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Archive for December, 2011

In Loving Memory

It is with deep sadness that I write of the sudden passing of my brother Tom in October of this year. Tommy, as we affectionately called him, was the first son and the 2nd child of six children born to our Italian parents. Tom and I were about 14 months apart.
A flood of memories assail me as I recall growing up with my brother. Tom was pleasant, and always giving and generous. I remember when Mom came home from the hospital after giving birth to Johnny, 8-year old Tommy gave his last dollar to Mom as a mother’s day gift. He was always kind and easy to get along with. I never heard him speak a harsh word to anyone.

Tommy was so smart that he skipped a grade. And from 4th grade on, he and I were in the same class together all the way through high school. What fun we had learning French together and doing skits in class. When Tom was 18, he, came to California for our wedding. And while out here, he repented, gave his heart to God, was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Ghost. His life was forever changed. From that moment on, he had a deep love for God and would read the bible and pray regularly as he grew in his newfound faith.

He graduated with honors and a Th.B. in theology from Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tom was regularly involved in his church as a Sunday school teacher, song leader, bible instructor, and a friend to many. Our son Jeremy always loved when Uncle Tom came to visit. Tom lived with us for a few years, and he would often take Jeremy rollerblading and do other fun things with him. He always made us laugh with his antics. In later years, I saw Tom’s faith and service to God deepen. I recall many times at church, hearing Tom let out a loud shout of praise and thanksgiving, with his hands raised high in the air. Yes, we laughed, but Tom had good reason to praise the Lord. For he had drunk deeply from the well of God’s forgiveness and mercy. The Bible says he who is forgiven much loves much. And Tommy surely showed his love for God.

While going through his belongings, I found copies of letters he had sent to family, and friends; telling them about God’s plan of salvation. I also found a 14-page prayer list he had typed. It listed all our family, relatives, friends and church members in detailed order. It even had names of different people he had met at the store or at a restaurant. I’ve seen Tom weep for lost souls. He had a genuine love for people. It showed in all he did. Tom believed that we must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come. Tommy, thank you for being a big part of our lives. While we miss you, we know that you are with the Lord. We look forward to the day when we will see you again on that great triumphant morning when Jesus calls us home.

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