Thank you all for sharing your memories and photo’s of Tommy with us (his family). It has been great to hear your stories and to see Tommy smiling and enjoying his life away from his home here in Chicago. It has been heartwarming to know that Tommy lived and worked around people that shared his same passion in life and to know that you all loved Tommy as much as we all do.
Tommy entered my life when he was about 8 or 9 years old… when our parents started dating and shortly thereafter married. I would be remiss if I didn’t share some of my favorite memories of Tommy with you all. I’ll always remember Tommy as “my new little brother” - that cute little blonde haired boy who rode his bike constantly. I’ll always remember how completely adorable Tommy looked when he came home with that Vanilla Ice hair cut and still to this day whenever I hear the “Ice Ice Baby” song I think of him. I was always mesmerized by Tommy’s dancing – when we were all younger he mastered the moon dance before any of us…and no one could break dance like Tommy, we didn’t even want to try – I’m sure he got sick of me asking him to “do that spinning on the floor move again”….I could have watched him dance for hours. As he got older, I remember Tommy as a great baker and that he was always experimenting and trying to cook something new in the kitchen. Then there were those Dead Head years. I’ll never forget how surprised I was when I heard that Tommy went sky diving that first time, and how excited he was to talk about it and to do it…again, and again, and again. And I’ll never forget how Tommy’s face “lit up” when he brought his skydiving videos home for everyone to watch.
I still can’t believe that Tommy is gone. I wish this was just a terrible dream that someone could wake us all up from. I hope he knows how much we all loved him and that we all miss him terribly.
In the past few days, I’ve read, talked about and learned more about skydiving than I thought I’d ever do in a lifetime. Now, I’m sorry that I never asked Tommy if I could come see him sky dive in person. Perhaps he did ask someone, but I’m pretty sure he was hesitant to ask any of us to come watch him since we were all so paranoid about it. But more than anything, I’m sorry that Tommy and I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know each other better as adults – I never expected that our time would have been cut so short. I’m taking comfort in the fact that Tommy left us while he was doing something that he felt completely passionate about, and that Tommy will finally have the chance to reunite with his mother after all of these years. Hopefully he will also be reunited with his dogs, which he loved as if they were little children.
Tommy, please know that we’ll all miss your presence, your happy smile and that sweet little twinkle that you always had in your eyes.
A Big Kiss and a Big Hug to you Tommy,
Christine (step sister #2 of 3)
My condolences go out to the friends and family of Cliff Heller and I wish a fast emotional and physical recovery for Jay Humphries and Ilea. I hope something positive surfaces from these terrible accidents. Thank you to the people who comforted Tommy at his last moments. And to all of Tommy’s friends….I wish you all comfort, peace…and most importantly I wish you all safety.