Mario calls them “The David Shots.” They are a series of pictures that he took with a new SLR camera the day that his first son was born – the day that changed his life forever.
When Cathy went into labor, Mario took her to Monterey Peninsula Hospital in a very interesting way. Since it was their first child and Mario didn’t know what to expect, he loaded his wife into his patrol vehicle and proceeded to the hospital code-3. “I flipped the lights and siren on and we took off for the hospital!”
David was born soon afterwards, and Mario began taking pictures and couldn’t stop. He must have had forty or fifty prints – the days before digital –from high-quality film.
Looking at the old prints now, I smile. Their rounded corners and faded colors betray their age, but the memories of them are deep in Mario's heart. The one above, taken when the Olympic torch was passing, is one of my favorites of father and son.
|Don't worry, Joe. It's almost your turn!|
Today David turns 37 years old.
I still gasp and hold my heart, unable to digest the fact that David is a grown-up with kids of his own. I can still remember the soapy smell of him at the Kaypro, freshly bathed and begging me for more time on the computer before he went off to bed. I still remember the years in Arnold, chasing the boys around Big Trees State Park. I remember his graduation, his wedding, the birth of his first child and the day he sold his company to Hewlett Packard.
Life goes by so quickly, I know it is a cliché, but it does.
|David with Lauren, 2014|
Today David is a husband and a father, the roles he loves and inevitably define him. He is also something of a subject matter expert in communication systems.
David is my step-son, but he’s really more than that. Mario and I officially tied the knot just after he turned eight, so I feel closely connected to him. He is a deep thinker and a wonderful communicator. He grew up with a vibrant sense of humor and a strong personality. In our blended family, David was the eldest son and proved to be a leader to his siblings. Today, he still has a way of connecting with us. He is a son who remembers to call his parents, and keeps inside of the life of his extended family. This year has been an amazing, eventful time and he has grown more as a man than ever before. I pray that God be his strength every day.
When people ask me about David, I tell them that he is strong, funny, and great to have in our family. We love him. We are proud of him. We miss him.
Happy Birthday, David. If only words were sufficient to tell you how treasured, you are in our hearts! We love you!!
|Just for fun! Mario took this picture of himself the day that the guy on the right was born!|