Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Life Is Short ~~~ Cherish the Moments

Sometimes life throws you a curve.  I am not a fan of curve balls or sneaky surprises that I am not expecting.  I got a big one on Wednesday.  I got a private message on Facebook from a Meagan who I did not know.  It said:  Hi Jodi I am friends with Davaleen please call me.  I was honestly very leery of the message and was very hesitant to respond because I just thought it was some crazy person.  I decided to write to Dawn to see if she had also got the same message.  I copy and pasted the message and wrote: Okay I just got this message here in my inbox. Did you as well? I'm kind of hesitant to call it!  She wrote back:  I didn't but I am pretty sure Davaleen has died.

Whaaat?! Dawn told me to go to Davaleen's wall so I did and there were several messages that said how sorry they were and for her to RIP. 

I immediately called the number that Meagan left in her message.  I just got a recording. I left a message saying I heard Dave had died and said I hope it was not true.  She called me back a few minutes later and confirmed the gut wrenching truth. Dave had indeed died.  She had a heart attack the night before while at work and was rushed to the hospital but didn't make it.   

I was in shock!  My stomach turned!  I wanted to throw up.  I still am.  It still is.  And I still do. 

I burst into tears.  Dawn called me and we consoled each other but we were both still in shock. 

Dave had been having some health issues and her doctor was very concerned but she couldn't afford the tests they wanted to give her.  What a sad commentary that is on our current health care system.  (Gotta love Obama {He  Doesn't} Care.)  I had been worried about her for a while because she couldn't walk very far without being very winded and it wore her out to move too fast or too far.  Apparently her heart was not able to withstand anymore and it finally just gave out. 

But Dave had a beautiful heart.  She had a beautiful soul.  She was truly one of the kindest, most sincere, non-judgmental, caring, loving persons I have ever known.  She was one of those people that you find very rarely in this world.  In our Sista's group, she was the one that made the most witty and funny comments on all the pictures.  She had such a sharp wit.  She also had a very distinctive laugh, that I loved.  We all loved her so much.  

When her father passed away, a few of us took a road trip to Evanston to attend the funeral.  She was so appreciative of that.  We wanted her to know that we were there for her.
She told us the story of how our group literally saved her life.  She said that she would see our fun pictures on Facebook and she wanted to be a part of it and so she told one of her friends that also went to high school with us that she was going to ask if she could join our group.  That friend told her that there is no way "that group" will let you join them.  But I am so glad she asked anyway, because we not only let her join, but we did it with open arms as we would anyone.  I felt bad her other friend thought of us that way because that is not how we are...at all.  We have invited and welcomed everyone and anyone who wants to join us. The more the merrier. And who cares if we were friends in high school.  This is NO longer high school. 

The first luncheon she came to was at El Matador and I got to sit by her.  I did remember her from high school.  She was very nice and thanked me over and over for letting her come.  She shared what was going on in her life and I remember feeling so bad for all she had gone through.  We developed an instant bond because she had also lost one of her sons.  She also lost her husband and the other things she told me that she had endured were just so heart wrenching.  She said she was so happy we let her come because she needed it.  

A few months later she told me that our group literally saved her life.  She said she was in a really dark place and that we were the bright light that pulled her through.  I was not expecting to hear that.  I was so grateful that everyone had accepted her and made her feel welcome. She was always so grateful that we allowed her to be part of our group.  About a year ago, she gave me a copy of an assignment she did for school that was the story of how our group helped her. She really believes we saved her life.  If that truly is the case, I am so grateful we could help her.  You just never know.  She went out of her way to be able to make it to our luncheons, even taking the day off work or begging us to change it to her day off.  The association she got from those lunches were that important to her.  And she truly made them much more fun. 
She was always such a pleasant person and I enjoyed being around her.  She was very complimentary of me, though most of it was undeserved, but I wish I had been more so to her. 

She asked a few of us to be in a movie she was making for the 48 Hour Film Festival.  Movie?  What?  Red Carpet?  It sounded like a party!   I gladly accepted her request!  Why, I don't know, because I have never been an actress by any stretch of the imagination.  But I was excited to do it. 

We made the movie in one day up at Wolf Creek Resort.  It was titled Mission By Choice.  I was a runner in it.  I had never really acted much before and I was terrible, but she coaxed me along until I think I finally got it right.  She was so excited about that movie and a few months after it's premiere she gave me a script of another one she had written and asked me to be the star of it.  I just laughed and laughed.  I knew I would have to brush up on my acting if I were to do that one.  But I told her I would do it for her, but it never came to pass...  I just don't think she had the energy.  

