Thomas Taylor Davis
I lost him on the 9th of July; I lost contact, although I tried and tried to raise him, I couldn’t reach him, and on the 10th, we all lost him. Many of you don’t know Tom the way I do, and that’s a good thing. It means I can open eyes and hearts to the man that I knew and love.
I always believed that falling to the floor after receiving traumatic news was so much Hollywood hooey and movie melodrama but it’s not. It’s exactly what happened. I don’t remember making any sound, although I’ve been assured that I did, and after confirming that it was actually happening, everything stopped. I stopped. I remember grabbing the door frame and then I was on the floor, gasping for air that I couldn’t seem to find.
That was the moment I lost my physical voice and when the happy me inside my soul started to shriek and scream. She hasn’t stopped, and I do believe she is now deranged. I’m okay with that. I’m great with that. Nothing has really changed for me. Tom is, was and always will be my Zing. The Love of My Lives. I promised Infinity and longer and I meant it.
Let me tell you about My Tom –
I called him My Sweet Curmudgeon. I was his Gorgeous Rascal. We fell in love and I will spare you the details, but I want it known that it was and is real. If not for a medical issue stealing him away, we would be together in a very short time. The fact that we had our future stolen away hurts more than I can put words to.
That man loved to argue with people, about anything, any time. All the time. I found it adorable, and it made him so happy to do that. I will never understand the reason why it made him so delighted, but it did. The way he would come down the hall or open his computer and read to me what he said to this person or that made me shake my head and laugh too.
He loved to read. Always with his Kindle, he would sit with the music playing or the TV on for noise and he would read. Voracious he was about it too. My Tom loved books; he loved all genres, but he favored science fiction over everything. His absolute favorite though, were the free eBooks he received from emails.
Every morning, I would get up and kiss him good morning, and he, that handsome fella, he would smile from his eyes to his lips and call me his gorgeous Rascal. I would bring him a refill of coffee while he sat and downloaded the free books authors offered. I loved doing that for him.
My Love was such a geek. The things he didn’t know about everything weren’t worth mentioning, because he knew so much. We would sit for hours and discuss music, literature, artists – he loved telling me about the history of Murfreesboro and giving us both new experiences. We would discuss what growing up was like and what movies changed our lives. We talked Doctor Who and Star Trek and the books of Tolkien, history and ancient weapons and reasons why An Officer and a Gentleman was so important to him and why Big Fish is important to me.
He had an eye for guitars and collected them avidly, though he was unable to play anymore. All of them had a name – Belle Blue, Tilly, Bertha, Cherry Bomb, and so forth. His favourite was his Belle Blue. He gave me Cherry Bomb and was starting to show me how to play. I remember the first time he plugged in the amp … it made so much noise and he just stood there and smiled while I created The Gods’ Own racket.
Tom was private about his regrets and his heartaches, about his emotional thought processes, but he shared them with me. Some stories he told in great detail, and some with little more than tears and a handful of worries, but all with an openness I’d never guessed existed. He told funny stories about growing up with his siblings, about times that were tougher, and about those people he loved with a passion that made him seem so much younger than his age suggested. I never did see him as older than I. Age never came into play for either of us and that was a gift.
He loved to laugh. Oh, he loved to be silly. He would crack jokes just to make me laugh, and Goddess I loved it when he smiled. Tom had the most marvelous sense of humor though it was sometimes a little crude, and I loved that freedom about him. One of my best memories is of watching him read to our grandbabies, and it was such a silly book that I couldn’t help but giggle too. The girls were busting out in laughter and that man, he kept a straight face through it all. It’s a precious thing I will never forget.
Tom was fiercely loyal. He would fight for the people he loved, without a word or a worry. He cared about those people that mattered most to him and he talked endlessly of how proud he was of them, and of how much he loved them. Tom showed us all that he cared. That is something that can never be doubted. There was never a day that went by that he didn’t tell me he loved me, that he loved all of us. He adored his friends and treated them like family. He thought of every one of them like family, brothers and sisters.
He was so proud of his daughter, Oakley, endlessly and completely, in that puffed up that’s my baby girl way, and her husband, Joseph, too … Giuseppe, he would joke but then warn me never ever to call him that. I can’t help it, Joseph, I’m sorry but I always do in my mind. Nothing but love though.
He darn near worshiped his grandchildren – Ayla, Ma Petite Souris, your Gramps thought you were a prima ballerina and he teared up every time he watched you dance. Joss, Mon Petit Chou, Gramps loved that you could draw so well. That made him very happy. He was proud of Seth too, never more than when he told he that “the kid” had joined the services, but he had hopes for more respect from him and that held him back from shouting it as loudly. I’m sorry Seth, but I thought you needed to know.
We were happiest in the kitchen, planning meals or cooking together. We would dance and sing with me to whatever was on the radio. I remember preparing a lasagna for dinner with our dear friends and Mandolin Rain was on the CD player. We danced in the doorways, staring into each other’s eyes. Tom loved cooking for me and for our friends, and he was very good at it. I envied his ability to not mess with a recipe and make it come out fantastic, and he envied my ability to make them up as I went. We just fit together.
Tom loved music, and he would listen to genre, humoring my love of metal with a grin. What he really loved, though, was the Blues, and he much preferred live music to studio albums. Tom taught me all about where his adoration came from and introduced me to some delightful artists that opened my eyes to a new interest. If it had a good guitar solo in it, he loved it. My Tom thought that Rory Gallagher was a guitar God, and he revered him most. He said to me often that he wanted Wayward Child played at his funeral or service. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXKwHm3uphw
He would talk for hours about everything he knew about music like a schoolboy, the grin on his face a mile wide. Very often he would jump up to bring out different vinyl album or CD so that we could listen to songs he loved. He knew so many things about everything and encouraged people to learn. I often thought he missed his calling and should have been a teacher.
My Sweet Curmudgeon was romantic. He proposed to me every day since the first time. He told me every day he was in love with me and he couldn’t wait to marry me and live our happily ever after. Our Love, Our Life, Our Way. He proposed at sunrise on the beach at Padre Island. We were going to have our party there. He told me that I was exactly what he had been waiting for. That I’d saved his life and that he’d always make me glad I did. He said that I was perfect and smart and beautiful, and that he was proud of me.
Hearing that every day and being able to respond in kind was the best gift he could have given me. I don’t know if I saved his life, but I was always glad he was here with me, with us in the world and I told him so. Tom taught me so many things about me. Always gentle, he showed me that what I saw in the mirror was a lie, and I began to be able to see a different side of myself. He said I made him happier and more satisfied with life than he’d ever been. He was passionate about what he believed, and unshakable in his beliefs. He was also unshakably faithful.
In the last days, he became reclusive, quiet, but always made the effort to speak to me. I didn’t know that things were so bad, or I would have found a way some how to save him and everybody else this torture. He tried to smile, and he even laughed a few times on that last weekend, but he wasn’t himself and I told him I noticed. I could see the pain in his eyes and the paleness of his complexion, the soft, strengthless quality to his voice worried me and I voiced it repeatedly. As always, he told deflected, and told me that he couldn’t wait for me to come home and that he loved me, then asked me to come cuddle, in the way that we did when we were apart. That was the last time I spoke to him.
Tom knew he was loved. I really believe that he knew deep down in his heart at the end, how much we all loved and needed him here. I think he would be happy that relationships are being built, stronger, and I know that he wanted that badly. Those relationships mean the world to me too. He will be celebrated every day for the rest of my life, in the memories we made and in knowing that he loved me to the end of his days. The boys will never forget him either. They knew he loved them too.
I love you Thomas Davis. For Infinity and Beyond