Thinking about a remarkable person today. I’m sitting in our little house, in Stockton, and thinking, how many people woke up this morning, and the first person they thought of was Tim. How many people in this city are carrying beautiful memories of an incredible man, while making their way through their morning, remembering and reflecting.
This weekend, the mental replay of my few memories of Tim was on a constant loop. Memories of the first time I met Tim and Katie. I must have been back in California for just a few months, totally overwhelmed by the change, and completely unclear about David’s new job, and what did this whole downtown revitalization thing really mean? From the moment we sat down at Mile Wine with Katie and Tim-they already had a crisp bottle of bubbly open-and shared afternoon drinks and laughs, I felt at ease. Tim’s enthusiasm for the city combined with his remarkable ability to zero in on tactical actions to ignite change left quite an impression.
Memories of Tim at a birthday party, at Huddle events and the Stockmarket, and stories from David, came flooding back this weekend. At the time, living in Oakland, I was so removed (geographically and mentally) from everything in Stockton. I realize now I was present for so little of that year. This weekend, I felt like I was wringing memories from a sponge, trying to get another drop, another memory. I realized, tragically, how briefly I knew Tim. Reading about his friendships and impact-across this city and world-it is totally clear that I was a blip on the screen of his life, at best. Yet, in my life, and likely in the lives of so many others, his impact was profound. That must be the mark of an incredible life; to move and impact a universe of people far more than they will ever impact you.
A week after he died, I read Ta Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. Interestingly, my work book club is reading it and we’re talking about it tomorrow. At the time, I felt haunted by Coates’ memories of his friend Prince, who the world lost far too soon. Once again, these words keep playing in my mind as I think and reflect on Tim’s memory.
“I think every day and about whom I expect to think every day for the rest of my life. I think sometimes that he was an invention, and in some ways he is, because when the young are killed they are haloed by all that was possible, all that was plundered. He was kind. Generosity radiated off of him, and he seemed to have a facility with everyone and everything. This can never be true, but there are people who pull the illusion off without effort and (he) was one of them. I can only say what I saw, what I felt. There are people whom we do not fully know, and yet, they live in a place within us, and when they are plundered, when they lose their bodies and the dark energy disperses, the place becomes a wound.”
Like Coates’ says, I can only say what I saw, what I felt. A man who helped others see promise where there was so little hope, who brought electricity to every moment, and who brought great relief, inspiration and laughter to this sometimes doubtful outsider. Tim, you are so missed.