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Timothy Wheddon, of Lenoir, North Carolina, died Wednesday, December 10, 2008 in Caldwell Memorial Hospital after a 4 year fight against Melanoma, a disastrous skin cancer.
Born in Lenoir, North Carolina, January 23, 1982, to the late Timothy Sr. and Patricia Wheddon, Timothy (better known as Tim) was an excellent student and talented musician. He attended Caldwell Community College for two years until the tragic death of both parents, forcing him to raise his younger brother, Alan.
Tim was involved with "Habitat for Humanity" and "Hope and Horses", both charitable causes. He was an avid outdoor adventurer and enjoyed swimming, surfing, and running. He chose to live his days out his days in North Carolina because he grew up there, loved the people, and loved the endless amounts of possibilities it had to offer.
Tim is survived by his wife, Savannah, and his brother, Alan. No other family members are known.
The funeral service will be held at 2:00 December 16, 2008 at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory. Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.
I threw the newspaper on the coffee table and leaned back against the couch cushions, unable to believe what I had just read. Tim…good ole Tim…the Tim that stole the love of my life out of my hands…the one who I sold all my father's coins to help treat him…the Tim that was now dead. My thoughts became foggy and I soon felt a throbbing headache. I looked up at the ceiling, still not able to process the information.
After about twenty minutes of sitting still, I jumped up and walked into the kitchen. I swung the medicine cabinet open and snatched the bottle of Advil that was screaming my name. I washed down two of the little tablets with water. The effect of the drug soon set in and my head felt numb. I became drowsy and stumbled into my bedroom, falling face first onto my bed. When I dozed off into darkness, I dreamt of Tim.
When I woke up three hours later, reality set in immediately. I grabbed the phone to call someone to deliver the news of Tim's death, but then realized I had no one to call. My father was dead and now Tim was dead. My ex-girlfriend was grieving the loss of her husband and my best friend was stationed in Iraq, blowing up God knows what. I sat on the edge of my bed and cried quietly, the tears streaming out of my eyes.
What else was there to do in life? I retired from the army two years ago and decided to move into an apartment in Wilmington. I still wasn't used to the way things were and I sometimes found myself dialing Savannah's number or driving to my father's house to see how he was doing. I hated my life.
As my selfishness began to fade, I started to wonder about Tim's death. I had sold all of my father's coins to anonymously pay for Tim's treatment which would allow him to escape from the hospital and come home. I suppose the treatment didn't work and he just fell more ill. Though Tim had taken Savannah away from me, I had a soft spot for him.
The thought of Savannah gave me goose bumps on my arms. I was still in love with her; that was a fact. She was perfect in every way imaginable; a girl like that is hard to find. If I hadn't been so selfish and just left the army to be with her, I'd probably have my arms wrapped around her right now, watching our two little kids run around and play with each other. As much as it was her fault for loving someone else, I was to be blamed as well.
The last image I had of her was from when I saw her two years ago. It was nighttime and she wandered out of her house and looked up at the moon. I was sitting on a hill, watching her as she sipped her wine and enjoyed the quietness. As I looked up at the moon, I felt as if we were together again. The moment didn't last long; in fact, Savannah went back inside the house a few minutes later.
Waking up from my day dream, I glanced at the calendar. It was December 12th, four days before the funeral. I knew I had to go. There was no way I couldn't show up. I walked over to my closet and rummaged through some shirts and jackets until I found my enlisted soldier uniform. This was a dark gray suit that men in the army wore to funerals and other important events. It held a coin-shaped U.S. insignia on the right collar of the jacket and an insignia of my career specialty on the left collar tip, with nothing on the lapel. There were rank patches on both upper sleeves and other army badges around the collar. I took the jacket and pants off the hanger and held them out in front of me, making sure they were in good condition. I took out the ironing board from the hall closet and ironed the suit till it was wrinkle-free. As I hung it up on the door, my heart almost leaped out of my chest at the thought of seeing Savannah once again.