David's Story

Taken from David's Eulogy

David was a gentle giant. A big voice with a big heart.  He came into this world so full of energy and personality.  Anywhere he went, he stole the show.  I remember my neighborhood friends would play with him more than me all summer- swimming in our pool.  One of my friends Maura used to tell him she was going to marry him.  As a kid, that really made me jealous- the affect he had over my friends.

He was sweet and funny and as a young kid naïve.  I remember playing a game with him where I would say let's see who can take the quickest shower- he would come out with suds still on him and I would then take the longest one I could- just as I planned.  But in his mind he won again and he was happy.
I don't know how my parents survived his childhood years- he was a daredevil.  No bike ramp was too high (despite still having training wheels on his bike), no skate trick was too hard.  It was a real lust for life that made him shine then… but also caused him to make precarious decisions later in life. 

When we were young, we bonded over music. We both learned to play the guitar and listened to the same punk rock bands. I took David to his 1st punk rock show, Rancid, at 13. My friends and I got him to crowd surf where he ended up on stage.  I can still see him standing next to the lead singer staring with such amazement. 

When I left for college, he drove me to Pitt with my parents.  I knew I was going to miss him.  The 1st night in my strange dorm room, I made him sleep in my bed with me- his head at my feet, my feet at his head.  I wasn't ready to let him go.  After all, 5 hours is far away.

David was popular in high school.  The type of kid all of the boys wanted to be like and all the girls wanted to be with.  Not settling down with one girl for too long.

And then he met Steph...

Steph shared her memory with me and it happened like this.  They met through mutual friends and one night they all met up at Poquessing middle school.  David was in love at 1st sight and literally begged Steph for a kiss and without much warning, just kissed her.  And that’s where the love story with “Her David” began. We never saw him so happy.  Both David and Steph are so fun loving and were always up for goodtime.  Steph told me about her and Dave’s trips, “fakecations” they called them, to numerous hotels throughout the Bucks County area.  A short trip to get away, go swimming in the indoor pool and order room service.  One time, they made the mistake of adding bubbles to the Jacuzzi and spent the rest of the night transporting the bubbles from the Jacuzzi to the bath tub. They were fun and happy and in love.

And through this love, Russell was born...

David loved Russ so much.  And to call David a great father is the understatement of the century. I would watch how he would play and play with him, never tire, never grow impatient.  Russ always had David's undivided loving attention.  You could count on David for getting on the ground and playing- dressing up as superheros for Russ.  A different character attended each of Russ’s birthday parties, courtesy of David in the costume.  During the summers, David would take Russ on long bike rides, teaching him, pointing things out to him along their travels.  Just 2 Sundays ago, David took Russ for a ride down to the creek by my parent’s house so they could find Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles around the rocks.

The same went for his niece and nephews.  He would often walk in the door at my parents if we were there and he would immediately pick up Hayden.  The last time I saw him, 2 Sundays ago, he stared at Liv, my daughter and paused for a second and said, “Jul, I just love that little girl so much.”

Rob shared with me some of his favorite memories of David.  David was not just Rob’s baby brother, he was also his best friend.  Growing up they shared everything from a bedroom, clothes to friends.  He was five years younger but he was always doing things with Rob and his friends.  Whether it be playing backyard baseball or riding their bikes over ramps they made from pieces of wood they would find in random places.  David was their guinea pig.  One time, they made a huge half pipe and Rob and his friends were too scared to ride it.  But not Dave.  He rode right over it and ended up getting 10 stitches on his chin.  He was so brave, so fearless.  When they found out they were having their sons together, they were thrilled.  Hayden and Russ became quick best friends.  When it came time to pick a Godfather, Rob and his wife Shervon had no doubt David was their man.  Hayden loves his Uncle David so much.  As soon as they were together, they would wrestle. That was their thing.  Rob and Dave enjoyed taking their sons on quads, fishing and just hanging out.  David was Rob’s best man at his wedding.  Rob wishes he was writing David’s best man speech for him rather than his eulogy. But unfortunately, that’s not the case.  And even though David is up in heaven now, he is and always will be Rob’s best friend.

I am so grateful to have had a couple times alone with him over the past month.  He spent all day at our house a few weeks ago, laughing with pat in the kitchen while I bounced around the house with baby Alex.  Russ and Liv played with the Batcave in the rec room. He was just so happy, so full of life.  We went to Chuckie Cheeses, let the kids run around, ate pizza and then came back home. Pat cooked dinner for everyone and the kids decided they wanted to make a birthday cake. They wanted to sing happy birthday to themselves which we did- candles and all…  It wasn't their birthdays.  David got a kick out of letting the kids dip their fingers in the icing before we were ready to eat.  Anything for them.

David would say I'm the tough one.  I once pushed a boy in school for throwing him into a locker.  He knew despite his actions when it came down to it, I was there to defend him and him me.  When I had an issue with my latest pregnancy, he was one of the 1st people to contact me- tell me I'm going to be fine and not too worry. When my husband got sick in 2009, he was sick over it. Him and Steph immediately came over with chicken soup. It’s just so hard standing here and doing this knowing Rob and I couldn't protect our little brother.  My heartaches with such an extreme pain I have never felt before.  David was so emotional and so good at expressing his thoughts and writing his words.  I want to do right by him and honor him how he should be.  How he left this world is not the person he was. It was a sickness, a demon that wouldn't let go of him.

He loved Steph so much.  Just a few weeks ago, he told me they have such a strong bond and repeated several times that day that she told him she loved him from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet.  I truly know he wanted to be a good man for her.  Be there for his son.  This was not the plan.  To leave his son and his family behind so soon.  This wasn't supposed to happen.  He was supposed to be here helping me with my parents when they grow old. He would step in and fix things and take control like he did.  He just couldn't do the same for himself.

My parents had an unfailing, unwavering devotion and commitment to him.  My dad driving to the ends of the world for him, dropping everything for him.  My mom spending countless hours talking to him, letting him know how much he is loved.  It didn't matter what she was doing, day or night, nothing was more important than talking to David. And he loved my parents.  He had a bond with my mother that went so far beyond parent child.  She was his guardian angel.  She wanted to protect him like you would a newborn baby, after all he was her baby.  But at 30 years old, that wasn't the easiest thing to do.  Someone wise once said, "It's your road and yours alone...others may walk it with you but no one can walk it for you."  That’s what my parents so desperately tried to do.

Many of us are crippled with guilt, thinking we could have done more, if we just stopped over at that minute, if we just called right then.  But I know thinking this way isn't productive and is not going to bring him back.  Instead, we need to remember him and the happy times as much as it might hurt right now.  Remember how much he loved his family- Steph and Russ. Remember his loud voice as he entered the room- his charismatic personality- greeting everyone so warmly.  It’s going to be hard not to stare at that door during family parties. And we need to ultimately hope that time will heal our wounds.

David- I hope where you are is beyond your wildest dreams.  I hope you were welcomed with open arms by the people who came before you and loved you...Pop Pop Murphy, Nannie and Pop Pop Ramsey, your friend Matt. I pray that you are looking down on us and seeing all of the people that are here for you today, who love you.

We may never get over your loss and the pain we feel may wax and wane from day to day.  But this I know...I will play with my kids more attentively from now on.  I will make time for those that matter and will more freely express my heart. And we will care for Russ the way in which you wanted to and remind him of the daddy that loved him with his whole heart.  David- you will forever be here.

There's nothing more that we'd want then to hug you again and tell you the things that were sometimes hard to say.  But we love you and know that with your heart, you are flying amongst the angels.

David- our hearts will be so heavy until we are reunited with you again.