I stand before you to deliver these words of memorial; words that are to celebrate the life of Timothy. Although read and spoken by me, are from Timothy’s mother and father. There are no words of solace; closure may elude his family. Still, Timothy is loved by his family and countless friends, as is evident in these recent days. Timothy is a boy that was becoming a young man – born with an ancient soul that carried a wisdom and love beyond his short fifteen years.
Timmy would look at this world and see the good in all, believing that it was filled with heroes. He believed that even the foulest villain still maintained a thread of goodness in the tapestry of his soul. It was by this slender thread that redemption would take purchase and the sword would become the plowshare.
Let us face this tragedy and celebrate his life as Timmy would have asked. Let us vanquish the pain and sorrow with laughter and smiles. The love that Timmy had is a love that can never be extinguished. The humor Timmy possessed, he shared; his compassion for others, he displayed.
Timmy had an innate knack for technology, and his passion was art and story telling – he also felt the urge to put his thoughts to paper. Timmy would love to travel, and many times he would hop in the car with his family and meander the country roads, looking out the window, listening to the radio or reading a book. Tim enjoyed it when the car would bounce and make your stomach drop, and loved watching the leaves turn colors.
When he was six years old, while in Lower Manhattan, Timmy met a New York police officer who was guarding the Sphere sculpture that had once stood in front of the Word Trade Center; he walked up and shook hands with the police officer. “I’m sorry you lost your friends,” he said as the officer held back tears.
There were times when he would go to the toy store with his parents, and suddenly a Nerf sword fight would break out. Timmy would sneak up on his dad and whack him with the foam toy. This duel would continue on until the two were scolded by a store attendant, or his mother would give his father the evil eye and laughingly admonished him for fighting with her baby. Timmy would take this opportunity to land the last blow to his father, thereby winning the day.
When going to the movies, he would rush to the upper most seats where he commented the movie theatre belonged to him. Over many movie weekends, he began to develop his dream of becoming the next George Lucas or Steven Spielberg.
Most of the time, Timmy just loved spending time at home. He couldn’t wait for his little sisters to go to bed so he could lay on the couch, put his head in his mom’s lap and watch a funny movie or America’s Funniest Home Videos with her. A source of amusement would be for him to eat most of the bowl of popcorn, leaving all the un-popped kernels and burnt ones for her to gag on.
Timmy loved to laugh, and he didn’t care how loud he was or where he was. Many nights the neighbor next door would bang on the wall because she was trying to sleep and he kept waking her up with his infectious laughter.
When Timmy was born, his father sang him a song about a monkey, which got shortened to Timmy’s nickname “Monk”. His mother called him her “Bubba Fred”, and even though he was becoming a man, he still loved his nicknames.
When Timmy’s mother and father were expecting his sister Alaina, his parents told him of his sister. Timmy asked “How sure is the doctor it’s a girl?” His parents explained that there was a ninety-five percent chance the doctor was right by looking at the ultrasound images that Timmy then held in his hand. He handed back the photos and said “There’s still a five percent chance he’s completely wrong!”
Timmy loves his brother and sisters, even now as he looks down from Heaven. He will always to be their protective older brother. As they grow, they will know his presence in their own personal ways. The young men and women of Nativity BVM, Our Lady of Port Richmond, and Archbishop Ryan have demonstrated their compassion, perseverance, respect, and most of all, their love for Timmy; a love returned a thousand-fold. It has been during these past few emotional days that the students have reached out and conveyed to Timmy’s parents how he was always the last leave, and he would make sure say “Have a good day. I will see you tomorrow.”
His laughter may be silenced to our ears. His goodbyes may be only memories. His story is cut short and unfinished. But we will finish his story one day, and we laugh again as we remember his humor, his love, and his celebration of life. Let us leave this House of God to set aloft our prayers, hopes, and best wishes. We are certain he is at this very moment telling God and his angels funny stories, and playing with God’s computer and smart-board. He whispers in our ears these words from the ether, that we may put his and our own to ink and paper.
God Bless you Timothy. You are home among the angels. Continue to laugh and continue to love.
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