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« 100 Days of Gratitude - Day Fourteen - To Do Lists! | Main | 100 Days of Gratitude - Day Twelve - Smart & Creative People »
Saturday
Feb052011

100 Days of Gratitude - Day Thirteen - John David McDaniel - my best friend ever.

Today I'm grateful for John David McDaniel 1964-2002.

Me and John David - I'm guessing around 1978-1979John David was my best friend since we met at Condit Elementary School in Bellaire (Houston) Texas in 1974. We were in 4th grade. I lived about 2 miles away from him, but we rode our ten speeds (that's what we called them) to each other's houses every day.

We were instant best friends, and that friendship continued for the rest of John David's life.

Today is the sad day that reminds me he's no longer with us. He passed away February 5, 2002, at the age of 38. I miss him every day.

So much of my childhood is tied to memories of John David and the adventures we shared. He went on vacation with us every summer. Spending almost a month, or more, with us no matter where we lived. I spent time with him and his family as well. Typical John David - all smiles.We lived around the corner sometimes, but other times we lived in Tucson, AZ, New Orleans, LA or McAllen, TX. So many of those memories I seek to relive and talk about, but realize that I can't call him and talk about our trip to South Dakota, or the time we secretly bought a mouse and it escaped, or the time I snuck out of the house and my Mom caught me - and he called to make sure she hadn't killed me, or the time we saw Chicago in 1979 and my Mom had to sit between us to keep us from singing along, or the times we'd go to Theater Under the Stars in Houston and see great theater, or the times we'd walk up and down the aisles of the hardware store as kids sketching out plans for a raft we could build, or the days we'd spend sailing on Clear Lake, or the fun times we'd have at summer reading programs, or the camping trips, the floating down the river in inner tubes, the summer in Kerrville with his family,  or the times we'd pop popcorn and watch The Music Man on television, and we'd march around the house singing along, or the time he broke his leg, then John David was the best man at my wedding in 1987.came to Arizona to spend time with us and walked right out of his cast we were so busy, or him being the best man at my wedding, or... Let's just say... I really miss JD. A lot.

As adults we didn't see each other very often, and only talked every couple of months, but he knew, and I knew, that we were always there for one another. The last time I saw him was in the hospital in Houston, he was frail, tired and weak, but he tried very hard to be in good spirits.

I cried for half an hour after I left him. I'm grateful that his family was there for him. That Leonard was there for him. And I'm thankful that he didn't seem to suffer from his horrible disease until the end. I grateful we had him as long as we did. I'm grateful that he was my friend.

He was more a brother than a friend and I often refer to him as my brother. John David - I miss you.

To John David's family, many of who I know will read this - I'm glad that we've reconnected, I love you all and I appreciate the generosity you've always shown me - especially with the sharing of the limited time that JD had on this earth.



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Reader Comments (2)

Just saw this for the first time and now I'm crying like a baby! We miss John David so terribly. I know how much you and your mom loved him and he was very fortunate to have your family in his life!

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLesa Ford
October 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlederm

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