Our Friend Tom

Tom's Ghost Bike at Davenport Road and Lansdowne Avenue

This blog sets heavy in my heart and difficult for me to write.  For a while now, I have been wanting to honor Tom somehow and write a few words about him.  This is my tribute to him, Kasia and the family, I thought it was befitting on his one year anniversary.  Tom died in a tragic hit-and-run while cycling around 6:30am on his way to meet a couple of friends for breakfast, and before going to work at the school where he taught.  That morning, Tom missed breakfast and there was an empty seat in the restaurant with a couple of concerned and puzzled friends, ‘Mr. Samson’ also didn’t show up to school. Kasia and Tom didn’t have cell phones, so it was expected that there wouldn’t be a call or text, just not expected that he would never make it to his destinations that day, meet his friends, greet his colleagues and students and especially come home. I think about my friend Kasia and her children all the time and how painful this must be.  It’s unimaginable, Kasia is so incredibly strong.

Tom and his family in 2009

Initially, I didn’t get Tom?  He was quiet spoken, pretty serious looking and I thought he was a no-nonsense, passive kind of guy.  Was I ever wrong about that!!!  He was hilarious, dry, witty and very competitive!  He was always joking around.  Brett and Tom’s friendship transpired from the start and they would often get together, jogging, tennis, swimming or just hanging out.  Tom usually beat Brett in most things. When they did laps in the pool, it always turned into a competition and they would race each other like little schoolboys.  Tom was a fierce competitor and it was an even match between them, the once upon a time ‘Aussie Beach lifeguard AKA Hasselhoff ‘ wasn’t too happy for losing against  Tom in the breaststroke. Tom was quiet and very humble, yet probably one of the most well-rounded people I know!  He was extremely intelligent, knowledgeable, interested in the world, the environment, music, history, sports, food and art.  He was passionate, compassionate, and truly loved his family and his life.

Art by Tom's daughter

This piece of art was done by Tom’s daughter and it has touched me deeply.  She was only about 7 years old when she created this, she has portrayed him perfectly. She is a very smart girl, sensitive, strong, creative, artistic and simply misses her dad.  It wretches my heart, but makes me happy that there is hope in her and Tom’s good memories and love remain.  What a significant reminder to us all, through the eye’s of a young girl, there is still Hope, Love and Unity after such tragedy.

One of Tom's favourites

Tom LOVED food!  He enjoying cooking and was very good at it!  Homemade pizza and Mexican Quesedilla Nacho nights were famous in their home and we loved going over for dinner.  He always made us feel so welcome!  It is especially important for me to mention Tom in this blog because he was one of my biggest fans.  I truly did love to cook for Tom, mostly because he LOVED my cooking and raved about the food!  He made me feel good and always so grateful.  They always arrived to our house promptly and Tom would tell me how excited he was to come over and how he was thinking about it all day.  Sometimes he would do push-ups beforehand just to work up an appetite.   He gave us the most thoughtful gifts like Chili Jam, dry salsa mix and homemade beer.   He was such a kind, generous guy with a gentle soul and we are so fortunate to have had him in our lives for the short amount of time that we did.

Memorial Stone at Wychwood Barns

One summer night, while Tom was hanging out with Brett outside on our deck, he made a playlist on our ipod.  It was there for him to listen to and enjoy every time he came over,  he never told us about it.  He shared our love for music and left us with this precious gift that we will treasure forever.  It is hard to believe that one year has gone by since we lost our good friend, we miss you Tom.

Tomases Playlist

Silence 3:09 Xavier Rudd Solace 
Freedom Train 2:51 Lenny Kravitz Let Love Rule Rock
These Days 5:12 The Black Keys Brothers (Deluxe Version)
My Missing 3:01 Xavier Rudd Food In The Belly
Whirlpool 4:29 Xavier Rudd White Moth
Music 3:32 The Beautiful Girls Learn Yourself
Flyin 1:59 Regina Spektor 11.11
Spanish Town 2:47 The Beautiful Girls Ziggurats
I Don’t Blame You 3:05 Cat Power You Are Free
Montego Bay Spleen 5:43 St. Germain Tourist
Man Next Door 5:57 Massive Attack Mezzanine
 
 
Please feel free to leave any stories, memories or comments about Tom.
 
 

Comments

  1. Very well said Saito. Tom was a man who was loved by all and disliked by none. Miss you mate.

  2. Christina Keith says:

    You are a good friend, Miki. What a beautiful tribute. And for that, it shall be quesadilla night tonight. You don’t need to know a person to be touched and inspired by their life!

  3. Justine Beattie says:

    Beautiful tribute

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