Here Today Gone Tomorrow
The days of our lives are a passing memory, a beautiful flower that is here and then it is gone, a piece of flowing water we watch, contemplate, worry about, and then lose, just as surely as we have just lost the sweet, companionable, ever helpful and humorous body and presence of Tom Hughes.
This Friday evening’s Facebook post goes out to Tom’s friends, family, and neighbors, and especially to his wife Maureen. Thinking back on last week, all the activity of my own Sunapee Fair effort, I can see this unexpected sad news, which I found out about while checking e-mail yesterday evening when I got home, looms way larger than the work and activity I have been wrapped up and focused on for weeks now. I knew Tom as a photographer, a helper, an ever present, humorous and kind, ever positive, encouraging, and generous soul who showed up in meaningful ways in my life with offerings and practical help at just the right time when the difficulties loomed extra large. It was exactly a week ago, Friday, Aug 4, that I ran into Tom’s wife Maureen at the Town Office in Lyme and asked her how Tom was doing. She said things were going OK. We spoke of when he might be coming home and good times to visit him at nearby DHMC hospital in Lebanon. She mentioned the room number he was in and said most anytime could work for a visit. I left thinking about the idea of stopping in on him on my way back from Sunapee some evening during the Fair. I had the idea it might need to be sooner rather than later as he likely would be returning home sometime mid-week. My thought? Tom had recently played a key role in helping my sister, brother-in-law and I to solve a challenge in the project of our Mom’s own hospitalization at the end of this past April. He and I hadn’t spoken face to face about how well that had worked out and the happy result of his own contribution and effort. I imagined catching him while he was still at DHMC, site of numerous pivotal moments in my own life. I felt this could be a great place to connect with and thank him. Whoah.
The picture I have shared was taken today, August 11th. I think Tom, as a photographer (we talked on several occasion about his philosophy of taking photos and I shared a few of my own ideas about making “flat art”) might like this idea.