Turns out, I don't have the ability to write what I'd like to say.
And so I am shooting from the hip on this one.
Here we are standing on the land my parents just purchased a few weeks ago.
It is in the beautiful Ozarks on Table Rock Lake.
Two lots down is Tom and Sylvia's cabin.
Sylvia is my mother's cousin, although that hardly describes the relationship.
They built their cabin over 13 years ago, and graciously, generously let our family use it.
I have so many fond memories here.
But our trip this weekend was more somber.
Tom passed very unexpectedly on New Years Day.
My Dad offered some remarks at the service.
There is a portion that I can't forget.
I can't stop thinking about how spot on this observation was.
Of Tom, he said:
"Even though you might have just met him, Tom had the unique ability to immediately put you at ease and make you feel comfortable. In the middle of the Iowa state fair, a basketball game, at an art exhibit, in a restaurant, at a business function, a family or social event, it didn't matter. He was just the kind of guy you wanted to be around. Tom could converse on any subject, and seemed always eager to find out more about a subject, about you, what your interests were and always able to, within time, funnel any conversation you were having with him to common ground. And before you knew it, you were unwittingly linked to Tom Rawlings forever."
It's true. It's true.
What a quality to possess.