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18 May 2006
My friend, Jeri (our Jeri's godmother) spent the night here last night. She had been celebrating her niece's 21st birthday in Davis and, since the two of us had already planned to have lunch together today, she decided she would spend the night at our house and then we would go somewhere to lunch the next day and she would go home after that.
It gave us a good opportunity to have a nice visit, which we have not since the day I sat with her in the hospital, when we were still hoping that her husband Bill would survive his crisis.
We spent a lot of time watching Sheila and Peanut playing. Peanut is learning new things every day--now he stands on his hind legs when he wants to get up on a chair...
...and tonight he climbed up the first two stairs in the hallway. He didn't make it all the way up to the first landing, but it's only a matter of time. I'll be surprised if he doesn't climb up all the stairs by tomorrow or the next day.
Jeri and I talked about plans for Bill's upcoming memorial and I asked the burning question: did anybody bring you ham yet?
We talked about flowers and how we felt about flowers being sent after a death. She got teary at points; I got teary at points. I remembered how good it is to sit with someone who understands. I remember having dinner with our friends Joan and Tom, who had lost a daughter years before. I remember how comfortable it was to be able to laugh and cry and know that it didn't make them feel uncomfortable because they understood. They knew that we didn't want someone to "make it all better," we just wanted someone to let us "feel" whatever we needed to feel, and who wouldn't be uncomfortable if we got tears in our eyes--or laughed a lot at something that was funny.
Then I thought about the date, and realized that David died 10 years ago today. May 18, 1996. Has it been ten years already? Wasn't it just yesterday?
He'd be 34 if he were alive. He probably would have some grey in his hair by now. And he'd probably be in a regular job of some sort, and maybe living a more regulated life. He might be married. Who knows what might have happened in the last ten years.
But instead he's permanently frozen in time at age 24.
After Jeri left to go back home again, I got this crazy notion of running the videotape from David's memorial service. I remember being asked if I wanted someone to make a video of the service and I said no. I didn't want to make a circus out of it--but, after all, it was held in the theatre, there was a reviewer there, for Pete's sake, and the kids had been photographed and videotaped since birth, so in the end, I agreed to having a video camera running, but asked that that's all they do--set up a camera in the back of the theatre and just let it run. No fancy shots, no close ups...just a memory of what the service had been like.
Ten years down the line, I'm sorry I didn't let whoever was the camera person do whatever he wanted to do. But I did sit here and watch the whole thing. The funny bits. The sad bits. The emotional, gut-wrenching bits. The videographer missed the start, and turned the camera off before the slide show which ended it, but the bulk of the "service" (I'm not sure if this can best be called a "service") is there.
I decided that, given that 10 years is a significant anniversary, such as it is, that I would post a couple of excerpts from that service, one today, one tomorrow. Probably too long, both of them, but I don't know how, really, to make them shorter. Today's excerpt is by David's best friend Jeff Storey, who read a letter that David once wrote to him. God, Dave was a good writer. The kind of writer I can only aspire to be.
The video is 12 minutes long, twice as long as it should be, and I'm sure most people won't bother with it, but I hope that some will give it a look-see. Tomorrow I want to post excerpts from several other speakers, possibly shorter, because they are easier to break into segments, possibly as long because of the number of snippets.
I am writing this on May 17 and on this date 10 years ago, life was good. We were in New York having fun being tourists, blissfully unaware that the world would change forever the next day.
PHOTO OF THE DAY