We Visited My Friend David on Thursday - Here Are My Thoughts

By
Real Estate Agent with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

If you are not already familiar with the story of my terminally ill friend David Wilder, I would advise that you read (or at least skim over) these previous posts before starting this one:

My Friend David

Trying to help my friend David somehow - Please read!

This is the hardest post that I have ever written - An Update on my friend David

First of all, I apologize for not "dressing up" this post.  I don't have the energy or desire to do so.  I did, however, want to share a few memories with you.  I will warn you ahead of time that this was not at all easy to write, nor do I expect that it will be easy for you to read.  This is straight from my heart.  It's a long post, but I make no apologies for that.

On Thursday, my wife and I went together to see David, perhaps for the last time here on earth.  When we arrived at around 11am, I was not surprised to see several cars there, as David is simply one of the most beloved people that I know.  We rang the bell, and an acquaintance from our previous church answered the door.  David's brother was there (it wasn't hard to pick him out), and Jan was in the kitchen with someone I didn't know, and she was "having a moment", someone said.  It turned out that the lady I didn't recognize was the hospice nurse.

We were invited back into the master bedroom.  As we approached, I saw about half a dozen people around the hospital bed, which gave the moment even more weight.  For some reason, I knew before we got to the house where they would put the new bed for him, and I was right.

I have been through this type of thing a few times, but never with a really close friend.  I had so many things that I really wanted to say to him before he leaves us. 

The second we entered the room, David knew who we were, even though we had been cautioned that he has tunnel vision now and we might have to get close to him and speak loudly.  There were so many touching moments during our somewhat brief visit.  One of them will forever stick with me - David smiled at me and winked.  Having known him for 13 years, this has become somewhat commonplace for me, since he is pretty much like my big brother.  However, it was made far more powerful when everyone in the room exclaimed, "You must be someone very special to him.  He only smiles once or twice a day.  Look!  He winked!"  Even as I am writing this, it brings fresh, hot tears to my eyes.

My first impulse was to greet him normally, "Hey, David.  How are you doing today?"  I realize that sounds a little silly now, but what else do you say?  I immediately smoothed his hair as I spoke, then I was advised to use the hand sanitizer on the side table. 

He looks so frail and helpless, but I know that my loving and loyal and generous and boisterous friend is still inside this failing body that I see before me. 

I started to speak again, then I was caught short by my own tears, and I had to leave the room.  I didn't want to sob openly into his face - at least not yet. 

Pam and I visited with Jan in the kitchen, and I gave her the checks that I have received from my friends here at ActiveRain.  We also spoke with David's brother, Andy.  Andy reminds me so much of David that it actually hurts.  Same type of voice, same mannerisms, same loudness (just being honest).  We laughed and shared a few funny memories of David, then Pam went back in to speak with him. 

I returned a few minutes later, and Pam suggested that we pray for David.  David's mother was very enthusiastic about this.  We asked David if that was okay with him, and he made a face as if to say, "Of course, you fools.  Please pray anytime."  It was funny to me to see the old David glimpse through there, since he was never super-patient about things like this. 

Interestingly, there was no easy way for me to comfortably touch him without kneeling to pray and reaching through the bed rail on the side.  It was as if God wanted me on my knees. 

I began to pray, and although I have never been someone who is great at "public" prayer (i.e. in front of people I don't know), it went really smoothly.  I prayed to thank God for giving us David as our friend for so many years, and I prayed for his healing, too, since we haven't closed the door on hope yet.  Then suddenly I couldn't speak again, as I was sobbing openly as I stroked and held his arm.  Pam finished the prayer, and David seemed much more at ease and calm, and his breathing slowed.  He just seemed more relaxed. 

I stood and touched his shoulder, and I said the most important thing of all at that moment.  I said it loudly, to make sure he could hear me.  In fact, everyone in the house probably heard me.

"I love you, David.  I love you."

Pam told me later that David was tearing up a little when I spoke, and that she could see that he was visibly touched by my words, although I admit that I had other things on my mind right then and I didn't see it.

David's mother gave me a firm hug, and she said, "Thank you for loving him."  I think she said something else, too, but I must admit I don't remember what it was.  I just know that she was grateful that we came, and that we prayed for her son.  She seems to be a wonderful and kind lady, and I can't even fathom how this must feel for her.

We didn't stay much longer, even though there were some other things I would love to have said to him, like how he is my hero, and how much our friendship has affected my faith over the years, and how I admire his boldness in sharing God with other people, and more.  However, I think he already pretty much knew that stuff. 

