Reflections: Tod McQuaid (1954-1990)
"There is no timetable for recovery from the trauma and grief of violent crime" - Voices For Victims, Inc. refrigerator magnet in Jan McQuaid's kitchen.
Tod lived 23 years of his total 35 years in the Jan and Rog McQuaid house. Then for three months after his death, Jan and Rog keep asking each other “what if [he or she or they or us] had only…” They kept denying the truth by questions regarding the murderers, God, themselves, friends. Finally Rog decided for both that it was time to talk about good memories of Tod's past. Yet it is not so strange that for three or four more years, Jan cried in bed almost every day!
A cousin felt his loss over time too. Here is her feeling as addressed to Tod:
“Today, just like last year, is very brisk and cold. I find myself staring out the window, a lot, just like last year. The leaves have changed colors and are falling off of the trees now. It’s sad to see, because in a way, it seems as if they’re dying. And it reminds me of you and the ordeal we experienced this time, last year.
“Yesterday, the minister spoke about waking up in the morning and seeing the new day. I’m not sure what the sermon was about. I was in a daze, because that sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. Because, it was the very morning – of last year – that you (Tod) didn’t see the new day. They stole that away from you … they stole you away from us. What gave them the right to do that to us?”
A family friend talked about her memories and his positive impact on her life:
“I received your book on Saturday and finished it on Sunday, all I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“I was too young to really know Tod well, but I remembered a few things that made me smile and brought back good memories. I remember going to sleep (or at least until my parents were ready to go home being) in his room, and it being decorated with aviation and planes, and the coolest mural on his wall. I remember bugging mom (with no luck) that I wanted to paint my room like that. The other thing that made me smile were the pictures of the four seasons that he took of your tree that hung on the way up your stairs. I think I decided to pursue photography lessons after seeing those.”
Jan and Rog McQuaid are proud of Tod and of who he was in life.
Tod’s pictures showed his love of life. He flew a small plane down the Hudson River past the World Trade center so he could get his picture looking down at the tallest building in the world just as it opened for business. He symbolized love of flowers by inserting a three-dimensional LOVE in a pink blooming Azaleas bush. His daughter Liz created a similar symbol at 18 when she used the same LOVE with his wedding picture and the gold chain he wore when his murderers buried him. Her picture is in Jan’s book.
Tod owned two companies and was forming a third in Lewisburg, West Virginia.
Tod was a charter member of the Men of Greenbrier Barbershop Harmony Chorus.
Tod learned to fly at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Tod played golf at Baltusrol Country Club while on the golf team of Jonathan Dayton Regional High School.
Tod preached from the pulpit during the first youth organized Sunday Church Service at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Summit, New Jersey.
Tod won the Little League Baseball game in the bottom of the ninth, when he hit a home run at age twelve…