Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Thoughts - ending up with my Cousin Dave!

Free for all over the year.................

It's been quite a year. I know, everyone has their own favorites and we have now sifted through all of those cheery "here's what we did this year, please envy us" Holiday letters. I really miss the ones my cousin Dave used to send out - filled with reality and mostly fictional but with enough substance to read between the lines and detect a sentimental moment or one that really pissed him off. He counts as one of my great heros in life. Dave had a very traumatic birth that left him with a mild form of cerebral palsy. Fortune not only gave him this circumstance, it also provided him with the parents and resources as well as personality to manage his "disability".

One of my favorite childhood memories was watching Dave move from wall to wall at our Grandma Robb's house. He had been taught to stabilize his left hand by leaning into the wall and hold the bottom of his coat zipper while using his right hand (the "more good" hand) to line up the zipper and pull it up. As usual, there was a big commotion with everyone getting ready to head out the door. Dave went to a wall, attempted to zip his coat - unable to accomplish this, he went to another wall, then another and another before he finally bellered out" Grandma, none of your walls work!"

A defining moment and only one of many to dance through this fine human beings' life. We were neighbors when he entered Junior High (in my mind, the cruelest stage of life). Up until that time, Dave was no different than anyone else. You guessed it, those nasty pre-teen and teenagers made his life a misery and he went through a period of time as "other". To me, his unique perspective on the world and his infectious sense of humor made him one of the most remarkable people in my life. His older brother and sister were braniacs, handsome and beautiful, successful and they both moved through the world with such grace and ease leaving barely a wake, if I may resort to such nautical terms.

Dave - while riding Duke, our mutual cousin Judy's BIG horse and getting thrown ALMOST off only to be dragged down the beach with his foot stuck in the stirrup (personally, bare back is the only way to ride!). Extracting him off Duke was no small task but he was relentless in his passion for life. I most happily managed to embarrass him at his Senior Homecoming at the 3 Crabs Restaurant by dressing up as an old woman and "crashing" the dinner by sitting on his lap. He, ever the good sport and embracing the "turn about is fair play" rule, would crash my parties dressed as a baby, complete with bonnet and stuffed into a box with a bottle and in search of wine. (Visualize this - Dave's 6 foot 3 inch body stuffed in a box!!!)

Dave - home from college when Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Doug weren't home and needing to talk to me about some very personal issues and afraid and sure that I could help "change" him. I wouldn't change a thing about him!

Today, Dave lives down at the beach again where we spent so many wild and crazy times (Shannon's inflatable canoe- dressing up Pete and Jane's golden lab in men's clothing - my impersonation of Patti Lovelle (sorry Patti! you were too easy to pull off, however!). I always say that I'll stop by to see him and never seem to find the time.

For Dave - what a hero! In reading this, it sounds like I've written his eulogy and I wonder if maybe these types of praises should be shared along the way rather than waiting until we are long gone. I wonder too, how much of our goodness are we able to absorb and take in?