When we got to the car, I cried so hard that it made my head hurt.  Since then, I seem to be randomly hit with a memory here and there that makes me cry or sometimes even laugh out loud.

As we drove away, Pam mentioned something that really hit home for me: 

"David never wasted time, and he never waited to tell people how he felt about them.  He got his work here done quickly."

This is an incredibly accurate statement about my friend.  I once received a message on my cell phone from him that I wish I had now.  It was something like this:

"Hey man, this is Dave, I just wanted to tell you that I had breakfast with Mike Johnson, and we were talking about you, and what a great example of Christian manhood you have become."

Believe it or not, this type of call was not really all that uncommon for this man. 

While I still haven't given up all hope, things look pretty dark at the moment.  I will continue to pray for him to be healed and I ask others to do so as well, but when his time comes, I hope I can pick up the torch and be the kind of guy who is unafraid to live, love, and touch others in a way that will impact them.  David did, and he still is, even without words.

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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
458,996
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

It is hard to see people we care about die........ I know how hard it was seeing our next door nieghbors wife die and we did not know them very well either.

May God continue to bless you Jason... having a great friend like that is a treasure... I am sure you will see him in heaven.....

Mar 10, 2008 06:46 PM #39
Ambassador
896,585
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Jason, thanks for pouring out your heart and soul here. David is at peace. God gives us grace for everything we must endure on earth. We don't have the grace because we are not going through this, but when our time comes we will have the grace to die. I have been thinking about you and praying for David.
Mar 10, 2008 06:51 PM #40
Rainmaker
112,443
Mark and Tana Hunt
Team Price Real Estate/Dan Price Broker - Austin, TX
Tana Hunt, #1 Realtor at Team Price for 2012!!
Jason, I am touched....David is lucky to have your friendship, love and words right now...Small words that don't seem like much to us are like gold to him right now.  I am praying for David and his family.
Mar 10, 2008 08:31 PM #41
Rainer
29,720
Charity Lane
O'Brien Realty - Prince Frederick, MD

I have been following your posts on your friend. This has weighed so heavy on my heart lately that I have even had a hard time finding the words to post a comment this blog.

David and his friends and family are in my prayers always. I will keep praying that he will be able to turn around from this and be healty again.

Thank you for the updates on here even though I understand how hard they are for you

Mar 10, 2008 10:51 PM #42
Rainmaker
160,152
Mary Thomas Torrance,PV,So Bay, Arc, Pas, REALTOR®*
Remax Estates Properties - Torrance, CA
Mary C. Thomas Your Agent around the Globe
Jason, I am so sorry for your friends illness, I have keep you and David's family in my prayers. He sure is lucky to have a good friend like you and you him. May GOd bless you and be with you during this suffering.  I will keep praying that BGod will see to make amiracle in David'slife and heal him immedialtely now as we speak. Blessings in Christ for all your loved ones.
Mar 13, 2008 04:06 PM #43
Rainmaker
310,990
Roberta LaRocca
Simply Vegas Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management
Jason, This is such a sad situation!  Just be happy that you have such a wonderful friend in David (and he in you).  Good friends are so hard to find and so hard when you lose them.  I will say a prayer. 
Mar 13, 2008 11:29 PM #44
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
I can't believe I missed this post somehow, and I've been waiting for an update.  David is so lucky to have you for a friend, and that wink said it all in words he couldn't speak.  I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said, other than I am so sorry that your good friend is going through this, and that you are experiencing the pain as well.  What a lucky man you are, to have such a great friendship.
Mar 15, 2008 11:05 PM #45
Rainmaker
119,078
Gary McNinch
Better Properties Real Estate - Renton, WA
Broker, Renton WA Real Estate

Jason,

You are a true friend to David and his family.  Praying out loud reveals your heart, so don't worry about being eloquent.  God hears and knows.  Cancer sucks, let's learn from your friend, love people right now, and never wait to let them know.  He has a blessing in you. 

