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One Year




Friday, August 18, 2006 3:21 AM CDT
A Year Without Dave - In Pictures








You can see in the pictures much of what we miss.
You can hear in the songs.

I miss his smile. Yes, Kathie, Dave was always smiling. He was happy at heart, always. No matter how difficult things got, Dave saw the glass as half full. Even more, he'd be likely to say, "Look, how thoughtful, they left me room for more." He was the kind of person who made the best of everything. Some of you know about his TGIM campaign... Thank God It's Monday! Dave was appreciative of life. He was grateful and hopeful. Never once, during his entire journey with cancer did he say, "Why me?" Not once. When he first found out it was cancer, true to form, Dave said, "There are kids (students) who will have a hard time with this, I need to pray for them." Then: "Get me out of here, the hospital is for sick people." When I look at all the pictures, you can see Dave's love for the people around him. Pictures of him smiling directly at the camera are pretty rare. In most pictures, you can see him looking at the faces of the people he loves, smiling at them. And so handsome...my heart still leaps when I see him.

I miss the sounds of him. His voice, so resonant, so pure. Dave singing, all the time. The strumming of his guitar. Dave humming as he worked. Music everywhere, all the time, in the car, in the house, in the yard, on the field. I miss his laughter. He was always laughing, finding delight in everything, reminding me to not take things so seriously. "Lighten up, Francis!" he'd say. He made everything fun. And the stories...Dave always had a story. Students called his classes "DAVE 101" because they'd learn so much about him. He shared his life, his faith, his music, his love with anyone who'd care to listen.

I miss his walk. Zach walks like him, one foot slightly turned in, which gives a bounce to his step. It was a happy walk. Kate would say, "I could always tell he was coming by the jingle of his keys." And Dave often didn't walk. He'd jog, jump, shuffle, dance. His eyes would twinkle, and he'd twirl me around in grocery store aisles and other odd places.

I miss his touch. Dave was a hugger. He used to tell the neighborhood kids, "Can't go by without a hug!" He hugged everyone. And he hugged like he meant it. Warm, huge, engulfing embraces. He was a snuggler. Backrubs, footrubs, brushing my hair. He used to drive Denise crazy.

I miss his thoughts. He was a talker, too. We could spend hours talking about a little league game or a book we'd read or the meaning of a song or sharing memories or God or autism or anything. Dave was incredibly intelligent and insightful. He was interested and interesting.

I miss his example. Switchfoot's song asks, "Are you who you want to be?" And I often fall short. I am easily angered, I am selfish, I am impatient, I am quick to judge and slow to forgive. Dave was none of these things. He saw everything through a prism of love. He had a strength of character, a conviction that held him above the petty level most of us operate on. His students sensed it. The love and respect he had for them as people above all else, and they responded to that. There was something extraordinary about Dave. People were drawn to him and he changed their lives, just by being Dave.

I miss his silliness. He was a goofball. Goofy. Joking, laughing, making up games.

I miss how his eyes would go soft when he held a baby.

I miss how his little Toyota used to rumble up the driveway.

I miss how he would set out my contact case and my toothbrush when I was up late on the computer.

I miss how he changed the oil in my car.

I miss looking at pictures with him and saying, "Remember that?"

I miss how excited he'd get when I made his lunch for him.

I miss his smile at ballgames, that look in his eye..."That's my boy!"

I miss seeing him coach, encouraging, guiding, teaching, excited and enthusiastic.

I miss his creativity...songs, poems, drawings.

I miss the little notes he left in odd places for me.

I miss dancing with him.

I miss seeing him read his Bible and pray every morning.

I miss seeing his face as he listened to music, especially music from Erik, Mark, Will.

I miss seeing his eyes light up when he saw the kids.

I miss holding hands with him. And how he's always start singing the Beatles, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand..."

I miss sneaking into the kids' rooms at night, leaning on Dave, listening to them breathe.

I miss....everything. I miss....him.

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