Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Heavy Heart

I'm going to keep this post very brief - but I wanted to write something down about whats got my heart heavy over the last few days.

Many people did know - many did not - about my dear friend Thomas McBride. History buff, with a sense of humor not many understood. I did. I met him while I worked at EB Games in Raleigh - first as a customer and then very quickly as a co-worker. After I got over his eccentric weirdness (I mean that in a VERY good way lol) - we quickly became friends. 8 years I've known him, supported him and loved everything about the guy.

It was 6 years ago I walked with him through the confusion of what was going on with him with his health. After going through many clueless doctors he finally found out that he had Relapsing Polychondritis. A very rare disease... that I still don't totally understand. I was there that night... when his dog at the time jumped up and head butted him. Crushing the bridge of his nose. It was that point they believed that the dormant RP flared its nasty head and starting attacking Toms system from every direction. I know it doesn't make sense... but in my head I understand it with my limited knowledge of the disease. RP causes your system to fight itself... to think everything is a foreign matter that needs to be attacked and taken out. Even healthy cells.

Thomas was given his dream... a daughter, 6 years ago. He fought and fought for the sake of that little girl. Even when it got so painful and seemed like there was no reason to forge ahead and battle what was happening to him. He fought to see one Christmas... and then 2, and so on.

Thomas was the one of strongest men I've had the privilege of calling a friend. He pulled strength from a place I'm afraid to tap into. I have lots of thoughts and memories floating in my head - none of them really coming together well enough to put down on here...

Thomas passed away on Friday, February 8th, 2013. I had absolutely no idea. I had made a pot of coffee in the evening and sat down at my laptop in the dining room to do my usual checking of facebook and email... when out of nowhere his face floated into my thoughts. (Believe me... I think of him quite often and say many prayers for his well being...) I felt the urge to seek out his facebook in hopes of finding an update on his condition. This isn't a usual move - as I know his facebook is almost never updated or posted on anymore with his sickness at the point its at. But something still told me to check.

And that friends... is the moment my heart sank and I cried.. and cried. I found this upon going to his fb page:
Thomas K. McBride, age 36, passed away February 8, 2013 after a long battle with relapsing polychondritis. Born September 19, 1976 in Elizabeth City, Tom lived in North Carolina, Florida, and Alaska before moving to Raleigh over 10 years ago. Tom was an avid history buff and would talk about this passion with anyone who would listen. He imparted that love to his daughter, Anja Elise, 6, who was the light of his life.

Tom is survived by his beloved daughter, Anja, mother, Kitty McBride, father and stepmother, Tom and Sandy McBride, sisters, Kate LaPorte, Melanie McBride and Jessica McBride, brother-in-law James LaPorte, grandmother, Daisy Reese, grandfather, Aldo Tutino, many aunts, uncles, and cousins..

A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at 3:00pm at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Arrangements are by Bryan-Lee Raleigh. In lieu of flowers, a 529 College Fund has been set up for his daughter, Anja Elise McBride. Memorials may be sent to: Thomas K. McBride Memorial 5929 Cameo Glass Way, Raleigh, NC 27612

 So to my dear friend who fought a good fight... I'll miss you, love you dearly and will never forget you.

And to my husband... who came downstairs unaware and just hugged me for long quiet moments...  I love you.