13. T.J. Jackson

When I moved to Dover Plains at the age of 4, T.J. was the first person I met. He lived upstairs and was 2 years older than me. I was drawn to him as a friend because I thought he was so “cool.” He always had the best toys and always seemed to be doing something that amazed me, so I joined in if I was allowed. I felt glad to even be in his presence.

The thing about T.J. that stuck out to me was his hanging out with me even when we were older, in our low to mid teens. It astounded me that somehow someone older than me by 2 years and with a completely involved life found time to hang out with me. He participated in games our others friends would be playing and seemed just like one of us, it never bothered him to get involved.

The affect T.J. had on my was being the bigger sibling I always wished for but never had. He always acted right and was never out of line with his actions. He consoled me on personal things and taught me to have respect for others. I saw him in college a year ago and it sort of amazed me. Here we were, years later, and he was the same T.J., greeting me by name as he passed.

We no longer live near each other, both of our families have since moved. The hardest part of that move was saying goodbye to T.J. and his family, who had moved in at the exact same time we had. Our families had known each other for 13+ years. This is why I am happy seeing or talking to them if I ever come across them, especially T.J.

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