I live in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands where my partner Bruce and I met Tim 15 years ago
In 2000, most of Europe switched over to a single currency, The Euro Tim was working for one of the biggest Dutch banks for six months to make sure this process went smoothly, and Tim's work there was, as far as I knew very successful.
Tim had a special place in all of our lives. Each of us saw different aspects of Tim, and I like the idea of sharing a few short stories that reflect the Tim each of us knew.
When I think of Tim, two things come immediately to mind On the one hand, the deeply caring and compassionate Tim who was there to hold my hand, or with a shoulder to comfort me.
On the other hand, there was the playful bantering Tim This playful teasing characterized Tim and my correspondence and conversations throughout the years.
I'd like to tell two short stories that reflect these two aspects of Tim.
First the playful, teasing Tim m 3 years older than Tim, a fact that he would never let me forget. He seemed to be able to find every opportunity he could to gently, or sometimes not so gently, remind me of this age difference. As I'm remind also pretty good at teasing people, we were well matched.
I remember a particular time we were out on my boat in the canals of Amsterdam when the motor stopped working. We paddled over to a nearby houseboat to ask for help. The was on his terrace there said he didn't guy who know anything about motors, but that he would be happy to have a look. Within a few minutes he had the motor running again. When commented to this guy "Hey, thought you didn't know anything about motors" he replied, "I don't, but I do know something about common sense". Tim started laughing when translated what the guy said, and since then Tim has found many many opportunities to remind me of my apparent lack of common sense.
This playful back and forth teasing was something that characterized most of our interactions.
But there was also the deeply caring Tim. A few years ago I met up with Tim in Philadelphia. was over for a conference and Tim made the trip down to Philadelphia early to meet me there. We were having dinner outside on a busy terrace in the sunshine. At some point as the conversation moved to some traumatic memories from n my youth, I started to cry. Tim, oblivious to the busy surroundings, moved over and put his arm around me to silently comfort me. At that moment I really felt Tim's unjudgemental caring and compassion. There was a quiet trust and understanding that was built up over the years Including the difficult period after Eathon's death. Given the distance we only saw each other a few times a year, and with our busy lives we didn't necessarily phone every week, although we did usually text. But even with the physical distance, we did always somehow feel close. We felt like someone had our back.
My Tim stories were about compassion and common sense. Unfortunately, no amount of common sense helps us to understand what has happened to Tim at such a young age, at time when his life was going well. With these lovely stories and memories Tim can live in our hearts and for the kids through our stories.