On the Anniversary of the death of my friend

Today marks the anniversary of the passing of my close friend Tom Emma.  As you probably have noticed, I have left the story of my relationship with Tom as our top story for the entire year.  As time passed since his death, I just couldn’t seem to find the right day to archive it.  Tommy just meant that much to my family and I.

On this day, I will be down in my hometown…..and Tommy’s hometown, Manhasset.  I have no specific plans today, other than just being here with my wife, and possibly two of my boys.  I plan on spending some time with Mr. and Mrs. Emma but not sure when or how much. I will also spend some time with some of mine and Tommy’s closest friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Emma are doing as well as can be expected, as are Tommy’s sister Liz and nephew Jack.  I anticipate today being difficult for all of us.  Some of my friends plan on going to the site, the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan,  where Tommy’s life tragically ended.  They plan on saying a prayer for him and his family at the exact time of his death.  I’m not sure I will or can join them.

All of us that were close to Tom have been dealing with this tragedy as best we can. Although it will never be easy and I will never truly understand it,  I have tried to come to terms with it and have internalized all that I can from his life.  With Tom’s parents blessing, I have been working on sharing some of the things with athletes that I have learned from him in the over thirty five years that we were friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Emma wish for Tom’s legacy to continue.  To that end, I will be offering all of the books that Tommy authored on our website.  We have not worked out all the details yet, but the concept will be to try to make them available, through a donation, to anyone that wants them.

Additionally, there will be an annual scholarship, that as the director of Edge Athletics, I will be awarding to one individual in the basketball community that best represents all that Tom believed in.  There will more on both of these actions in the very near future.

As evident on the website calendar, there will be no Edge basketball practice today.  I ask all our parents in our program to give their child an additional hug today, regardless of their age, and remember to keep things in the proper perspective.  I also ask that our athletes try to step back and understand all that your parents do for you and how much they love you.  And finally, I ask all that are reading this to keep those that are special to you close to your heart and to never take for granted those special people in your life.

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  1. William Charlebois June 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm


    I feel very fortunate that your special friendship story about Tom Emma was not moved from the Edge website. We did not belong to the Edge Family last year and it was in March I read about Tom and the love you and your family had for your high school buddy.

    Thank you so much for sharing your close relationship and thoughts of Tom and I look forward to purchasing a book authored by your close friend.

    May God bless Tom’s family and friends.

  2. Ed Burke June 14, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Jim, thank you for posting this. We all seem to get so busy and take for granted the very things in life that make us who we are. On June 5th it was the 10th anniversary of my fathers passing at 62 and I can understand the pain and loss that you are feeling. I knew my father as long as you knew Tom.


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