my brother Timothy

Hawai'ian sunset

This afternoon, Timothy Macbeth Veney died.


Tim and Loretta, his soulmate and spouse, are nearer than friends with Pontheolla and me. They are “frienilies”, a word we coined because of them, friends who are family.

PMA B'day, Rose's Luxury, DC, 1-23-15

In the immediacy of the deep, no, deepest onset of fathomless grief, I share two words I wrote in Tim’s honor. The first, on the occasion of his 62nd birthday. The second, yesterday, which Loretta graciously allowed me to read to him via the telephone on what we now know was the eve of his death.


For my brother Tim on his birthday, May 19, 2012

Tim & me

Brothers by birth come into being;

children, male, their parents sharing.


Apparent, too, brothers are made another way

whenever, in the light of life’s day,

experiences are shared,

hearts, souls, and minds are bared

with no measure of the grace of trust spared.

Then men become brothers;

each for the other

a never-ending



Tim, my brother, July 16, 2016

Tim & me 2

Tim, my brother

by another


and another


no one like you can say, “My brother!”

the sound of your heart-hugging,







For me,

you, alway larger than life, make the world bright,

with your laughter supreme,

with your optimism serene.

Who else, but you, Tim, can behold dark clouds and see light?

Who else, but you, Tim, can hold so tenderly, yet tight

life’s ever-appearing delight;

enough to make even grumpy folk like me


the joy that you see?


Your love, higher than a mountain ranges,

farther than the horizon reaches,


us to savor the gift of each day

in a way

that makes us all finer people.


Your love, higher than a mountain ranges,

farther than the horizon reaches,


your soulmate Loretta,

no other than you can love her better,

and your daughter



you e’er hold in your heart with your love true,

and Kendal your granddaughter

who’s wrapped

her “Pappy”

‘round her finger.


And, Tim, do you remember when

I, spontaneously,

first called you “Mr. Timothy?”


I knew, if I hadn’t known before,

how you were and are important to me more


a friend

or even as Loretta’s husband,

but as my brother

by another


and another



I love you, forever

my brother,


and in all ways.


12 thoughts on “my brother Timothy

  1. Paul,

    My heart aches for the loss of your dear friend and brother Timothy – for you and Pontheolla, of course, but also for Loretta – I feel I know her from her beautiful book that Pontheolla so lovingly shared with me when we were with you – and for Kim and the whole Veney family. May all of you who loved him be companioned by sweet memories and the knowledge that his love for you goes on. May you feel his spirit near in times of deepest grief, and may God keep you all enfolded with arms of gentleness and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul,

    We were walking back to our car in the hospital parking lot when I saw this. As we passed the Episcopal Church I started to read and look at the pics and TOTALLY lost it!!! I ducked into the church and cried my eyes out. Kim & Kendal waited in the garden area and then our amazing granddaughter picked flowers for us to make us feel better!! We will get through this with help of our family, including you and Pontheolla!! Lord have mercy!! Your writing is so beautiful and you nailed the essence of Timothy!!! Love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, beloved sister and family, we will get through this, though, I believe always with that undeniable loss of the near and dear presence of Tim. AND that Kendal, what a sensitive and compassionate soul. Bless her!


  3. Dear Paul–I am so sorry for your terrible loss. You’ve now lost two brothers. There is a hole that will not be filled, except by the love that flows between you and Pontheolla and Loretta and your families. And the love that flows to each of you from friends far and near. Even then, the hole will not be filled, but I pray you will find solace.

    The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34

    We send our love.
    Caroline and David

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul, Tim’s quiet ways and larger than life love will leave a whole for a long time. May that hole be filled for you by knowing how much your brotherhood filled him too. Much love on this sad day…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I woke this morning feeling great sadness over Tim’s death. The world is emptier without this gentle giant. I remember fondly my days with Tim and Loretta at Nativity Camp Springs and I have been grateful that our paths have continued to cross. Prayers of comfort are with you Paul and with all of us who had the privilege to love Tim and be loved by him in return.

    Liked by 2 people

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