divorce · memories · reflective

Mr. Thom

My (ex)father-in-law died today just before 5:00 pm.  He would have been 87 tomorrow.

One of the hardest things about a divorce is losing contact with family members that you love.  This is the case with Mr. Thom.  He lived 12 hours away from me so once the divorce went through, I didn’t have much contact with him.  This was definitely my loss.  Mr. Thom was always kind and thoughtful to me.  I went through some difficult times towards the end of my marriage and some of those times overlapped with visits to Wisconsin.  Mr. Thom seemed to sense when I just needed to sit quietly and he would often sit quietly with me.  He would offer me use of his vehicle in case I needed to just get away for a few hours.  He was one of those people that I could just sit with without needing to speak.  Some people need conversation if they are in the company of someone; I could sit in comfortable silence with Mr. Thom and it was something I greatly appreciated during my visits.

Even early on, I appreciated his quiet calm.  I grew up in a small, fairly quiet family and when I started visiting my then boyfriend’s home, I was overwhelmed with the boisterous conversations between all the members of his family.  There would be multiple conversations going on at once; this was something I had no experience with!  But later, I would be able to sit with Mr. Thom watching TV and I would regain my equilibrium!  He helped me more than he’ll ever know in adjusting to the dynamics of a large family.

I visited Wisconsin two years ago when my youngest daughter was staying with her Dad’s family for the summer.  It was so good to see everyone again – it is hard to know how much you miss people and I had really missed some of those relationships.  I went to see Mr. Thom while I was there.  I reminded him of who I was – my visit was a surprise to him and since he was seeing me out of context and without his son, I didn’t want to assume that he would immediately come up with my name.  But he definitely remembered me and we had a great visit.  He was gracious as always and as kind as I remembered.

The world is a little emptier without him in it.  He will be missed……..

Robert Louis Thom – March 9, 1930 – March 8, 2017

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