Howardism Musings from my Awakening Dementia
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Eulogy for Darol

First met Darol when he called me out of the blue. We've joked about that phone call for years now, but when he introduced himself and said, "you'll be glad I called." Dammitall, Darol. I really am. I'm really glad I got to know you.

Now that he's gone, I keep telling stories. Isn't that how our loved ones live on? I started writing some of my memories while on the plane to visit him for the last time. His boy celebrated his first birthday not too long ago, and won't have any memory of his father. So here are a few…

Darol purchased a condo while I was still in college, and invited me to move in. At the time, I owned a single pair of jeans, and was in no position to move out from my parent's basement. He told me not to worry about that… it was going to be all fun and games.

So, around Xmas time, he came home with 5 hair dryers. When I asked why, he said that he got them in case he forgot anyone's present, but they got him something. It proved to be a brilliant move, for one evening while I was watching VH-1, a girl who had a crush on Darol stopped by with a gift. He immediately ran upstairs to wrap hers. While he was gone, she noticed the mistletoe I had hung up as a joke. He came back to find her perched underneath it's blessings with puckered lips. While she was crushing, her affection wasn't reciprocated. But what was a gentleman to do? He kissed her. However, one of her long hairs had strayed its course and ended up in his mouth. He sputtered and sputtered and spit it out… completely oblivious.

I guess that is what everyone loved about Darol. He was so thoughtful and yet…

Another time, Darol and I went to San Francisco for a technical conference (Seybold, I believe). I brought along a bright pink sweater (it was the 80's after all) and he gave me hell for it. "It's San Francisco! Are you really that naïve?" My comments about it being "ribbed for her pleasure" didn't get him to let off. But when a gorgeous lady walked by and told me how great my sweater looked, Darol started looking for his own pink sweater.

He did get over his fear of pink, for after I moved up to Salt Lake City for college, Darol joined me, and a coworker of his lined him up on a date to the ballet with her sister. He picked her up doing some pirouettes while wearing a pink tu-tu. I believe the episode is on some video tape somewhere. Leslie should dig it up and put it on the internet.

After we both moved to Portland, he was traveling 3 weeks out of the month. "Come on over," I'd say, and he'd promise. However, he'd often call up late and say he was still coming, but he had met someone on the plane with a printer that couldn't connect to their computer, and he'd be over once he got it working.

I mean, if all the people who had their computer fixed by Darol for free were to stop by, he wouldn't have time to die. I'm going to miss you, bud.

The night Darol left us was very special. Surrounded by his family each one reaching out, trying to hold him from leaving. Kanyon, you were quite upset and scared. My daughter had thoughtfully given me a ball to bring as a present for you, so you and I left and went outside to throw the ball around, while your mother could grieve. That was so difficult to catch that ball through tear-filled eyes, but your father would have done the same for me.

You are lucky to have a special mother who will take good care of you. We all have cherished memories of your father, for he was a kind and thoughtful man. Your father thought the world of you, and would have loved to watch you grow up.

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