Our time in India was a challenging one. But you heard me say time and again how we'd end up at Sparky's for a Sunday afternoon or a holiday meal, we'd eat Sparky's food catered to various events and at school, and play countless games of poker with Thom at various venues. Thom was easily one of the brightest spots of our 3 years in Chennai. He was sarcastic and rough and welcomed us over like family. Our last year, he included our family in his Christmas Eve family and friends party at the restaurant. On our last visit to Sparky's before departure he made-to-order whatever our kids wanted. Nicholas had a big bowl of shrimp just for him, something most definitely not on the menu.
Thom was a generous man who moved permanently to Chennai because of his love for the city and its people. He participated on a number of charity boards, was uncle and godfather and fill-in parent to so many of his staff. He touched the lives of so many and even though he knew we at the Consulate are forever temporary (how's that for an oxymoron?), he made us feel like we belonged.
He was a wonderful man laid to rest today after he lost his battle with cancer. We'll miss him.
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