List and Sell (and don't wait to tell our friends we love them)  Gary @ RentonHomeFinder

Mar 16, 2008 12:47 AM #46
Rainmaker
76,038
Natalie Langford
Realty Negotiations - Winchester, VA
Winchester, VA Real Estate
Jason...Once again, I missed this on the 9th...Thank you for bringing me there.  I cried, too...especially when he gave you the wink and the smile. 
Mar 16, 2008 01:25 AM #47
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jason~What an incredibly loving friend you are and the way you have touched the life of your dear friend David, he too has really made a difference in yours. After you and I spoke on the phone before you wrote this post, my thoughts and prayers have been with you all. I know this is a very hard time and I'm truly sorry that. Reading your story here, I'm certain that God was holding your hand Jason, guiding you through that heart wrenching prayer and making sure that David knew that it is ok and that his family and friends love him beyond the whisper of an I love you. Bless you my dear friend and I pray for you to be comforted through this trying time. 
Mar 19, 2008 10:04 PM #48
Rainmaker
148,468
Judi Morgan
Kimberly Howell Properties - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX Real Estate
Jason, How is David?   Have you been back to visit him? 
Mar 19, 2008 10:45 PM #49
Ambassador
971,111
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

TO ALL WHO HAVE INQUIRED ABOUT DAVID LATELY - First of all, I apologize for not individually responding on these posts about my friend - I feel like I am just repeating myself, which I am sure you can understand.  I do want you to know that I have read and cherished every comment left on every post about this situation.

With regard to David's condition, not much has changed lately.  He is resting comfortably (i.e. not in pain right now), and he is sleeping through the night for the most part, which is really helpful for Jan, so that she gets adequate rest.  He is still very alert during the day, and he knows/recognizes any visitors who come by the house to see him.

I saw David again once after this post, for about four hours the other day.  It was really a nice afternoon, and I may write about it in more detail at some point.  For those of you who have prayed for David and Jan, I thank you sincerely.  For those who have sent financial support and/or cards, please know that this is a true blessing for them.  I continue to pray for his healing, but I know that may or may not be God's will for him. 

If you are interested in seeing Jan's blog, you can visit CarePages.com and sign up there.  David's profile name is "DavidinAustin", and that will give you access to the updates directly from Jan.

Again, I thank all of you for your continued support and caring at this time.  It means more to me than I can adequately express here.

Mar 19, 2008 11:09 PM #50
Rainer
59,597
Krista Fuchs
Prudential Fox & Roach - Exton, PA
Chester County Realtor - (484) 459-8025 - Home Buying and Selling
Thanks so much for keeping us updated Jason.  I've been away from the rain...moving into our new house so my life is upside down but I was thinking about David and was hoping that there was an update.  You're a great friend!
Mar 24, 2008 07:48 PM #51
Rainer
29,720
Charity Lane
O'Brien Realty - Prince Frederick, MD
Jason - Not sure what prompted me to read this post again tonight but I just logged into the carepages.com account to keep updated on David. I have been thinking of him and praying for him often. I'm so sad to find out that he is no longer with us. I am glad to know that he will no longer be suffering but so sad to hear of such a wonderful person to leave us. I will keep all of your friends and family in my prayers for a resolution that he is in a better place now and that everyone is grateful for the time they had with him while he was here. Today is a day to hug our loved ones a little tighter and be grateful for every day we are blessed to have them.
Mar 28, 2008 09:49 PM #52
Rainmaker
148,468
Judi Morgan
Kimberly Howell Properties - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX Real Estate

Jason, after reading Charity's comment, I immediately went to the carepages.com account and read Jan's last post.

I am so sorry. . . no more suffering for David -- he's in heaven now. 

Mar 28, 2008 10:34 PM #53
Ambassador
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
JUDI - Please read my latest post when you have a minute.
Mar 28, 2008 10:36 PM #54
Rainmaker
148,468
Judi Morgan
Kimberly Howell Properties - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX Real Estate
Jason, I just read it -- you must have posted it while I was reading Jan's blog on carepages.com.
Mar 28, 2008 10:50 PM #55
Ambassador
971,111
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
JUDI - It looks that way.  Thanks so much for your support.  I hope you will still consider the fundraising effort for Jan.
Mar 28, 2008 10:58 PM #56
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

I can barely write through my tears right now. I did not know David, and I am not sad for him. He lived more in his years than most of us will ever live. He left behind a legacy that will last eternally. I'm crying because I know that there are people who will read this post and just not understand how very important it is to live the life that God has called you to live...to stand for your faith...to be bold and couragious. David was an example for all of us. You were blessed to call him friend and brother. I am blessed to call YOU my friend and brother.

GBU, Jason!

Sep 11, 2008 06:05 PM #57
Anonymous
Anonymous
Not Yet Licensed

I hope I can pick up the torch and be the kind of guy who is unafraid to live, love, and touch others in a way that will impact them. 

Hi Jason,

There's no question in my mind.  You've definitely picked up, and carried, the torch.  Well done, my friend.

Oct 02, 2008 12:56 AM #58
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