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Missing Tim

He came into this world 50 years ago yesterday, a tiny little boy fighting desperately for his life.

Born with hydrocephalus and spina bifida, the odds were very long against his survival — and even if he did make it, his lifespan at the time was estimated in days or months. Maybe years, but only a few. Certainly not decades.

His young parents were told he wouldn’t make it. They made the choice to believe what they were told. They walked away and left him to whatever the fates would dictate.

But this little boy had something going for him.

His feisty spirit.

His will to live.

And a young doctor on his obstetrical-neonate rotation who fell in love with that little boy.

So much so that the doctor went home, had a heart-to-heart with his wife, and the end result was that that little boy went home with that doctor — and came into our family as our doctor-brother’s son.

The medical odds were still against him. He might make it to age three. Then maybe age five. There were crises and set-backs. Operation after operation. Years in a brace, and a wheelchair. Hospitalization after hospitalization.

But there were also the advances and the joys.

The impish smile.

The pixie sense of humor.

The die-hard loyalty of the world’s biggest Cubs fan.

The heart that wouldn’t give up.

Age five turned into age 10.

Age 10 into age 15.

He turned 21, and into one of the world’s most effective card-sharps. You never ever ever wanted to play cards with that boy and put up more than you could afford to lose.

His 20s came and went. With reunions and visits. (That’s our boy in the far left in this reunion photo.)

His 30s came and went.

He turned 40 … 41… 42… 43…

And one last final birthday, in 2017.

We lost him that summer.

Timothy Evan Geissler, you were my hero. You will forever and always be my hero.

We love you and we miss you.

And if there is any justice in life, in heaven the Cubs are always in the World Series… and you have the best seats in the house.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “About that milestone,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 6 May 2023).

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