Filming Mission By Choice
It was one long day but it really was a lot of fun!
At the premiere of our film!

After the showing....
On the red carpet!
She got some award for it, though I can't remember what.

We had a lot of fun times at our lunches and parties.  I am glad she felt loved and accepted into our group even though we weren't friends in high school.  I have had some struggles with a few people who even at our age weren't really on board with accepting just anyone into our group.  It has taught me so much about acceptance and judging.  I am glad we were able to help her and I am glad we were able to be a bright spot for her.  However, she is the one that brought sunshine to us.  
Some of the fun times!
 In our aprons in public...  yeah, we have fun!

 I feel really bad that the last time I saw her was at our American Mother's luncheon in my town.  She drove a long ways to come and she was disappointed that we didn't get to chat during the program because they fed us lunch during it.  I told her we would get together soon so we could just chat about anything she wanted. I could tell she needed a shoulder.  Little did I know that would be the last time I would see her.  I am SO deeply grateful that she came!
Dawn and I talked about how bad we felt we didn't get to chat with her and how bad Dave felt as well and so we planned a Davaleen Day that would be just for her. I was so excited about it.  But when the day came, I made my dessert to take and I got ready to go, but as I was heading out of town on my way, I decided I really just could not take the time that was needed to go.  I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything I was trying to get done for McKay's mission that I decided I really didn't have time to drive clear into Hooper for it.  Now, of course, I am regretting that decision.  I would have loved to have had that very last day with her.  But that is how life goes.  I was doing what I felt I needed to at that time and if I HAD known it would be the last lunch with her, of course I would have gone no matter what.
I'm so glad she was able to make it to our 35th reunion last summer!
I will always be grateful that we opened our hearts to her and that I got the chance to get to know her and love her.  She will always have a special place in my heart.  I am going to miss her....a lot.  It still doesn't seem real.  I know she is up there celebrating with Gina and her son.  I hope she will watch over us Sista's now from above.  If I would want anyone as a special angel to watch over me, it would be her.  She is the kindest and most caring person and she would go out of her way to help any of us.  When Dawn's son was lost, Dave was there at 4:30 in the morning passing out water to people.  When our friend Gina died she wanted to go sit with her as often as possible and she made her a blanket with a collage of photos of our good times.  She was always trying to help others and make them feel special. 

I am dedicating my upcoming St. George Marathon in October to her.  I will run it for her.  Because she couldn't.  And because she is an inspiration to me and I know she will be there with me cheering me on and helping me through.

I am going to try and replace my sadness with gratitude for her wonderful example to me and for the fact that I now have another angel in heaven that I can count on for help.   

Heaven knows we can all use a little more angelic help. 

Death is part of life, but it's still one of the hardest parts.  Knowing we are all going to one day pass from this life doesn't necessarily make it easier when someone you love does.  Even when you are acquainted with grief, it is hard.  In fact, I believe it's even harder because you know what's coming.  I read today, "Every goodbye, even if only temporary, stings more deeply for a heart that's known loss."  Losing a loved one - in any way, be it through death or even a severed relationship you once cherished, is one of the most painful things we will pass through in this life. 

I am just grateful we have angels to help us through... 

Rest in peace dear friend...
What I posted on Facebook:  My heart is hurting with the news of a dear friend's passing. It has caused me once again to remember to CHERISH the MOMENTS! Life is so fragile and so short. Be kind to one another as Davaleen was to everyone she met. She truly was an example of pure Christlike love for others. She loved deeply from her heart. She was one of the purest souls I have ever had the blessing of associating with. Memories are a great thing. Cherish them. You will be missed Dave.


Nancy Mc said...

I am at a loss for words. Dave sounds like a wonderful woman. I love the message on her fb page. We all need to follow it.

Audrey said...

What a tribute. I'm sure she is smiling because of your words.

Dawn said...

so I wonder if the tears will ever stop! Dave really did brighten wherever she was! I know that is why her grand is named Sunshine...so she will be a light to others like her grandma!

Jodi Wilding said...

I think I'm still in shock. Hard to believe she is really gone. I guess that's because I can still feel her. I hope I always will. She will make a great angel!


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