Sunday, January 15, 2017, I lost a dear friend. Not only was he my friend, he was my mentor and “dad” as well. Dave took a walk with God and decided to stay … who am I to question that?
Dave was my friend because he saw me for who I am. No bullshit, no faces, just real, honest and open. I will cherish the times we had together to talk and laugh about everything. There was not a subject between us we couldn’t discuss. And normally from those conversations came laughter that will never be replaced.
When I first met Dave, he was in the hospital. What it was I cannot remember but hospitals and doctors were nothing new to him. I was a nervous wreck to be introduced as his daughter’s boyfriend. He was skeptical but if memory serves me right we hit it off from the get-go. To say that this man had medical issues would be an understatement. That part is immaterial right now; but what isn’t is the lessons I learned from him day after day.
Dave was a double amputee. But for someone who either walked around on prosthetics, used a wheelchair, or just plain crawled, the word ‘can’t’ was not part of his vocabulary. If there is one thing I will take away from the lessons he lived in front of me it is this: ‘can’t’ is no longer a word I understand or accept. He could do anything he set his mind to. He was a wizard under the hood of a car, an accomplished Bible scholar, loved music, drawing, and art, was a Wheelchair Basketball force back in the day (#15 Spinners), understood anything mechanical, loved old western movies, and his family most of all.
His daughter was the world to him. She was the topic of conversation between us quite frequently; and every single time, his eyes would sparkle when he would think about her or talk about her. Now I have impossible shoes to fill but if there was one more thing I could say to him it would be I will do everything in my power to take care of his family in his absence. I will strive to love his daughter and maybe come within a fraction of the love he had for her. I will take care of his wife, again, coming within a fraction that he did. I will watch over them and protect them the way he did.
I could go on and on but you, dear reader, do not want to spend your day walking down this painful road with me. I understand. I too wish I didn’t have to walk this road. The good ones are supposed to live forever right?
So take this simple thought away today, mull it over, and hopefully, it will seep into someone’s heart and life: live for today. We are not promised tomorrow. Tell those around you how much you love them. Forget the word ‘can’t’ … it will never serve you well. Lastly, remember those that have left us behind to keep fighting, keep living, and smile. They smiled when they thought of us.
I miss you Dave, my friend. Tears fall even as I write this. But you’re safe and in no more pain. Watch over me and your family. I promise to do the same. Thank you for being my friend. I love you.