When I think of him I will remember the way he talked passionately about politics. The way he hated the idea of girls who only wore yoga pants to Target. The way he embraced learning Spanish and salsa dancing. I will remember how fondly he spoke of his students and the way he paid attention to even the smallest details about them. I will remember that he was always graciously accepting of help and the kind of man who everyone wants to be friends with. I will remember that he could never say thank you enough times when I would plan out a trip or something for us to do in Cali.
Last week my friends and community in Colombia lost an amazing man named David. He is loved and missed by us all. His passing shocked me. Stunned me. All I could do was call Kelsi and just sit on the phone with her for a few minutes. The news led to an outpouring of emails and messages between friends and former students. All searching for answers that aren't there. How do you explain to teenagers that a man they love and respect as their teacher is no longer here? Remind them he loved being their teacher, that he always spoke fondly of them, and that he was remarkably proud of them. And to admit the painfully obvious that this is hard, I can't explain it and I can't be there to tell them it's going to be okay. It's not okay and I am still processing that.
I came home from work on the day I found out about David to find my roommates AKA friends of 20 years both home. Both waiting to give me a hug. Both without anything special to say other than "I am here". That night I met one of my closest friends, who happened to be in town for a wedding, for a late night drink. We talked about David, life and the reminder to be grateful. To take time for each other. To take time for joy. To take time to notice things. To take time to just be.
This weekend we celebrated to aforementioned wedding. Friends came into town. We celebrated together. We danced together. We laughed together. We just enjoyed each other and the feeling that you can always come home again...and no matter how much changes in life, we will always be here for each other. And I guess that's the take away. It has to be. That when nothing seems to make sense and there is no reason for what happened...that someone, if you're very lucky - lots of someones, will be there to sit with you. Wherever he is right now, I hope David knows how much we loved him and how much he taught us. And wherever you're at right now, with friends, with life, with relationships, with yourself - there is never a bad time to remind people how real your love for them is. Tell them today.