A few years ago the death of a friend brought us together. My “gymnastics family”. These were guys who I competed with, guys who I coached with, guys who I learned from and I hope, guys who I may have taught a thing or two.
We came together to be strong for our mentor and friend who had just lost his wife. During the wake we were the ones in the back. We were the ones laughing and telling stories about Barbra. About the time she made exlax brownies, about the time we took all the furniture from their room and replaced it with doll furniture, about how many times she fired Jose’ and about what an amazing cook she was. She would want us laughing. She wouldn’t want to see us crying or sad.
We went out for some food and drink between viewings at the wake. We went to the place where we all used to go “as a family”. This was our Tuesday night “Staff Meeting” place. We would order beer and food (and did I mention beer?) and talk a little about gymnastics. Who was doing what and who wasn’t doing what. Mostly it was just joking around. As the night grew late Joel or Barbra would say, “Quick- somebody ask me about how the business is going” and we would oblige. When we left they had already paid our bill. Saying it was a “Business meeting”.
Anyway, As the four of us sat around and toasted Barbra, D.C. said, “Guys, we have more funerals than weddings in the next few years. These suck as reunions. I promise to stay in touch.”
And he did. Sometimes it was just a quick message on Facebook, sometimes it was an e-mail or a phone call. He kept his word.
I have a lot going on in my life right now. If you know me you may know some of it. If you don’t know me- TRUST ME, It’s a lot, and not all good…
I was on my way home from work today and realized it has been a while since I had spoken with D.C. Just a little longer than usual. So I called him.
He answered and sounded pretty weak. He got right to the point. Leukemia. I had to pull over. I thought I was going to be sick. Not another one. I can’t handle another one.
We spoke for a while and I made him laugh (that has always been my gift to these guys). We spoke about his upcoming treatments. He asked how things were with my family. It was at that point that I realized that I HAVE TO BE STRONG. I have to be the solid one. With my Family. With my Gym Family. That is my role.
Sorry for such a downer- I will post something later here and at http://www.gymmomentum.com as he narrows his search for donors.
Dave’s friends have started a Go Fund Me. Help Dave Beat This Disease.