When the Mahoney's asked me to speak at this occasion, I felt like a heavy burden had been placed on my shoulders. How in the world could I possibly do justice to the celebration of such an amazing individual and his equally amazing life?.
Just looking around this room, you can see how truly special this young man was. In his 20 years of life, Tucker touched more lives and inspired more people than most could only wish to achieve over an entire lifetime. But, as a wise man once said, "A life isn't determined by how many years you have lived, but rather by how many lives you have touched." Well, if this is true, then my best friend passed as a wise old man.
Tucker was one of the most beloved individuals in our high school. Never one to speak ill of anyone, he carried thia aura about him that attracted people to him. Tucker had this uncommon gift of assessing any situation and figuring out how to make everyone feel as good as he did, even if it meant embarassing himself in the process. Whether it was getting in the middle of a dance to sing an out-of-tune rendition of "Born to Be Wild" or making an effort to include someone whom others would not have even paid a passing glance to or motivating a group of unskilled, high energy fifth graders to buy into playing team basketball, Tucker went out of his way to make others' lives better.
Tucker certainly didn't need to do any of this; like I said, he was one of the most well-liked kids at school. He was handsome, intelligent, a budding athletic star, but that wasn't enough for Tucker, he expected more of himself. This positive, unselfish, proactive approach to life is something that I've been trying to emulate ever since I've met Tucker.
One of my most fond memories of Tuck was the time we spent coaching a youth basketball team together. I had had huge plans for this team; I had drawn up plays, bought a clipboard and a whistle, and was ready to win it all.