Dear Tom,

I once told you that I write better than I speak and so I am turning to the lost art of letter writing  to try to express my thoughts and feelings, so that others might understand.  This should be sent to heaven but there is no address and anyway, I expect you would say that Cora, Wyoming was heaven and your many friends are “heavenly folk.”  Maybe they are practicing up for angel-hood.  Can’t you just see Kip with his cherubic face with wings and a halo?   What a sweet man.  I hope that boy angels do not have to wear white dresses ~ that would not be fitting for Kip nor for you.  Tom, you can say as did William Butler Yeats said:  “Think where man’s great glory begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends. “

Thanks to Jessie, Claude and I met you.  We liked you from the get-go and over the years we two Librans had some good times understanding each other’s idiosyncrasies.  Idiosyncrasies?  What?  We were just normal and balanced, whereas the rest of the world was wanting.  Actually, I thougtht I was a T-crosser and an I-dotter but I could not hold a candle to you.  I’ll tell  you Tom, your books and records for Karibu were models of perfection.  This Libran could take a lesson from you. 

Death is always with us so why should it be so difficult to accept and why should I feel so sad?  We never want to give  up those whom we love ~ a hole is left within us which is never filled.  It becomes a part of the fabric of our lives.  You added a lovely color to my tapestry. 

Thank you for wanting to see us one more time ~ thank you for raising the bar for servanthood (you are a deacon) ~ thank you for encouraging me when I could not pull a sermon together.  You would say:  “Put those books and papers down and preach your heart.”  Old friend, I have not attained that level yet.

It was pure joy to watch you with the people of Tanzania, especially the children that hung around you like bees to honey.  Tell me, have you ever met a stranger?   Language was no barrier.  There was real heart-swaping going on there.  Old and young ~ you were loved.  When someone asked me how the trip had gone for  you I said that you cried a lot.  You won’t mind that I shared your tenderness of spirit with others.  I’ll miss you, Tom ~ miss your checking in with Claude and me and James at least once a week. 

Ask God if gmail is his address.  If so, check your inbox.

As ever, your friend, Tally