And this special day began many special events, just like this one. Our friend Rex Huffman and Senator Randy Gardner submitted a bill in the legislature to honor Tom by naming a portion of St. Rt 795 in memory of him, the Lt. Col Thomas P. Belkofer Memorial Highway. Tom traveled this highway many, many times so it was particularly meaningful to us. It runs between Simmons Rd. and Tracy Rd., a portion entirely in Perrysburg Township, where we live. A luncheon followed at Glenwood Elementary, where Tom went to school. Letters written by second graders displayed at the event were very touching as they spoke of how brave Tom was and how grateful they were for his sacrifice. How lucky I am to be Tom's mom.
Hello Family and Friends,
A lot has happened to me in the last eight years. Our son Tom’s death in Afghanistan brought a great deal of pain and anguish. It brought an emptiness only a parent can know when they lose a child before his time. But Tom’s ultimate sacrifice for his country, his remarkable life for his family and his God, also gave us gifts we would never have realized had he not made his unhesitating commitment to America.
I thought the hole in my heart could never be refilled, could never be healed. I was right about that. Sometimes for no reason at all, completely unexpected, tears will come to my eyes as I think of him. I turn to his picture and I hurt like it just happened.
But even through this tragedy Tom gave us gifts. Because of Tom, I have met wonderful, caring, dedicated people, the dearest of friends, and kind, sensitive individuals who have honored Tom with their tenderness to me and my husband. I have experienced opportunities to learn new things about myself… feelings, talents and commitments I didn’t know existed. I have found ways to bring purpose to Tom’s death. He has shown me how to remember him best by doing things the way he did, by always thinking of others first.
Because of all of that, and repeatedly urged by friends and family, I am writing a book. It is a Gold Star Mother’s book. It will tell the story of each of Tom’s gifts and my journey as a Gold Star Mom.