I had a friend once who committed suicide by drug overdose, but that wasn’t nearly as devastating.
Most people think of cousins as “distant relatives,” but Tim was nowhere near distant.
Tim and I might as well have been raised together. He thought of me as his little brother, even though I was his little cousin. I thought of him as an older brother, too. We became distanced in later years, mostly because of his moving to Cincinnati, OH, but I still felt close.
Tim protected me in my earlier years when people would call me “faggot,” long before I came out.
Speaking of coming out: Tim was the first person in the family who knew about my sexuality.
We were vacationing (the whole slew of us all – aunts, great aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc) in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. I believe it was 1995, maybe 1996. Tim needed a driver because he wanted to drink. So we took Dana’s (his sister and my cousin) car down to the bar down the street. Then we drove around for a bit and Tim told me to slow down so he could check out the chicks. LOL Then he noticed that I wasn’t checking out the chicks. He asked me if I liked guys and, reluctantly (at the time), I said, “Yes.”
He said it didn’t matter. He told me that I was still his little cousin and family sticks together. And that he still loved me, ” … even if you do like dick.”
That was his way. Always a hard, killer exterior. Rough. A bit of an asshole, disrespectful of his parents, especially because he called them horrible names and used the most disgustingly foul language around them. But that was Tim. But if you’re his friend, or his family, he’ll slay the whole fucking world for you if that’s what it takes to make you happy.
He was my protector. My friend. My brother. I have some of his tattoo art on my body.
I didn’t get to say it often enough, but when we were together (for holidays or what-not), he even said, “I love you,” when you parted ways. And he did. He really did love me. And I loved him, too.
Rest in peace, brother. You’ll always be in my heart.