Today is two weeks until what would have been the first Christmas in three years for all six Martins to be together. It has been an especially hard few months considering the holidays, but everyone finds comfort in different ways and mine has been in stories. I have looked through pictures and read pieces of Tom’s blog nearly every day the past two months and at first it was nearly unbearable. Every day there are more smiles and fewer tears – though both are good for the soul.

One thing that I did not expect is how it would feel to talk to people. So many (most, in fact) people where I live don’t know Tom, but there are a few – and it makes for a very different conversation. When I get to see and hug people who knew him, it’s just as hard on them as it is on me and it makes for a tough moment.

Something that makes my day and makes me cry – all at the same time – is receiving notes and letters from people about how they are remembering Tom. Prayer services and memorials, and tending to his grave. And I hear almost daily from my sisters a story or two that we know Tom would love to laugh at with us.

I received a note yesterday from a dear family friend in Cabot – and I want to share it with you. Those of you who knew Tom’s connections to Cabot High School, and to the band, and particularly to the teachers mentioned — will be especially touched.

“Hi, Candy & Sarah!  We went to the High School Christmas Band Concert tonight and wanted to share with you that Mr. Trusty and Mr. Tenney talked about the loss of Tom and said they were thinking of the sacrifice Tom and so many others have made, so they played the Salute to the Armed Forces and asked people to stand as they played each song.  I just thought that was thoughtful of them to remember Tom in such a special way.  I know you all continue to hear of others who are honoring Tom’s memory in different ways, but thought you would want to know about this.”
 
Everyone seems to reflect this time of year – with Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year. I encourage you to share your thoughts and memories – about anyone you love - with anyone that will listen. Whether your memories are sad or happy — they are healing.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday December 11, 2007

  1. I heard about the “Cabot band” story from another Cabot source this evening.  Good news travels fast.  Here was my response to her —
    It’s amazing how he really was his “own self” and didn’t buckle to peer pressure when he was in school.  He loved band, more than anything, typically not an activity most high school boys are supposed to like.  After he got to the Academy, fellow cadets would ask what sport he played in school, of course, thinking they would get an answer like football or basketball (he did grow after high school!) and Tom proudly said, “I played the French Horn”!  It was always a reply that would stop most in their tracks.  Many thought it to be a joke, but nope — Tom was so proud that he did it and enjoyed it! 
     
    Thanks for letting me share another ”Tom” story.  There are so many things that bring his life to memory and what he life he had.

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