My friend, David, found his forever love, Coralee, and I couldn't have been more pleased. Their love for one another was beyond obvious and she was soon to become my treasured friend who also holds a special place in my heart. I was 15 years old when they wed.
On December 19, 2008, my dear friend Dave lost his life after overcoming a myriad of health issues. Among these "issues" included being a blessed recipient of a double lung & heart transplant in November 1994. Each day of David's 51 years was a miracle to all those who loved him.
(David & Coralee, with their 2 children during his last hospitalization.)
I am so grateful that David is with the Lord and is no longer having to fight so hard for his physical life yet at the same time, my heart is broken. I never imagined it would be this hard to say goodbye-for-now.
For as long as I can remember, I have prayerfully been thankful for the amazing gift of having David in my life. I remember when I was very young watching him serve in various capacities during the worship services. I had no idea, at that time, who he was, but he had already carved out a special place within my heart because of the kindness he showed towards a pester-y little girl.
I was watching David the whole time I was growing up. Because of the respect I saw him show others, the consistency of his attendance at worship services and the connectedness he shared with his family, I began to realize (or at least hope) that there were men who could be considered “good” and were worthy of trust. Because of David’s example, I became better able to open up towards others. Looking back, he was my first memory of someone being a “real” example of Christ.
As I became older, I was privileged to not only know of David but I had the opportunity to get to know him. He became my "big brother" and in many ways, my "best friend" for many years. He was, unknowingly, my safe place during times of abuse. He held me as I cried over difficulties I experienced within my family. He comforted me at the time when several dear friends, within a very short time frame, lost their lives at such a young age. He helped me to pass History classes from Middle School all the way through college. He guided me through confusion, conflicts and mistakes. He was always there for me, regardless of the time of day or night. He always seemed glad to see me. His home, before and after his marriage, was the place I most felt welcome.
For the longest time, David was the first person with whom I wanted to share “good news” and the only person I wanted to tell of “the bad”. He provided me with a physical sense of safety and security that I had never known. He listened to me, talked with me, prayed for me, advised and encouraged me without ever expressing shame, disappointment, or harsh judgments.
I am so grateful that David allowed God to use him in such ways to provide a very scared, insecure, vulnerable little girl a place of safety and refuge; especially at the times there didn’t seem to be any other place to turn. David helped me to make wise choices during those difficult pre-teen and teen years and helped me to find healing from the not-so-wise-choices.
I thank God for allowing David to be a part of my life. I thank David for allowing God to use him in such meaningful, miraculous ways to shape my life. I am grateful for Dave’s unconditional love and acceptance. I thank David for the many moments of safety, security, rest, and protection. I thank him for allowing me the privilege to be a part of his family by encouraging me to build relationships with his parents, his sisters, his wife, and later his children.
I could never adequately express my love and appreciation for this man who made such a lasting impression on my life. He was the strongest man I have ever known and I am so grateful that I was privileged to be a part of his life. I, repeatedly, told David how much I treasured our friendship and I, now, hope and pray that he did, in fact, know how much he and his family mean to me.