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Hero Tribute – Tim’s Story

By Mary O’Connor Shaver, Tim’s wife

One of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction, S.E. Hinton, once said, “If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one best friend, you’re more than lucky.”

My Babe, Tim Shaver, embodied the definition of a true leader – someone who had been blessed with the gift of an incredible intellectual mind and was always looking for ways to empower others. He was generous and kind with everybody – whether you were a king or pauper. He cared less about the limelight than making sure that the people he worked and played with and loved succeeded in whatever they did.

One of the greatest gifts that I loved so much about him was his compassion for companion animals. He definitely had an aura about him that made all of our rescued fur kids feel safe and very much loved.  He was a devoted “Mr. Mom” picking up mounds of poop in our back yard and gently bathing our boys when they clearly had way too much fun rolling in the mud after a particularly rainy day. He took such great pride in watching them grow as a part of our family. Often he would share some significant event about our boys that would bring out that incredibly infectious smile of his.

My Babe and I had 20 truly joyful years of the deepest love and truest partnership that I could imagine.  He gave me the experience of being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved – and I will carry that with me always.

He was my rock. When I got upset about my network router going down or a particularly tough piece of legislation was getting stalled, he stayed calm. When I was worried that I might miss an important deadline, he said it would be okay. When I wasn’t sure what to do about a particular animal cruelty case brought to my attention, he figured it out.

My Babe and I did not get nearly enough time together. But as heartbroken as I am, I am equally grateful. If the day I walked down that aisle with Tim, someone had told me that this would happen – that he would be taken from us all in 20 years – I would still have walked down that aisle. Because 20 years of being Tim Shaver’s wife, best friend and soul mate is perhaps more luck and more happiness than I could have ever imagined. I am grateful for every minute we had.

Tim’s final extraordinary gift and selfless act of charity was to save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

My Babe was truly a prince in all the good senses of the word.  A prince without pretensions, courageous and valiant. He embraced life with humor and a warm heart.

Things will never be the same with my Babe’s passing – but the world is better for the years my beloved Babe lived.

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