Remembering Dave

20 04 2011

Today, April 20th, is my friend Dave’s Birthday.  He was a wonderful man and a terrific friend.  Dave made the choice to leave us January 2001.  I think of Dave quite often still, especially during the first part of each year with the anniversaries of both his beginning and end.

Dave was a friend of my ex-husband, Mike.  They met not too long before Mike and I met and Dave quickly became a very dear friend.  He was outrageously smart about a wide range of topics.  He tutored some high school kids and was a large help with my College Chemistry course.  I remember sitting on the couch with him going over my homework.  He was so patient and a big help.

After camp one summer, about 10 of us stayed together for a few more days.  Some were from out-of-town, but most were from out-of-country.  Dave took us on a tour of downtown Louisville where he told us the history of the buildings and architecture.  It was just another surprise of his knowledge that popped out.  I remember thinking he was so sweet to spend the time with us and that I was so lucky to be friends with him.

Dave loved to watch Star Trek and I hated to watch it.  It was like torture.  I think it was on like every night at 6 or something.  We only had one TV in the apartment so I had no choice but to sit and watch it if he was home.  Funny thing is, I’d gladly sit and watch an episode with him now.  I miss Dave a lot.

When Dave moved out from Mike’s apartment, he didn’t go far.  He found a place just two or three buildings down.  He still came over for dinner and to hang out.  We were a sweet little family.

I never really thought about how his choice changed me until now.  Something inside of me was knocked out-of-place.  I had no one outside our circle of friends to talk to – no one from outside the situation to help me work through the troubles I was feeling.  Honestly, I still haven’t talked with anyone.  The only reason I’m somewhat okay with writing this is because I don’t have to actually speak these words.

Dave attempted to hang himself in Mike’s apartment.  It was after he had moved out so the cry for help was heard loud and clear.  I remember him being better for a while after that but not for long.  He locked himself in his apartment with a shotgun.  I don’t remember where he got it – if he’d always had it or if he just went to buy it. 

I wanted to help but was paralyzed with fear and too young and ignorant to really know what to do.  I was in over my head.  He didn’t want to see me.  He knew I would try to help show him what he had to live for and he threatened to end his life right in front of me if I attempted to visit.  So I stayed away.  I hoped and prayed that Mike would be able to reach him.  Mike wasn’t going to push anything on Dave, I knew that, but I wanted something to click for Dave and he’d be able to see that choosing life over death would be okay. 

Life was mostly a blur for a long while.  Everyone was just waiting for him to make his move.  I would ask Mike how Dave was doing but I was scared to death to hear the answer.  I don’t remember us ever asking each other how we were doing.  It was a sad time. 

I remember getting the call.  Mike was very upset and not very sensitive when delivering the message and was banned from that point on from ever giving me bad news again.  Our friend Kraus was given that responsibility. 

No matter how angry I was with Dave, no matter how much his choice has hurt me, I still love him.  I hold him close to my heart.

I miss Dave’s laugh.

I miss Dave’s hugs.

I miss Dave’s friendship.

I simply miss Dave.

Happy Birthday, Friend.

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