This is a very hard post for me to write, but I wanted to write a tribute to my friend. I’ve been absent from WordPress for the last couple of weeks for a few different reasons. Normally I’ll spend a couple of hours a day reading and commenting on different blog posts. Recently, several things have happened that have gotten in the way of my normal day-to-day activities.
Firstly, one of my other businesses has become busy and I’ve had to write some rush reports and meet some quick deadlines. Secondly, I’ve been dealing with a torn meniscus and arthritis in my left knee. It is very painful and has limited my activities. I’ve had to stop my morning walks which gives me the energy and inspiration for the rest of the day.
The main reason is, I’m dealing with the unexpected death of a friend. Last month, I wrote about how he was in the hospital fighting for his life. He recovered, was released from the hospital, and seemed to be back to his old self. On Thanksgiving afternoon, he was rushed back to the hospital and we were told Friday afternoon he was gone.
A Tribute To My Friend
Tom Keller was a great man. Everyone should strive to live their life like Tom lived his. I write a series about inspiring people whom I admire and Tom would definitely make that list. During his Celebration of Life Service, the pastor spoke about how God wants us all to live a life of abundance. Tom was the perfect example of living an abundant life. Tom had an abundance of love, an abundance of compassion, an abundance of unselfishness, an abundance of leadership, and an abundance of joy.
I met Tom 13 years ago when we moved to South Florida. Our daughters were in the same second-grade class. One evening I took my family to the soccer field to watch Tom’s daughter, Chrissy play. I was introduced to Tom and instantly liked him. This will tell you a lot about Tom because at that time in my life I didn’t like many people, especially when I first met them.
Even though we didn’t see each other much, I still considered him a friend. I always enjoyed the times when I would run into him. That’s how Tom was, everyone enjoyed seeing him because he always made you feel welcome. I never saw him when he wasn’t smiling.
About four years ago, Tom and his wife Livi asked my wife to join their business. I then got to spend more time with Tom and get to know him better. Whenever we were together, Tom asked a lot of questions and was always interested in my opinion on different topics. I always came out of our discussions much smarter than when I went in.
One story that sums up the type of man Tom Keller was, happened about two years ago. I was getting ready to move my two daughters to college. One was moving into an apartment in Orlando and the other into a dorm in Alabama. One day, Tom asked me how I was going to move all their things. I told him that I was going to have to rent a truck because they each had a lot of stuff.
Immediately, Tom offered to let me use his Ford Expedition. I knew he had just recently purchased the vehicle and I turned him down. Tom wouldn’t take no for an answer and over the next few weeks continued to insist I take the truck. As Sofia and I were driving Tom’s Expedition to drop the girls off at college, I looked at my wife and asked, “Who else do you know that would just give you the keys to their vehicle?” My wife responded, “Nobody except Tom Keller.”
Like I said before, Tom lived a life of abundance and had so many quality traits. These are a few of Tom’s traits that I’m going to try to emulate in my life.
- Leadership – Tom was a great leader and was looked up to by many people. He worked diligently with the youth in his church. He always led by example and didn’t mind getting his hands dirty.
- A Provider – Tom was an intelligent businessman and worked hard to build a profitable business with his wife. He provided for his family and passed on his knowledge to his children.
- Unselfishness – Tom was the most unselfish man I have ever met. He would help anyone at any time. It didn’t matter where, what, or when, Tom would be there. The story above about Tom giving me his vehicle is just the tip of the iceberg of his unselfish acts.
- Joy for Life – Tom was always smiling even when I knew he was going through stressful situations. I never had a conversation with him that wasn’t positive. If things weren’t going well, a minute with Tom would brighten your day. Tom loved his family and enjoyed getting the most out of life on family vacations.
I am Truly Blessed
I didn’t know Tom as long as others but I feel blessed and honored to have known him these few years. Even though his body is gone, his energy remains and you can see it in his children. Ryan has his leadership qualities, Lauren has his unselfishness, and Chrissy has his joy for life and determination to succeed. On the program printed for his Celebration of Life Service, it shows his date of birth and date of death separated by a dash. The two dates aren’t nearly as important as the dash which represents what he did with his life. Tom Keller made the most of his dash and will be missed.
He is now with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is home and has earned his wings. I believe that there are angels that walk among us here on earth, Tom Keller was one of them.