Family celebrates life, season

Aaron Andrews
Staff Writer

This Christmas season, local father and retired cop Tim Blackman is finishing his three-year battle with an aggressive form of colon cancer.
And he's going down swinging all the Christmas spirit he can muster.
Every holiday season, Blackman's family of seven has a gift-giving night, according to his step-daughter Cassie Timmons.
They call it “Stinky Santa.”
This year, instead of adhering to normal tradition, Blackham proposed that the family collect gift tags from the Tree of Sharing — a Rotary Club charity involving tags hung at KeyBank in downtown Colville that catalogue the wants and wishes of local children in need.
The Blackman crew initially took seven tags from the tree — one for each family member — but then noticed that there weren't very many tags left.
When Tim heard that news, he urged the family to do more.
“He looked at us and said, 'Get them all,'” Timmons said.
“So we went back and got 21 tags total from all age groups — anywhere from a 6-month old toddler to a 16-year-old kid.
“We went to Walmart and got everything we could,” said Timmons.
She explained that, while some of the wishes were impossible to fulfill, the family was able to provide for all of the needs. .
“We filled the whole back of the pickup canopy with toys,” she said.
“That's how Tim is. He served as a cop in Stevens County for 27 years. Then, not one year into his retirement, he was told that he had six months to live.
“Now here we are, threeyears after his diagnosis. The doctors have no idea how he's still alive.
“And even in the midst of all of this, he's still, in the end, thinking of other people.
Timmons added: “I knew he was a good man, but seeing the community come together — all of these people come out of the woodwork — it's just phenomenal to me.”
“I'm glad that people get to see that there are selfless people out there, people who will do things for others, just to put a smile on a child's face.”
Blackman was not able to be interviewed due to the advancement of his Stage 4 cancer.
“He is a man of few words,” Timmons explained, “But when he spoke up, everybody wanted to hear what he had to say.”
With that in mind, Timmons shared a few of Blackman's well-known adages:
“Tomorrow is never promised, so today I want all my friends and family to know how thankful I am that all of you are in my life.
“Enjoy today and hug your kids, life is precious.
"Get 'er done.”