Tim wasn't always the kindest, gentlest soul. He would be the first to admit that he was prickly, often misanthropic, frustrated by the dull slowness of most things in life, which is, let's face it, a constant barrage of slow, dull things. I hated him the first time I met him, which is unusual for me—I've liked, even befriended, some of the world's most unlikable souls (hey, everyone needs a friend). I don't even remember conversation two, only that he seemed to soften a little, ask a few questions, and then more, until he revealed that he was not at all the asshole he seemed. Though this is overused and trite, it's apt—getting to know Tim was like watching an onion peel away, layer-by-layer. Over time, he revealed that was one of the funniest, most generous, warmest people. We were giddy and silly together, sparring and teasing and laughing like kids, sometimes to the annoyance of those around us. When he fell in love with Beth, when he became a father, depths and oceans of affection and emotion washed over his face. No longer half-in Tim, he was deep in his caring, and I credit Beth with bringing true sentiment and love into his life. He told me after Dylan was born "I didn't know I could love that much. I never thought I'd be a good dad, and I love it, it's the best thing I've ever done." And his legacy is in the kindness and sweetness in Facebook photos, in seeing Dylan and Tim in town, their arms often around each other, in the way Beth and Tim loved each other. When Beth told me in the grocery store that he had an inoperable brain tumor, I was devastated. My husband and Tim had been coworkers and friends. Over the years, time and other jobs and life stripped us from Tim and Beth a bit, but we always regarded them with love, and whenever Beth posted on Facebook about Dylan, we would talk about what a wonderful family they are. To lose Tim is truly to lose something in the fabric of all of us. He was, after all was said and done, the kindest, gentlest soul. His last message to me was "You're still my favorite Pisces" an inside joke we had for years. Thank you for proving me wrong about what an asshole you are, friend. I'll see you out beyond the starlight, and trust me, I'll be making fun of that shirt again.
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