When Asia and I lived in Eugene at the beginning of our marriage, we had the privilege of working together at a group home for severely abused kids. It was really and truly a family - the founders lived there full time and we were part of the ten or so staff who were scheduled from 1:00 to 10:00 each day. Our time there included activities, work projects, dinner, hanging out with the kids, bedtime and debriefing each evening. Of course, since there were major behavioral issues with these kids, each day held little surprises, like having to do physical holds on kids who were out of control and things like being spit on (or in my case, peed on). It was a challenging job. But it was rewarding. Asia and I still talk about our days at Jasper with great fondness.
When you're working alongside others in that kind of intense environment, you tend to bond pretty strongly. It's similar to a camp experience, only heightened by the intense nature of the kids' issues and the interventions necessary to deal with their behaviors.
David was one of the first staff members we got to know - he shared our faith, and his quirky sense of humor gave comic relief on more than one occasion. He was sort of a big brother to me at work - teasing and challenging, but always supportive and helpful. He was one of the hardest workers I've ever met - pushing through all day work projects long after the rest of us had petered out.
Yesterday David's wife called to let me know that he'd passed away.
He was 44.
They'd gone on to have six children.
All afternoon and evening I walked around saying "David Brenda is dead."
I just can't wrap my head around it.
He was the kind of guy who was so full of life
and passion for his kids
and love for the outdoors
and faith that didn't sit...
David was always challenging
and using his hands for God's glory.
He was a true friend.
An amazing father.
A supportive husband.
A great guy.
A massive heart attack.
You just never know...
So today, I remember my friend...