Tommy Alouf’s Eulogy

During the funeral mass for Tom, the presiding Monsignor Lehman gave a homily that referred to the final flight west. He actually added a friends version of flying east into the sun (or Son).

Thanks to Gary Towers for acquiring the text and forwarding this.

This wasn’t supposed to happen – not yet anyway. Tommy looked so
good ten days ago. His spirits were up (they were always up). His
fight, his will were strong. And he had plans….Tommy always had
plans. So many plans. Grand plans. A new project or two or three in
mind. Another way to make it big. And there was always another
vehicle to make fly.

As his mother Gail said yesterday: sick people don’t make plans.
But Tommy did. Even when he was physically whipped by the chemo,
Tommy was scheming; he was thinking about tomorrow and the next
day and the days after that. And as he talked about his plans, his eyes
would start to dance about, his speech would get faster and louder,
and his smile would get even huger and brighter. It was not hard to get
caught up in his plans with him.

Plans and hopes…these are what we hear about in the scriptures today.
Hopes and plans are what we celebrate around this table this morning.
Much larger and much better plans than Tommy’s were. God’s plans

St. Paul tells us these plans of God for us include our being raised from
the dead. Death had..death has.. no lasting power over Jesus. Neither
does it have lasting power in the lives of those Jesus claims as his own.
And just as nothing could take the life from Christ, we who look to
Christ also live…even as we sleep in death.

St Paul also teaches us about the crown of victory awaiting those who
stay in the race and remain faithful in the struggle. Think not only of
what you’re going through today, he wrote to Timothy and to us….think
too of the something better that awaits us. For The victor with the

capital T and V waits to make all things right for us.

And then in the gospel, there’s the table and the wedding feast. And
the master waiting on the guests. It’s a wonderful image of our God
tending to us. Taking care of us. feeding us. fulfilling our every hope.
This table then is a foretaste of the one to come. Its a share in the feast
to come. In other words, here we taste heaven.

And here today – in our shock over this unexpected loss, in our great
sadness- does this sound like non-sense? I should hope not

For in times of tradegy, loss, and sadness, what would Tommy do? His
bigger than life big self would be at our side, he’d flash that big white
grin made brighter under that huge dark mustash, he’d crack a joke,
and he’d get us thinking about tomorrow and about things bigger,
better, brighter.

Friends, permit me please to share one more thought before I close.
In one of the on line condolences, a friend of Tommy’s wrote this “we
all have to fly west on that final flight”. Although it’s commonly said
that “we ride into the sunset”, or we travel into the night, today, let’s
think differently. Lets think about riding into the east – into the sun –
not s-u-n- but S-o-n.
into the bright and blinding light that scatters all darkness,
into the love that heals and makes us whole…
into the heart of God that is our eternal home!

Tommy, enjoy your flight. And don’t forget to tip your wing.

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