Lately I have started to realize that this is one of those years where everything changes. For good and for bad but it's irreversible change nonetheless. I guess I haven't really written much about losing a great mentor and friend, Tim Ellis. What a guy. It is hard to explain what a void he has left in a lot of us and it's hard to explain just how much he impacted an entire community. Tim not only entered my life but rather confetti bombed it with laughter, love advice, and so many stories. I met Tim when I was 16, I had just moved from Walla Walla and wanted to be in the music industry so badly. It did not take much time for Tim to recognize that I was driven, maybe more than a normal 16 year old, and before I knew it he brought me into his inner circle where I worked, played, and lived for a good 10 years. I would not be where I am without him. But as with anything fragile in this world sometimes it can crack. In my the midst of the chaos of my early twenties I did the one thing that Tim had no patience for. I thought and acted bigger than the opportunity he gave me. After that I went my own way and tried to understand where I went wrong. It took me a few years and getting married to realize that I had thrown away a friendship, and mentor.
I remember the day I convinced my wife to go see him and Jim play at Hayden's. We jumped in the car and headed out so Kaitlyn could meet him for the first time and I see him for the first time in 3 years. When we got there they were in the middle of their second set and in classic Tim fashion he nodded his head as soon as I entered and gave me a big smile. They did amazing as they always do and Kaitlyn and I stuck around until they started packing up their gear. As I use to do with Tim I walked up and asked if he needed any help taking the gear to the car, he smiled and looked at Kaitlyn and said "Who do we have hear?!" That would begin the hour and a half conversation with Kaitlyn, Myself and Tim about all the stories Tim could tell about me and catching me up on the last three years of his life. We stood out in the parking lot on a hot summer night laughing and catching up as if we had never lost time. He could make anyone seem like you've known him for years and it was amazing to see Kaitlyn mesmerized by the experience that is Tim Ellis. Towards the end of the conversation I apologized for the idiot I had been and he told me it was ok, he was happy for me and Kaitlyn and hearing him say it was ok, finally made it feel ok.
The following years we saw each other in passing and always were able to talk here and there until he got sick. It is not everyday that someone enters your life and gives you everything you need to know to succeed. You see Tim was like a father to me for 10 years and when I messed up he treated me just like father would, he was disappointed. But that disappointed motivated me to get my life together, marry an amazing woman and start becoming the man I have always wanted to be. He easily could have brushed it off and not told me how he felt but he did and THAT is what makes him a legendary. Even though he didn't have to, he gave and gave and gave and gave more and then when he had nothing he found a way to give you a little more.
He would find a way to teach you guitar lesson but you would leave with a life lesson and probably 15 new jokes and stories you had never heard before. I remember when I started taking lessons again I talked to him about changing my life around he would say, "It is easy to SAY Will, but only time will tell if you actually DO it." He was right, time did tell.
When I heard Tim was very sick I sent him a message since I knew he would be bombarded by calls and texts. His response was classic Tim
"Thank you Guys!! Will, for a Wild Mexican guy, I love you a bunch!! We have had some pretty great times and eaten some serious Tamales De Coca!!!! I am Fighting this BS with faith and love... you guys are on my side, how can we fail..??? But for the Grace of God go I..."
Tim would pass away almost a month later. I realize now that saying you're living life is easy but actually living life is hard and it takes effort even when you're dog tired, you still have to try. Tim tried every single day.
Tim, the things I will always remember is your love for your family, for life and for people. How you made everyone feel so important and special. How you could always make it to your appointments on time even though you had 5 min to get there from way across town "Early is on time and on time is late, Will" you would say to me. How you would smirk when you were telling a dirty joke and how you always called me a Mexican even though you knew damn well I wasn't!! All in all I just miss you friend, thank for all the second chances.