04.2012

The Worst Kind of Tragedy

The baby is fine as far as we know. IV is in and we are doing everything we can. But our family was struck by another kind of tragedy.  A life ended too young.  My little sister Katie, who is 25, received the best news of her life day before yesterday.  She passed her boards for sign language interpreting.  This is huge.  My sister has anxiety and depression, also adhd.  Everything is ten times harder for her.  And it was during one of the hardest times of her life.  But she perservered and now it paid off.  She was the happiest I have ever seen her. 

She has said before she can't ever be happy.  She might be right.  The happiest day of her life turned out to be the worst day of her life. Her fiancee passed away.  They were together ten years, since they were 15. He is all she ever knew.  He was a part of our family and fit right in rolling with the crazy punches.  We loved Tom so much and Tom loved us!  Katie and Tom were broken up.  He made some unhealthy choices that scared her.  She wanted him to know it wasn't okay.   She was proving a point, trying to require change. She did it out of love. 

She told me last week, she hoped he could pull it together.  That she still saw them marrying, he just needed to take care of some things.  She told me how much she loved him and has just told him how she knew he would fix these things and they would still get married.  They still talked.  They even saw each other.  He was there cheering her on at graduation, sitting with our family.  He was supposed to come over night before last to celebrate her passing the boards.  He had some work to finish up and then he would be over.  But he never came.  Katie thought he fell asleep.  He was pushing himself at work, wildly successful in every earthly sense for a 25 year old (he was so responsible and good for Katie) and Katie knew he had gone in very early that day.  She text him a few times, but didn't want to disturb him. 

He lived with his mother.  He wanted to buy a house, but not without Katie, and he knew Katie needed to keep living with my parents to get through school and boards. He wouldn't move without her.  He loved her and wanted what was best.  He had a strained relationship with his mom.  He didn't tell her much.  She found out the engagement was off from someone else, her other daughter.  She didn't know they still saw each other, still loved each other.  She has never liked Katie, which makes all of this harder.  Tom had her ring.  She made him take it because he didn't believe he was serious.  Katie may never see that ring again, something he bought to show her he wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.  They created it together over months.  His mom didn't even call to let her know she had found Tom late morning yesterday.  She blames Katie for what may be an overdose, may be an aneurism.  He was on some meds.  He was taking things he should be on top of it.   Add beer.  It had happened before.  Katie never told her he had a problem.  It was what he was working on, why they were apart. But he also had headaches he never told his mom about even though she was a nurse. He was taking pain killers. They will know more when the reports come back.  But as far as his mom sees it, Katie was out of his life because Tom never told her anything.

I pray that time heals.  Katie is a mess.  She has so many issues outside of this, she doesn't have much in reserves.  She has regrets they weren't together.  She has other regrets.  Yesterday as we gathered around her, she was a puddle of a person, melted, sobbing about the wedding they never had, house they hadn't bought, babies they never had. Our heart aches for her and for a life not lived fully. 

And a friend lost.  Tom had many friends.  His close knit group of friends lost one of their own to suicide in high school.  They have not recovered.  Especially, M, who lost his dad to brain cancer around that time.  Katie and M are going to need all the prayers you can give, along with Tom and his family.  My heart is breaking for them and all they have been through in their short lives. They don't have faith, or in some cases not strong faith, and they need prayers.

We will always remember Tom so fondly.  He was a brother to dh and I, an uncle to the kids. He was there after all the grandkids were born, and in the waiting room during AJ.  He cried tears of joy, he was so happy to be part of it. He was always there with a smile and a helping hand.  We admired his character and amazing work ethic.  The world will not be the same without him.
 They were together forever, so we have pictures going back so far of them...
 Our family is a crazy, loud, big, bunch. Tom wasn't that way, but he loved it and jumped right in.  He especially loved the kids
 and Katie. Wow did he love Katie.  And he wasn't afraid to tell her so. Often.
Wicked in Chicago. They had no money and one ticket. He begged her to go in alone while he waited. He was that kind of guy.

 So young. So much stuff left undone.  And yet he lived life to the fullest, even skydiving was his thing!
 The nieces flocked to him.
 He is holding AJ here at my graduation.  He was always pitching in and super respectful.
This is Katie and Tom holding AJ.  He cried tears of joy at his birth.  He was a real man.
Here he is a year ago at my graduation. He was there for every family event, always supporting us.

This is typical, jumping right in to help.
 My older sister, JB, took these in 2007.  These are the two dogs they owned together.




 Tom, we love you so much! 
We will miss you more than you know. 
We are better off for having known you!

19 comments:

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

I am so sad and sorry to hear this. Prayers for the whole family.

Simone said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Second Chances said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. He looked like such a sweet man. Praying for his soul and for your whole family.

January said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for your sister.

Brenda said...

I am truly sorry. Praying for your family, especially your sister.

More Than Anything said...

I am so sorry! So sad. Prayers for your sister and your family.

Chasing said...

I'm so sorry.

prayerfuljourney said...

Oh my goodness...this post brought tears to my eyes. I will pray for Tom's soul and for your sister. I couldn't imagine the pain...God love her and keep her strong. The pics you shared were very touching and telling of their story. So sad.

Hebrews 11:1 said...

I am so terribly sorry for both families. You will all be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

This is just heartbreaking on so many levels. I am so sorry for Katie, your family, Tom's family and of course for what appeared to be a sweet young man with so much promise.

You haven't specified what Tom's problem was, but I will guess that he had an addiction. Katie may never believe this - she might always damn herself wrongly for breaking up with Tom to effect a positive change in him - but she did the right thing. I've been there. Today's problem is tomorrow's living in a marriage in agony 24/7. All problems before marriage worsen afterwards. The life Katie dreamed of with Tom might never have happened.

But, now is not the time to tell her any of this. It's the time to hold her, grieve with her and pray for her and M. I'll pray for you all.

P.S. Katie looks just like you. :-)

Sew said...

So sad.....Just awful!

Amazing Life said...

I am so sorry to hear this, our family will pray for all of you!

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

Oh, no!! I am so very sorry. Oh, I will pray for everyone involved.

From Pam and John to Mom and Dad said...

I'm sorry to hear this. I will be praying for you all.

mrsblondies said...

So sorry for your family, especially your sister. Praying for you all.

Julie said...

Prayers! I am so sorry!

All in His Perfect Timing said...

I'm so very sorry! What a great guy ... even better in person than in pictures, I'm know. Know that I'll be praying for your sister, you, your family, Tom's family and for the repose of his soul.

BlessedBeLord said...

My heart breaks reading this post.. I am so sorry! Many prayers for all of you. Praying that God fills your sister with peace.

Megan said...

So sad. :( My prayers are with your whole family.