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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Daddy Dave

Daddy Dave & Mama Barbara

Dear Mom,

When I was in Charlotte with Leigh Ann two weeks ago, I got in a good visit with Mama Barbara and Daddy Dave. Barbara's sister Kay was in town, and I took Dave some of MaMay's cookies that Miss Martha made for us to eat on the road. He loves a sugary treat!

It was a bittersweet visit because they are experiencing what we so recently experienced. I figured they wanted visitors who brought along as many laughs as possible, so I tried to entertain them with tales of my latest adventures. Barbara sent a sweet email to say how tickled they were to see me.

Just like you, Dave has a lot of friends who love him and could go on and on about his unique personality, his wit, and his big, soft heart.

I'm really grateful they got to know you. Christmas of 2010 in Charlotte will always be a happy memory. Leigh Ann and I realized late that week their kids would be out of town, so we said, "Y'all come over for Christmas brunch!" Xanie and Joe came too, and we all had the best time.

Barbara made those fabulous cheese grits. I wish I had some right now!!

Dave's Seminole roots had made him part of our Tallahassee tribe, and Debra and Howard had met Dave years earlier when he gave us the family tour of the Bank of America trading floor.

Leigh Ann's friendship with the Cribbs family goes back longer, but mine started in spring of 2004, right after I moved to Charlotte, when Dave and Marc went on the Costa Rica mission trip, and Virginia was my trusty sidekick. She and I tickled ourselves to death flirting with Marc! Of course, that was long before he met Sarah...and before Virginia had the twins.
Virginia and I called ourselves the "Gatorade Brigade," and we mostly delivered cold drinks to the people doing the real work. But we did make ourselves useful on the saw, thanks to her familiarity with the art of measuring twice and cutting once.
Funny enough, I don't have many photos from that trip, and I don't have any of Dave, other than that big group shot when we all crossed paths in the San Jose airport.
Here's one from a mission trip out west with Dave's favorite project, Red Feather. They build houses for Native Americans.

When you first got sick, Virginia sent a beautiful card that said this:
"I have always admired the wonderful relationship that Lynsley and Leigh Ann have, and that only comes from having a mother like you who values family and embodies the sentiment that family includes community and church as well as blood relatives."

You taught us in Quincy that our church family was a real family, and I know you were proud we continued that in Charlotte.

Dave has been such a leader in outreach at our church. I really can't imagine Myers Park United Methodist Church without him. Here's what is on my heart to tell him this morning:

Daddy Dave,

I am so glad God brought me into your church family. You have shown me so much about what it means to love and to serve. You are funny and clever and wise and kind. The partnership you and Barbara have has been such a perfect example for me of what it means to live a godly marriage. You guys are always smiling and laughing together. Your life is centered around church and family, and you really are best friends. 

Both of you took Leigh Ann and me under your wings and treated us like we were your own. We were already special friends, and then we found out what your family had gone through, and we became even closer. 

I can hear your voice and your laugh so clearly! Leigh Ann and I sure are going to miss you when we have a wacky dating tale to tell. Nobody loved our silly stories more than you. The false teeth, the homeless man, the wet car seat, the "big boys." Oh, what fun it was to head over and tell you the latest eye-rolling adventure from life on the single circuit. And no one else will ever, ever love eating that caramel pound cake as much as you did! 

It's been a blessing having so much in common with you guys, but we sure wouldn't have picked cancer as another common bond. You've been so strong, so brave, such a fighter. I hope you can feel at the depth of your soul that you are deeply and truly loved. Your spirit has brought love, grace and strength to this world. And best of all, laughter. So much laughter. 

You've been going through this longer than Mom did, and I know you are tired. But it must be so hard to leave those sweet grandbabies, your many friends, and of course your very best friend. But know this: you are dearly loved and will be deeply missed. 

And as I told you when I said goodbye, now it's time for you and Mom to put your heads together upstairs and get busy finding those elusive sons-in-law. Jennifer, Leigh Ann and I will be on the lookout. I hope y'all send them to us in a funny way that makes one of those good stories you would have loved. Maybe we can give Bobby B. your proxy, and he'll grill them hard for the both of you. You have taught us what to look for. We will make you proud. 

I love you always,


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