Last week Tom invited me over to his house to check out some of the mods he'd done to the Beast. Imagine my surprise when, after only having met minutes ago, he insisted I drive it! He, Tom Jr. and I went for about a half hour drive, during which we talked about many things - and put the car through its paces. Upon returning to his house the three of us stood around the garage and continued to talk; though we hadn't known each other long, it became increasingly apparent that we had alot in common: we each loved the Beast, had a weakness for mods, loved guns, etc. It was a very plesant afternoon, and I felt like I'd made a new - and probably long-time - friend.
A couple of days later I was at a lapping day at MMP, and the Toms showed up to check things out (I had mentioned I was going during our previous meeting). I could see in his eyes he couldn't wait to get out on the track. After I came home he and I swapped email after email trying to work out a schedule that would get the three of us out to the track at the same time, and we had plans for this Thursday or Friday - it was something he really wanted to do with his son. He really couldn't wait.
When Tom Jr. called me this morning I was devistated. It's always so mindblowing when someone is taken so quickly and without warning: one day you're making plans, and the next you're gone. This call also hit me hard because it's one I've had to make myself: when I lost my dad a few years ago, I remember sitting down at the telephone and calling everyone I felt needed calling - and I remember how horrible it was all too well. Tom Jr. handled himself with extreme decorum.
I didn't know Tom long, but I feel like I knew him surprisingly well - between his posts on this board, activism on the Utah M5 scene, and our all-too-brief meetings - and I'm deeply saddened that I won't get a chance to get to know him better. I'm sad we won't be able to do the things we'd talked about.
Tom Jr. - your dad was very proud of you, as I know you are of him. Like I said when we talked earlier, there is no way around the fact that you only ever have one dad, and that it sucks beyond belief that he's been taken from you so early and unexpectedly, but sometimes life is like that. Just remember: just because he's not with you physically doesn't mean he isn't with you...I'm certain mine rides shotgun with me, every mile.
If you need help with anything you have my number. Please don't hesitate to use it, anytime, for anything at all - and please be sure your mom and sis know that offer applies to them as well. I'm only a few minutes away.
I'll see you Friday morning. You have my most heartfelt condolences.
EDIT: Everyone, I can't help but point out the obvious: life is short and unpredicatable, and tomorrow isn't guaranteed - so don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Make the extra effort in everything you do, so when your time comes you don't regret not having done something you wanted to do. Live richly.
Rex ///M5 E39 2000, Titanium Silver, Black Interior. Supersprint exhaust, Powerchip 91, Umnitza Projector39s with clear corners, projector foglights, front brake air ducts, Ultimate pedals, Blitzsafe aux adaptor for iPod, TV tuner, radar, power rear sunshade, armrest storage tray, Ultimate cup holders, blue LED interior lights.
Ex-M3 E36 1999, Green, Black interior, 4-door. 5sp manual.
Oh my goodness! I am without words here. Where does one begin? This is definately horrible news.
I took that picture of Tom's magnificent E60 at the first Utah M5 drive. That was the first time I met Tom, definately an outstanding guy that shared a lot of interests as I. A kid at heart would be a good way to describe him for the few hours I spent with him. This is really tragic indeed.
My heartfilled condolences to the Wood family during this time. If there is anything you by chance need from us, please let us know.
Mayhem, I am so sorry for your loss. I think most everyone here at M5board feels his loss. I personally am having a bit of a tough time with it. Tom had an enthusiasm for the M5 that was quite infectious and admirable.