A tribute to Tim Considine....Torrington cries and smiles for one of their best.
TORRINGTON: The City of Torrington and beyond said goodbye to one of their own in a 24-hour plus celebration of a life well lived.
Tim Considine, a man who battled ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease) with all the strength and vigor in which he lived his life, was remembered as a kind hearted, fun loving family man to the highest power.
On Tuesday night for his wake, the line at the Gleason Funeral Home seemed to stretch all the way to heaven and back and didn’t stop forming until well after the scheduled eight p.m. closing.
The numbers were staggering. According to Chris Ryan at Gleason, over 1200 family, friends and co-workers wrapped their arms around the Considine Family in a show of commitment that makes one’s soul fill with warmth.
It was 7:45 p.m. when Mrs. Gaffney and I arrived to se the line still gathering outside down the sidewalk across from the Y.
As we got inside, we wove our way with scores of others who had come to say goodbye to a man who may have just been on this earth for but forty-nine short years but made a timeless impression on anyone he met.
It was a combination of sadness and joy inside the walls that held so many memories.
Pictures of Tim and his teammates in either baseball or basketball at Torrington High School or the University of Connecticut.
A great picture of Tim looking real smooth with a play near second base, throwing across his body to first.
Sports and Tim fit like a glove (sorry, had to go there) and his life revolved around sports throughout.
A player, a coach, a devout Yankee fan who thanked his lucky stars that Gehrig was not a Red Sox, gotta love that outlook.
Faith, Family and Friends. That was Tim Considine in a nutshell.
Going through the line on Tuesday night, you noticed a room filled with Torrington athletes from the last five decades.
Each had their own special connection to this man who lived a Jimmy Stewart, “It’s a Wonderful Life” for nearly half a century.
You didn’t want to leave a room Tim Considine was in, even when he was gone from us.
That was the effect he had on people.
On Wednesday morning, over 500 people attended a beautifully moving, heartwarming and gut wrenching ninety minute service at St Francis of Assisi Church, led by Father Christopher Tiano.
Every seat in the church was filled, along with two outside rows of folding chairs and a standing room only crowd of about 75.
Considering what a great sports family the Considine family is, I don’t think they will mind if I indulge in a little play-by-play in honor of this Yankee fan who would have been thrilled by the effort put forth by his team.
Leading off the service, as he did many times on the diamond throughout his career with the Torrington baseball team, was Michael Fabiaschi, Godson of Tim.
Fabiaschi, showing the poise and maturity he has for many a year, had the first reading from the Book of Daniel and set the tone for the day.
Kelly Considine (Goddaughter), armed with crutches, read from Paul to the Thessalonians with the second reading and also made her uncle proud with strong voice and tone.
A Homily, when done right, can be like a walk-off home run and on this special day, Father Tiano went long and deep like Derek Jeter did once in a November playoff game.
Tiano spoke to the crowd gathered about how each of them had, “Hoped for a miracle that would cure Tim and get him back on his feet and good as new. We all prayed for the miracle but it never came. Tim would not get better but the miracle did come but in the form of the love and support the entire Considine family has received over the past few months.”
Supporters of the man the had grown to love made sure the lawn was cut, meals were never an issue for his wife Cheryl or his son’s, Tim Jr. and Brian.
If a ride was needed to practice or a game, someone was there to pick up the slack.
Gehrig once said, “I considered myself, the luckiest man in the world."
Those sentiments were echoed by Considine as he witnessed people from far and near come to say thanks for what he meant to them.
Jake Bochese, a Godson himself, recited the Prayer of the Faithful before Alexandra Capitanio (Goddaughter) and Kieran Considine (Godson) took the honor of the Presentation of the Gifts.
Each of these extraordinary young people performed masterfully under very tough situations.
Soloist Jessica Storrs, a family friend, had a powerfully soothing voice that floated around the church like a soothing breeze.
At any event such as this, those who speak for the family have the toughest road to travel.
On Wednesday morning, all three speakers spoke with eloquence that made the recipient of the words more than happy.
I did one of those for my sister Patricia, who had passed of cancer.
It’s an honor and privilege that you just hope you can get through.
Timothy Considine, Jr. showed a poise beyond his years as he thoughtfully described his father as a man who loved to make others feel better about themselves.
How his hero could always make you laugh and put you in a better mood than you might have been previously.
Tim, Jr. made his father and family proud with a close to 10-minute tribute to a man who he called dad.
Mother Olga of the Eucharist, who only met Tim, Sr. once he was sick, described an extraordinary man of faith who took the burden of his disease off the shoulders of everyone who came to see him.
Brother James Considine described a “best friend” who he was proud to call a brother.
None of the last eight months has been easy on any member of the Considine Family but each has handled a terrible situation with grace, dignity and devoted love for each other.
Later Wednesday night, the tribute went back to Torrington High School as the Lady Raiders soccer team hosted a Tim Considine Night.
Remarkably, the Considine Family was on hand again after one of the toughest days any of us can imagine to cheer on the Raider girls.
While the Raiders lost 2-1 to visiting Naugatuck, the spirit at the Robert H. Frost had a distinct Considine feel to it.
A whirlwind two days, but days that saw Torrington show it’s true colors and they were as amazing as the foliage falling around us.
Tim Considine is resting, out of pain, free of spirit and hoping for a Yankee four-game winning streak.
Things are as they should be.
Below is part of a message Tim recently sent to his family and friends.
“People say they are impressed by my courage, however I am the one impressed by how each and every one of you have dug down deep into your heart and soul to help out a friend in need. I cannot put into words the love my family and I feel from all, and you will forever have our gratitude. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. God bless you, Tim.”