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Saturday, December 7, 2013

In Memoriam: Timothy Eugene Hayes | Aug 11, 1959 - Dec 7, 2013

Packed up and headed out of Denver on Nov 8th
Rest In Peace ~ Timothy Eugene Hayes
August 11th, 1959 - December 7th, 2013
One month ago exactly I packed up and left Denver with my front wheel pointed towards Atlanta for a number of reasons. First, I wanted to spend time with family and friends. I also wanted to experience the warmth and peace of being home with my mother before my big trip and adventure. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to her doting over me (i.e. doing my laundry, making my bed, etc). Most importantly however, I wanted to spend time with my stepfather Tim while he battled the final stages of his illness. There were a lot of feelings that I had and a lot of things that I wanted to communicate to Tim before it was too late.  

Enjoying a night out on his birthday w/ friends
Fortunately, I arrived in time to spend a few weeks with Tim and my mother before things began to decline. I was able to help him with a few chores around the house. In fact, he even taught me one last fatherly lesson the other day as he allowed me to use his chainsaw and ax to chop, clean, and split a fallen tree into firewood. I had never used a chainsaw up until this. I was also able to have several very touching and meaningful conversations with him, which allowed me to say all the things that I wanted and needed to tell him. He was coherent for these conversations as we shared both tears and laughter, and for that I'll be forever grateful. We were even able to share a road trip together as my mother, Tim, and I traveled to Dothan, Alabama a couple of weeks back for my cousin Josh's wedding. 

The happy couple circa 93'
Tim was an amazing person. Obviously I didn't know him then, but he was voted 'most friendly' in high school. That warmth, smile, and popularity obviously carried into the remainder of his life as he had literally hundreds of friends and family come to visit him over the past several weeks. In fact, I received a message from a friend in London of all places this morning asking if I was doing ok. My friend Tyler had heard from a mutual friend of the family that Tim had passed and reached out. I was shocked that there are people around the globe that have experienced Tim's kindness and spirit. He was also a very, very committed person. He worked as a mechanic for Gwinnett County Public Schools - Fleet Maintenance for 30 years. He rarely took days off, and absolutely loved what he did. 

In the almost 25 years that I've known him, and the 23 years that Tim was married to my mother, I never saw him get mad. Seriously, not once... He would become frustrated with people and things, but would always shrug it off, and a smile would return almost immediately. In fact, I'll never forget the time that he let me drive his prized Chevrolet Monte Carlo out of the driveway when I was around 12 years old. Long story short, I ended up backing that beautiful car right into another parked vehicle and was terrified that Tim would be so mad and upset. I'll never forget, he just looked and me and said "well, that's what insurance is for I guess". Not another word was spoken about it.

Tim & Shirley Hayes
As referenced above, he was married to my mother for 23+ years and was her rock, best friend, and partner in all things. They developed a wonderful life together and he provided the safety and security that she needed. Being the selfless person that he was, Tim wouldn't stop talking about how he was worried about my mother. He never told me he was scared throughout this whole process, only that he was worried about who would take care of her. I really liked Tim for a number of reasons, but I absolutely loved him for being there unconditionally for my mother over the years. 

Tim goofing off at work
Tim spent his last few days not suffering, but in the warmth of home surrounded by close family, friends, and his beloved pup. Last night people left the house around 9pm. My mother wished Tim a good night and they went to sleep together holding hands. She told him to rest peacefully and sang him a song. He went to sleep and was fully at rest shortly after midnight. 

Tim, you were an amazing person. Full of kindness, warmth, laughter, and unconditional love. You taught me not to judge, not to hold anger, and many, many other lessons (some of which I'm still working on). You will never be forgotten.

With love...  

~ D  


  1. What an amazing person an influence in your life. Beautiful post. Our love and thoughts are with you and your family.

  2. Very well written, for someone who was clearly worth writing well about. My condolences to you and yours.

  3. You couldn't have written a more beautiful tribute. Sending all the love in the world to you and your family. I'm so sorry....