Last week I could not wrap my head around what I was planning to write. I had loads of lines floating around in my head but none of them felt right. So, I did not pursue posting anything and felt it better to let me be inspired and then post. The inspiration indeed did materialize.
Let me tell you another story first.
Way back in the dark ages of the Internet, in its consumer infancy, when AOL, Compuserve and a plethora of other smaller portals were connecting people to the digital highway, I was a subscriber to a local BBS (Bulletin Board System) that connected me to other local users in “chat” boards and allowed the transfer of files between one user and others. There was no instant messaging or peer-to-peer downloading but we managed to get by. In addition to being connected to the local folks it also connected its subscribers to news servers. One of the news servers I belonged to was a diabetes group. This was probably the beginning of the DOC in its most primitive sense. But here was a place that diabetics from around the world could come together and “chat”, share ideas, experiences and the occasional flame war when a member would post about the new nutraceutical that cured their diabetes or contributed to the ongoing debate of how bad artifical sweeteners were. It was a great “place” to be just like the expansive DOC world that has blossomed from it.
There was a member who was quite active on the boards. He was from England and a lot of the things he was saying I agreed with. I made contact with him and after several back and forth posts our friendship began. While I was working a diabetes summer camp there were several counselors and medical staff from all over the world. One of the counselors was from England and his name was David. (Now I know that just because you are form someplace you don’t know everyone else form that place.) However, there were a lot of similarities between camp David and BBS David. So eventually I asked BBS David if he was indeed this same person? He was not, but that didn’t matter. By this time we had been communicating on a regular basis and found that we had a lot of things in common: Obviously, we both had diabetes, he had a step-daughter, his wife was a nurse, we liked the same music. We always had something to chat about.
David suffered from complications from long term diabetes. He was essentially confined to a wheelchair for the most part due to neuropathy. David’s complications earned him disability status. David had a lot of time to watch the races as well as his beloved Arsenal. I would get Arsenal updates from David on a regular basis…some of which occurred in the middle of the night! Needless to say, David enjoyed his sports and he enjoyed keeping Ladbrokes in business as well. On occasion, Ladbrokes had to pay out. We would always talk about who was in the Super Bowl and what I thought the outcome would be. I am not really a gambling man but I would give my opinion. David on the other hand knew the statistics and all the data that made the difference. It was just another sport for him.
Without going into details, David’s last few months seemed like he spent more time in casualty or inpatient then he did at home with his wife, Carole.
Carole was a real trooper. One could only care for someone like she did because she loved him. Being a carer is a tough thing to do, especially with an amputee. She and David were truly soul mates.
Back to last week…As I was mulling over how to proceed with my post I was browsing my FaceBook feeds. There it was, Carole had posted on David’s page that he had quietly passed away in the night. It didn’t matter what I had to say this week. My friend had passed away. I don’t know what the official cause of death will be but regardless, diabetes had contributed to it.
That was it. I knew that this week’s posting would be a tribute to a good friend who enjoyed life and enjoyed his sports and loved his family and friends.
Rest in Peace, David. You will be missed.