Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Wave of Sorrow, do not drown me now;
I see the island still ahead somehow.
I see the island and its sands are fair
Wave of sorrow, take me there.
-Langston Hughes 1902 – 1967

This beautiful piece appeared as an advertisement on the LA metro.  I know the wave that Hughes wrote about.  It is a wave that unfortunately we all will have to ride more than once as we go through life. 

This post is dedicated to my mentor, best friend and hero, David. 
David was not only a creative genius; David was a rebel.  He never took no for an answer and the words can’t, won’t or failure didn’t exist in his personal dictionary.  David’s charisma and humor were infectious, work never felt like work and we called our team ‘family’ even if it was one big dysfunctional family.  His generosity and philanthropy were well beyond his means, but that didn’t stop him from giving more than he had.

There are so many wonderful things I can say about David, but I would run out of space, even here where it is unlimited.  Instead I will mention a few that are personal to me.

I loved that his family were his heroes – especially his wife.
I loved that he backed me up – no questions asked.
I loved that when faced with uncertainty and doubt and I asked him, “Can we really do this?”, he said “absof*ckinglutley!”
I loved that he was a father figure to me after my own died and held the post with the greatest respect to my Dad.
I loved that he always had a twinkle in his eye.
I loved that he laughed everyday.
I loved that he had charisma, talent and balls without letting ego get in the way.
I loved that he was the first person I called when my Mum died and he was never too ‘busy’ or ‘bagged’ to be the shoulder I needed.
I loved that his word was his word and it was unwavering.
I loved that he was exuberant – even after a 30-hour shift without rest.
I loved that his heart was bigger than planet earth and he shared it with everyone – even strangers.
I loved that he wasn’t afraid to take chances, even when the chips were down and the odds against him.
I loved that he believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

When it came time for David’s service last November I sat outside in my car, unable to move.   It was the car David had given me five years before.  I had tried to keep it mint except for the digital clock that stopped working two weeks after I got it.  The screen was always black as a new one would have been $500 and I couldn’t justify that cost for a clock.
I didn’t want to go inside, it would mean finality.  For now I could pretend it had been a bad dream and that he wasn’t really dead.  In my mind he had finally taken an early retirement like he had always dreamed of and was traveling the world with his wife. 
He was too young to die from a massive heart attack.  The man was larger than life in every way; his heart bigger than any other. 
As tears poured from the ugly November sky, they covered the windows until I could no longer see out.  I was not going in, I was going back home.  I turned the key in the ignition.  The dashboard clock, the one that had not worked in five years now lit up with the digits 3:16.  It was 12:15.  I sat in the car for 25 minutes staring at the clock, the numbers never changed.  I opened safari and entered ‘3:16’ into the search bar.  The number one result that google produced was this:

John 3:16 (chapter 3, verse 16 of the Gospel of John) is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible, and has been called the most famous Bible verse.  It has also been called the "Gospel in a nutshell" because it is considered a summary of the central dogma of traditional Christianity:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
   John 3:16 (King James Version)

Everlasting life.  I turned off the car and went inside not to say goodbye, but instead to say ‘I’ll see you soon’.
Update: The clock has never worked again since that day.  Was it a sign?  I'd like to think so.

1 comment:

  1. You must feel so fortunate that an amazing man like David entered your life and had such a profound influence. Even though he's no longer with you try remember that the good in you today is in small part due to him...hope that brings a bit of solace and little smile inside.

    He's never going to be far.