We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for November 2019: Tom Roderick. Tom is 2 years into his fight against Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. Long before his diagnosis, Tom was taking on life’s ups and downs with an unrelenting bright spirit and heart full of gratitude. Read his daughter Rachel’s nomination below:
“My dad, Tom, known by many as TR, has a particularly brilliant sense of humor and unmatched charisma. Growing up, he would go out of his way to bring laughter and cheer into every room he visited, whether it be him walking out with a nylon on his head pretending to be an alien looking for his mothership or doing improvised comedy acts in strange wigs via FaceTime. On vacations my Dad would be the first person in the water and would be found rolling up in the waves of the tide, like a big kid. He taught me to not be timid and to find joy in the present. Beyond his sense of humor, he is a talented musician and artist, playing both the keyboard and the guitar. As a child, I have strong memories of him and his band playing in our basement. The Grateful Dead’s song ‘Shakedown Street’ became the soundtrack to my earliest years.
When I was a year old, he decorated a playhouse cardboard box, where he painted gorgeous iris flowers on the outside. Upon seeing his remarkable talent, my mom immediately went out and purchased him a set of paints. Since that day he has been an artist selling pieces around the world. Together we have always created art and played music; he inspired me to play the violin and join the youth symphony. He taught me how to gesso canvases and mix paint to get the right color pigment. Countless hours have been spent listening to music and looking at and making art together. He also encouraged me to test my stamina in sports and running, making it to all of my cross country meets.
As I’ve grown older, he’s taught me the importance of gratitude and looking for an underlying purpose in any situation. I have an extraordinary relationship with my Dad that has always been intentional and full of love; I have always considered him to be my best friend. I think the depth of the relationship we share directly relates to his relationship with his father, whom we all lovingly called Jimpa. Both my Dad and Jimpa have brought so much happiness into people’s lives.
In a span of 3 years, my Dad lost his mother, older brother, and Jimpa, then my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through the extremely trying experience, he was our rock. He helped me stay grounded and optimistic through my first semester in college. During my mom’s surgery and chemotherapy, he motivated her to walk every day and lifted her spirits. Fast forward 3 more years to my father’s trip to the emergency room where his brain tumor was discovered and he underwent brain surgery, which he rolled out of making peace signs, smiling ear to ear. He went into radiation and chemo glowing with gratitude for his successful surgery.
Through all that my dad’s been through, he’s never given up, only ever expressed gratitude and immense appreciation for the people in his life. We have only grown closer, and our time has only been more cherished. We are always living in the moment and counting our blessings. I feel so fortunate to have this one of a kind dad.”
To honor Tom’s grounding optimism, tenacity, and contagious spirit we are sending $500 and special edition dad gear. Your example of a full life lived with gratitude is a welcome inspiration. We salute you!