Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Hear a Train..........

Every time my cousins and I hear a train, we say "there goes Grandad". Now when I hear the train I will think, "there goes Grandad and Tom"

My sweet wonderful cousin Tom just passed away. He loved trains, he loved telling me about Grandad's experiences as a Conductor and Brakeman on the Nickel Plate RR.

Tom has been ill for 2 1/2 years. I am relieved he is no longer in pain, but my heart aches to know I will never hear his wonderful bounding voice, laugh at his joyous sense of humor or share a quite evening with him.
Please pray for his loving and devoted wife and children.

Here Tom and his wife are on the steps of 1515 where for many generations our family has had their pictures taken.
This was taken the week I took possession of 1515 after our families 31 year absence. It was the week of our family reunion. It was the week Tom found out his life would never be the same.

Each of the 8 cousins all got keys when they came to 1515. Tom was so thrilled to get his. As he walked in the house it was truly and experience to watch him walk through the house, at one point he laid his hand on the plaster wall, closed his eyes.........the place is our heart.

Luckily over the next 2 years it was not his only visit. He and his wife and daughter came and stayed one weekend. The two of us stayed up and talked to wee in the morning.  I knew how lucky I was to have that precious time with him all to myself. We talked about the house, the history, the family and the "what if" that was ahead of him.

My cousins and I drove to Chicago last summer for his birthday. See, he got a RR hat and his brother got a top hat......see they played "circus" at 1515 when they were kids and they broke the chandelier!

There were reunions, we played baseball, we saw each other at weddings, we saw each other at funerals.

This is 7 of us at his Mother's brother was missing. It seems there is always one of us missing.

Now we will never be whole again.

But the time we did have was splendid.

Tom holding court with his kids and cousins at 1515

Tom and I with his sister Deb and Grandad
same dining room 1970

Tom and I with my brother and his brother on the front
porch at 1515

Here all the cousins minus John who was in Vietnam

Us having fun with my Dad

Thank goodness for pictures, I have memories but pictures just help add to the true memory of the event.

This coming weekend is my birthday and our biannual "cousins weekend" at 1515.
I don't know if we will be there or not, but no doubt we will be together.
There will be tears, there will be stories and there will be laughter.

I sometimes wonder if buying 1515 when we did was for a reason I did not know at the time.

It has brought our family back together.

I just hope as Tom enters heaven and sees our loved ones, he is able to tell them, we are still united, we are still all in love with one another.

Grandmother and Grandad at 1515

He can tell them...........look what all we accomplished.

Perry Thomas Willmot


C'est moi Claudette said...

Here's to your sweet Tom and all the trains that are whistling right now.
That's what I'm hanging onto today, memories.
Happy Birthday. I hope you will be surrounded by happiness, I think you will : )

Gail said...

What beautiful memories you do have Ann and every time I hear a train whistle I will think of you and your family.

Happy Birthday my friend,

Unknown said...

Dear Ann, May peace be with you and with Tom's family. It's so sad that he has passed at such a young age. Guess God called him home sooner than some others. I'm sure he is updating everyone with a smile. Our hearts never forget and
may you Birthday be one of many more..

Lottie said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved cousin Tom. One thing you see over and over in the pictures of your family is all the love.

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Ann...

My friend, I am so sorry for your loss. Your dear cousin Tom sounds like a wonderful man! In fact, you can just tell by looking at him in all of the photos that he was a very kind and happy person. He was far too young to have passed from this life. I will certainly be praying for all of your family!

On a happier note, it sounds like you are going to have a wonderful family reunion weekend! Enjoy, sweet lady! And...Happy, Happy Birthday!!! May it be the best one ever! Many blessings sent your way!

Warmest wishes,

PS...Thank you so much for your recent visit and sweet note, my friend! I hope you'll come back by soon!

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Ann, So sorry to hear of the loss of your cousin. I know how dear they all are to you. Prayers and condolences are being sent your way.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Really lovely post. He sounds like a wonderful guy. Your family seems to be very special. You are blessed.

outjunking said...

What a great tribute to your cousin and your whole family. Very touching post. It shows how much family means to you.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to learn of your loss. Buying 1515 was truly a family blessing.

Unknown said...

What great memories you have and the train story is priceless! Hugs and healing, Marilou

GardenOfDaisies said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad you have lots of good memories of your time together with your cousin. Sending hugs.

Rebecca said...

Ann, I am so sorry to hear about Tom. What a lovely tribute and I agree 1515 has been a blessing to so many. Prayers for you and the family.

Rebecca said...

Just wanted to let you know that you're in my thoughts and prayers. I know what a difficult time you're going thru-our furry little children are the world to us. I know the fog will lift but the empty place in our hearts will still be there. Their little lives are not long enough.

Kelcey said...

What can I say Ann he loved you and Grandpa's house "1515" with all his heart. It's still to raw and my days are filled with Tom trying to make sense of it all. Not that i would trade one second or one heart ache he was my life and my best friend. He introduced me to all of you and each one you became my family. Thank you this is such a tribute to a really great man a man of integrity snd kindness and you a woman of love and compassion.