Timothy John Huffman
December 31, 1966  August 14, 1998.


Timothy and his brother Todd were conceived while on a vacation at my fathers house in the Blackfoot Canyon in Montana, about 20 miles Northeast of the town of Missoula where I (their father) was born.

My lovely new bride was using birth control pills up until that vacation and nobody told us that when the lady stops taking birth control pills, the chance of multiple eggs dropping, goes up considerably. Seven months later and sporting a belly big enough for two babies, their mother went into labor.

At the hospital, our doctor was out playing golf while we were getting used to the idea of having a baby.  Then, a nurse came out to confer with me that during a routine check of fetus heart beats, they detected two different heart beats and would we mind if they confirmed how many babies were going to be delivered?  Then, off to X-Ray which confirmed that we were going to have twins.

Later that afternoon, at 5:06 and 5:11, two boys were delivered and whisked off to intensive care as both of them had underdeveloped lungs with the usual breathing problems typical of premature babies.  The twins weighed in under five pounds each and a total of about 9 pounds together hence why their Mom was looking very prego at seven months.

We didn't have any names picked out yet so the hospital designated them Baby A and Baby B.  We were also told that the lighter baby at 4# 4oz, had a very slim chance of survival.  So that was day one for Tim and Todd, no name yet and both in intensive care with Todd being given a slim chance of survival.

After a couple of days, their Mother got to come home and then the daily vigil began for our two babies and naming of them.  

Finally after several days of being pressured by the Hospital Admin to name our newborns, we pulled out a "Name Your Baby" book and started thumbing through the choices.  This was complicated emotionally by the fact we were upset that our one baby had a very small chance of surviving.

After much hand wringing and discussion with friends and family we came up with Timothy and Todd.  Timothy because of its association with Greek mythology and also because of a close friend of mine who was named Timothy and the fact that I enjoyed the contraction of the name to the nick name of "Tim."  Todd because it sounded strong and we wanted our baby to be strong and to survive.

The middle names were a family thing in that we wanted to include our parents in the naming; two boy babies, two grandfathers with conventional names, so the baby with the long name got the short grandfathers name and the baby with the short name, got the long grandfathers name.  Pretty scientific weren't we?  We ended up telling the hospital to use Timothy John (my fathers name) and Todd Charles (my wife's fathers name.)  A naming oddity of sorts is that both babies names ended up being the same length of thirteen characters.

Timothy got to come home from intensive care first after two weeks and Todd got to come home after four weeks in intensive care.  We were elated and grateful for having two now healthy babies and for having really good health insurance as having two babies in intensive care for two and four weeks ran up a really stiff hospital bill.  Then we had to buy for two babies instead of one and the fun and work of raising twins, began to sink in.  

After all of this, we hadn't finished saying hello to Timothy and then thirty one and one half years later we had to say goodbye.

 

 

Tim died of AIDS related complexes (ARC) succumbing to multiple brain tumors and the advice of his physician and friend, a Stanford doctor.  

Yes, even a college graduate, a person graduated with honors, can make a poor life decision. (I.E. Having sex without a condom.)  Sometimes, matters of the heart trump matters of the brain.  Don't ask me why, just trust and believe me when I share this with you, that even the smartest of persons can make the dumbest of decisions and still be infected with HIV in a moment of passion.  The consequence is presently irreversible and incurable.  Modern day drugs, (2017) can keep an HIV+ person alive but the drug costs are prohibitive and the regime of taking them, daunting. 

Alzheimer's is often described as the disease with a "long" goodbye. AIDS is similar, in that when you first discover you are infected to the time of your demise, may be several months or several years if you are lucky.  There are even a few rare cases of infected people surviving ten years and more.  In the interim period of time there are lots of goodbyes.  In 2017, several HIV+ infected persons, are surviving with long term outlooks and the magic of the drugs now available.

Tim survived about three years after discovering his infection.  It was his Step-mom who noticed his symptoms and encouraged him to be tested. By the time he got tested, he was already diagnosed as having AIDS.  (The difference between being HIV Positive and AIDS, is a white blood cell count below 200. (The normal range is between 4,500 and 10,000 white blood cells per microliter [mcL])

At the time of his infection discovery, he was happily partnered up with a super nice guy by the name of Greg.  They were building a life together, both had great jobs and they were very happy and they were in love and they felt immune from HIV since they were monogamous.

Historically, one of them or both were already infected prior to committing to a monogamous relationship.  The rest is history. Tim's partner Greg died of AIDS related complexes first and then Tim died a year plus a few months after that.  Dying first has nothing to do with who infected who, it's a matter of who resists the disease the longest.

When Greg and Tim visited us, Greg would remark "I don't know why I am taking this medication.  I don't feel sick."  Greg only got tested because Tim found out he was HIV positive.

I never discovered who infected who or how my son became infected. It was none of my business and wouldn't have changed anything or the outcome.  The sad result is that two intelligent college graduates gambled with their own life using risky behavior (sex without a condom) and lost.

Saying goodbye to any child is never easy.  Having several years to say goodbye is embedded with hopes and thoughts of a breakthrough cure being invented or discovered and then the reality and finality of the end.

Tim's family and his friends are still feeling the positive impact his life and death had on us.

His life was a positive influence because we could always depend on him.  He was: an extraordinary person, a friend, a brother, an uncle and a son.

