I haven’t been very good at writing about David. There’s so much I should write, so many reasons to be thankful for his life. After spending years with him, documenting his battle with cancer and amputations, I had thousands of photos and hours of audio, but I found it impossible to put my thoughts and feelings into words.
He was special. He was special to everyone he met. His essence sort of stuck around even after he left a room. That is to say, he stayed with you. He’s with me still.
Even years after his passing, I can’t make it through a story about him without getting choked up. That vulnerability and lack of control of my emotions weighed on me in this way I wasn’t expecting. Somehow it made me forget the whole point, which is this . . . David lived, and died, in a way that allowed everyone around him to bathe in his light. I am a better person because I had the privilege of knowing him.
When David was diagnosed in July 2003 with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, he believed he would beat it. Seven years later he was still fighting, living, going and doing. I am thankful for the friendship we had, thankful for the time I spent with him and his wife, Leilani, and thankful for all the memories of the going and doing we did together.
Before he passed I wrote a piece for InMotion magazine. It’s not particularly well written, but I think it captures his essence. I will forever be thankful for his response.