It was 2:30 a.m. in the morning. The phone was ringing
loudly and with that uneasy feeling of urgency. "Hello,"
I spoke. "Johnny, it's Alane," my sister pronounced
nervously but with the confidence of a big
sister addressing her baby brother. "It's Tommy," she
said. "He's missing in the Ohio River since 10:30 p.m.
tonight," she calmly proceeded to explain. "What," I
exclaimed with sudden sickness! "He was with Eric," she
continued "and they where canoeing and it tipped
The eyes of the old women I saw earlier that unsually warm
spring evening at the Church Brew Works came into mind as
I lay there knowing Tommy was dead although most everyone
already had convinced themselves he was just missing and
there was a chance he would be found - The eyes of this
old woman in a wheel chair puzzled me as I bent down to
pick up the change purse she seemed to drop on purpose so
I would be eye level with her and she could speak w/ me -
For I saw and felt death in them and the strange
conversation that followed - Yeah, it was around 9:45 p.m.
I thought the call would be about my father as I did in
paranoia for all late night calls. But it was for Tommy @
17 (Thomas John Taverna) - The nephew that moved in from
Boston w/ my oldest sister, Cheryl, when I was fifteen and
he two years of age. Remarkably there was no terrible
two's w/ Tommy as far as I was concerned - I loved him
unconditionally from the start. And when my sisters talk
of the picture of he at 4 and me at 17 staring into each
others eyes while I hold him above me - face to face -
smiling and laughing - Well, they see it. They see and
know the unconditional love that exists between us.
Soon thereafter I told my family I forgive Eric and send
him healing thoughts and prayers - my light and my love -
No matter what people say, think, feel or try and convince
me of - It's okay. It's okay.
...."drifting too far from the shore .... drifting too far
from the shore .... come to Jesus today and let him show
you the way .... you’re drifting too far from the
shore".... (-Jerry Garcia-)
Tommy was found about a month later. My sister was called
to view his body - bloated, bruised, his thick luxurious
hair out in massive chunks. She had to see her only Son.