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Old 2017-09-24, 21:18
Lightwing Lightwing is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Memorial Thread - For Darkflame

Hi all,

I wanted to create a more positive thread to commemorate Tom's life and allow members to share whatever thoughts and memories they might have. Feel free to copy/paste text that you might have already posted in the other thread.

A few words..

I met Tom when I was 12, back in 1998, when the LBA community was super tiny, on a now long forgotten message board called "InsideTheWeb." Tom's first post ever, if I remember right, was a 3DsMax rendering of water running through the sewers from LBA1. Bertine, Jesse, Gustav and I were already regular members at the site and were immediately impressed by Tom's artistic skills. That was his introduction to us and as time went on, we came to learn that this was only the beginning of Tom's great qualities.

When I was a teenager, I looked up to Tom because he was a real role model for me. I wanted to be a CGI animator and I looked up to him as someone who really knew that craft. I wanted to be kind to others and learned a lot about how to be mature and treat other people with respect by looking at how Tom did it.

I once had the pleasure of talking to Tom on Skype for a project he and Bertine had in mind. It was cool to actually hear their voices and chat with him live. I'm grateful for that conversation as well as the thousands of other conversations we shared in the past 18 years. Tom was part of my childhood, teenage years, and even adult hood. I never met him in person, but I wish I did.

I had the pleasure of watching Tom's memorial service, which was captivating and fulfilling. I got to see people from Tom's life that I'd never seen before. Knowing that he touched so many hearts and that he was loved by all these people made me feel like his story was complete. That there, in that room, were some of the greatest accomplishments he'd made. As the LBA Theme played in the final minutes of the ceremony, I kept thinking about Tom. Thinking how we'd met. His first post. The relationships he made and how he fell in love with someone here in this very place. All the good times and all the great moments.

As the song began to reach the end, I realized that I didn't want it to finish. That if it ended, it would somehow make the reality of everything actually true. But then I remembered the white yacht always visible in the background whenever the song plays. I imagined Tom saying goodbye as he sailed away on that boat. I guess the boat was always meant to sail away.

So, goodbye Tom. I hope we meet again.
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