Stopping. 

BECAUSE I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played
At wrestling in a ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then ’t is centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.
-- Emily Dickinson


It's 5:39 PM PT. I'm doing laundry and going over a Shakespearean monologue. My phone rings. Odd, as it is Sunday and I have already talked to everyone back in VA. On the caller ID: M.Sto

What else could she want? I already talked to her for an hour today.

Then, I get that weird feeling… You know, the one where you answer anyway?

“Hey. What is it?”

“Hey (pause) Tommy just died in a really bad car accident.”

“Tommy who?” I asked, even though I knew who she meant.

“Your cousin Tommy.” She sniffed back tears.

I told her to phone me when she knew more about the circumstances.

As evident from the ceiling fan accident, when things go awry, I go into “do something” mode. This time there is no damage control for me to do. Nothing to be saved. No action to take. After a chat with tear-wrought C.Sto, all I can do is try to understand the news.

This is the first time a person I know has died.

The Grizz has six brothers and sisters and the majority of the Stover clan live in or near NOVA. Despite the difficulty of getting a big family together, the Stovers have thrown excellent cookouts and family gatherings over the years and I see the extendeds quite a bit. Plus, when I was in elementary school, Tom worked for the Grizz and was often at our house. He has been around as long as I can remember.

Tom not there for family holidays? Impossible.

His truck went over the side of a bridge and landed in a creek.

I ate pizza with him in the kitchen of our old house, he taught me to play horseshoes, he made me laugh during family volleyball games and challenged me to ping-pong, he went four-wheeling with us…

The cab was crushed; its roof touched the seat.

I'm not saying that Tom doesn't have troubles, but if he does, I do not know them well.

I’m afraid that this entry is not very good, but what does one write a few minutes after hearing a family member has died?

He has a 4-year-old daughter named Rachel.

The last time I saw him was at my Grandmother's on Christmas.

You can tell that Tom has a good heart by looking at him.

You could tell that Tom had a good heart by looking at him.

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