When I began working at the Misquamicut Club in 2000 I never thought that I would meet so many coworkers from one family that would have such an impact on my life. In 2001 the Cavanagh family would invade the club staff, one of the members was Tom Cavanagh. That first summer Tom and I would form a friendship and work together on a daily basis. Being around Tom made the worst job great just because you got to talk with Tom. Tom at the age of 17 was wise beyond his years, he liked to have fun but his work ethic was on of the hardest I have ever seen in my life. At the end of the summer I found out that Tom was a pretty good hockey player, all summer as much as we worked together it never came up. Tom would go on to play hockey at Harvard and was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 6th round in 2001. Tom would work at the course on and off for a few more years, to everyone at the course he was Tom the genuine good guy not Tom the hockey player. He was a ten times better person than he was a hockey player.
Tom would go on and play in the AHL and NHL, in this time I formed a close friendship with his younger brother Dave and cousin John. Tom would come up weekly, we would talk about how he was doing and how he wanted to come play in our annual wiffle ball tournament. I would see Tom from time to time and we would talk about life and the good old days at the course as kids. In the summer of 2010 Tom along with Dave and other family members came down to the local beach bar, I will never forget that night. We sat for hours talking and having drinks, I can retell stories from that night no problem. As I left Tom and I would hug and told eachother to be safe and to stay in better touch. Send eachother emails or texts just to check in and chat about the guys at the course.
In January of 2011 Tom lost his battle with mental illness. While at the wake and funeral all I would hear were stories like mine about how Tom had impacted so many lives. Tom was one of a kind and I'm happy that I had the plearsure to spend time with him. I only hope that I can impact peoples lives the way that Tom did and to this day still does. Tom always wore the number 9 and everytime that the number appears in my life I can't help but smile and remember how great of a man Tom was.
When I got my new bike the first thing I did was put TC on my handlebars. I did this because I want Tom to be with me wherever I ride. Everyday I ride I see those initals and they tell me to never give up. No matter how much it hurts or how much trouble I'm having I know that Tom is with me and if I ever gave up how disappointed he would be. Tomorrow four legs will be pushing those pedals and I will do everything in my power to win that race. I want to win for Tom and his family, I want to grab that trophy and point up and thank Tom and give that trophy to his family.
Below is a link to an article about Tom that comes from the Mercury news in San Jose. I have also included a song from Toms favorite band