Tim's death was a positive influence because we remember the brave and valiant course he chose to both fight his HIV infection and how he choose to cope with it.  He never asked, "Why me?"  His only focus was to stay ahead of the HIV infection, making the most out of life with little thought of whether his life was going to end or not.  The last three months were his best, making it look to his family as if he would survive forever.  He acknowledged the distinct possibility of dying but never was negative about it.

In one of our many father and son conversations during the period he was fighting his infection, his often stated wish was, if he were to die, "that he be remembered."  This web page is in honor of and dedicated to the remembrance of our: son, brother, uncle and friend Tim.

His twin brother Todd has remembered him by naming his first born son after him.  We now have a Jaysen Timothy Huffman (8/2/96) in our family who I can share stories with about his Uncle Tim, every chance I get.  Tim also started a small college fund for Jaysen which to this day remains in trust at Charles Schwabb.

His sister Cindy has lots of fond and cute stories she can tell you about Tim and their experiences of growing up together.

Christa went on to college after his death; inspired by her brother and actually developed her Master's thesis around Timothy.

Yes Tim, you are constantly and still being remembered.

Tim accomplished a lot in his short life time.  He went to all of the same pre college schools his twin brother and two sisters went to: Latimer Elementary, Castro Junior High (now Moreland Middle School), and Prospect High.  All in our neighborhood of West San Jose, California.

Tim then went on to graduate from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  He was frequently on the honor roll and got his BS in four years as an English Major.  He was always very focused and always aggressive in maintaining his GPA at or near a B+ level being on the Dean's list several times over the four years of attending UCSB. 

In his last year at UCSB, he dated a girl named Wendy.  She was his last dalliance before acknowledging he was gay.  Wendy and Tim remained friends even after acknowledging his sexual preference.  Tim left Santa Barbara after graduating and Wendy went on to marry someone else and is raising a family of her own, now.

A funny story about Tim after his first year away from home because of college.  We were having a father son talk and after a while, he looked at me in reflection and said, "Dad, I can't believe how much you have changed since I left home."  I had to laugh out loud and I continue to treasure that moment.  Of course at 19 he was the one that changed, morphing into his adult role and ready to take on life.

One can't remember Tim without mentioning his recreation passions: Bowling and Motorcycling.  He was a frequent bowler and it was not unusual for him to bowl in the very high 200s.  On a rare occasion, even a 298 and a 299.  Can you imagine the last frame, having 11 strikes in a row and then the very last frame? leaving a pin or two standing.  What an emotional moment.

Motorcycling was a convenience and something he really enjoyed doing.  His hobby started with riding dirt bikes when he was 12 and 13.  The three of us (Todd, Tim and me) would recreate in several different dirt bike parks once or twice a month. He also had a motorcycle during his last year of college as well as a nearly new Honda Hurricane after graduating. This motorcycle is the one he took great joy in telling everybody about what a GREAT deal he got on it.  It was a 600cc red sport bike.  A 160 MPH class motorcycle. 

He would visit us astride his red two wheel chariot and when departing, look as normal as any kid on a sport bike with no hint of impending doom.

Tim also had a newer pickup truck, a reflection of his masculinity.

Meanwhile, reflecting back to when he graduated from UCSB, Tim moved back home after college but was soon out on his own with his very own apartment and a real job.  His initial vocation choice was to be a teacher.  He had an offer to go to work as a teacher for 19K a year or to go to work for Integratel as a programmer for 29K a year.  He choose the later pursuing programming instead of teaching English.

Eventually, he went to work for Intel where he continued to do financial programming and was awarded several times for his excellence in implementing the programs and projects assigned to him.  He continued to work at Intel until his HIV infection became health compromising AIDS, forcing him to give his full attention to fighting the HIV infection.  He was on disability for about two years before multiple cancerous brain tumors formed and turned him into a vegetable, terminating his final bout with the HIV disease.

Tim's friends and family were with him to the very end.  Perhaps you would like to view the guest registry for his Memorial.  If you were there, locate your own name and the names of your and his friends.  His memorial service was held in a chapel at 231 East Campbell Ave., downtown Campbell, California.  This service was a "standing room" only event.  Tim's short but quality life, had touched an extraordinary lot of people.

Authors Note: This is an update, so to speak, written during February of 2017. On  August, 14, 2018 (Tuesday), it will be twenty years since Tim left us.  He is still missed and always especially in my and our thoughts.  I propose to meet at his crypt on that day, together or singularly, to celebrate what was a GREAT life for Tim and how Tim continues to be a positive influence over us. (Pops)




 
So Timothy John Huffman, using your own favorite saying, "Ta Ta for now."

 


If you wish to visit Tim's Crypt Interment to remember and talk to him; simply go to Los Gatos Memorial Park, 2255 Los Gatos-Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA.  When you get there, park your car in front of the first building you come to and then walk to the left and between the main building and the building to it's left.  Tim is located in the Tranquility Wall, Unit A, Memorial on Toyon Drive.  His crypt is 10 rows up, and the 12th column from the left.  You can thank his Mom for a place to visit him.  It was her wish that his ashes be saved for posterity in a regular crypt instead of being cast to the winds.  Tim's wish was to be scattered over the same area as his deceased partner's ashes were.  His father apologised and told his deceased son Tim, "The wishes of a live parent, trumps the wish of a deceased son."  Sorry Tim.

Tim's "It was a Grand Life" Gallery 

Back 2 Dad's Home Page and Adventure Travelogue

Email me, especially if you have a remembrance of Tim that I can add to this Memorial Page.