Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit


The theme here was ‘free spirit‘.

This is Carmen’s big brother, Tommy, and no words describe him better than those for he truly was the free-est of spirits.

Tommy passed away the week before last.

Tommy loved colours. If you saw a canary yellow coffin whizzing around Auckland a couple of weekends ago on the back of a Nissan ute, that was  Tommy’s.

Tommy was always aware of what was happening around him. His brother-in-law, Chris, tells how he tried to teach Tommy about traffic lights…red means stop, green means go, over and over as Tommy got the idea.  Chris, then, went for the next stage “OK, Tommy, we’re coming up to an orange…what do you this we should do?” Without an instant’s hesitation, Tommy roared “PUT YOUR BLOODY FOOT DOWN!!” Yep. he knew what has going on…

Tommy loved jigsaws – I’d seen him tackle some pretty complex ones getting onto a thousand pieces – he never looked at the box-art though – just assembled the shapes in his mind and chipped away at it away til he finished.

Tommy loved the water. Regardless of circumstance or temperature, he would launch himself into it, always in the flattest of belly flops – and some of those impacts must have hurt – but he’d leap out of the water and launch himself again and again.

Tommy contracted meningitis as a baby and never recovered from the damage it wrought so got to spend his life as a four year old – there are far worse ways to go through life, I reckon…


Tommy Grey

Free Spirit

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