Recently, a life-long friend of mine passed from this earthly life – Tom Cathy.

I won’t attempt to eulogize him just now, but I will just say that he was always good to me. Growing up, we shared adventures associated with organized sports. He is included in some of my fondest memories.

Both of us left Stillwater for a time, but we managed to relocate back home. Although I was gone from Our Town a lot longer than Tom, when I did finally return, it was a pleasure connecting with him again. These few lines have helped me to process his passing somewhat. To those of you who knew and loved him, especially his beloved classmates of the class of ’65, I hope they help you, too.

It just won’t be the same anymore,

Just because you’re not there.

Where you always used to sit

Is now an empty chair.

Our conversations will ebb and flow,

Like the way they did before,

But somehow they won’t be as full;

That’s a fact we can’t ignore.

No use wondering ‘why’ just now;

It will sort itself out in time.

Questions like that won’t really help,

Since I’ve lost this friend of mine.

Suddenly the memories of what we shared

Seem to mean a whole lot more,

And I will cling to them more fiercely

Than I ever did before.

In the midst of all my sadness,

Your loss has strengthened my desire

To value more highly those who remain.

To do this, we all must conspire.

So though the chair may be empty,

Because physically you’re not there,

You will always be in my heart.

Yes, you will always be there.

John Pryor is a C.E. Donart High School graduate. He can be reached at p29jpryor@

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