This is Tommy's last sister Traci. When I found out what happened I was in complete shock, it didn't seem real. I went to work the next day and told a co-worker of mine who also is a passionate skydiver what happened. I told him because I knew that he could relate to the situation and because I wanted to stress to him to be safe. I don't want to hear of any other tragedies like this...especially so close to home. He pointed this website to me, I told my family, and here we are.
I want thank every one of you from the bottom of my heart all the kind words that you have for Tommy. Your stories and feelings about Tommy have made a world of a difference to all of us. We often worried about Tommy being out on his own without family nearby, but I see that he had his own family of friends that gave him love, support, and most of all fun. Unfortunately, I didn't get to know him as well as an adult because I also moved away from home, so our paths didn't cross that often. I will miss him dearly as will everyone.
Our family also has met some of you that made the trip out to Chicago. Thanks to all that were able to make it, we know it’s not always easy to come when something like this is out of state. It was wonderful to meet everyone in person and to swap stories. I wish we could have met under different circumstances. Every one of you was warm and inviting and it’s good to know Tommy was around such wonderful, loving and fun people. I even made my attempt as a VCL, but ultimately failed...I’ll get it next time.
While what happened is truly a tragedy, Tommy did follow his dream. He lived life to the fullest, and not everyone can say that. He didn’t let fear hold him back as so many of us do. He was very quiet, sweet, and respectful. When he did say something I would often have to ask him to repeat himself, I too experienced the mumbles. I thought it was just me who couldn’t understand him until I read that many others had the same problem. I have fond memories of Tommy, many of which were already mentioned by my siblings. He was a little boy when we met him, and he grew up to be such a wonderful man. He is loved and will truly be missed. He will be with his mother again, and someday we will all be reunited again with him and others that have gone before us.
Tommy, we love you so much. We will miss that wonderful smile and those dancing feet. Blue skies to you Tommy.
To everyone out there flying in the sky...please be careful out there.