|4 Generation 1987 -- Mario, Chev, David and Joe
When I first met David, my step-son, I laughed out loud because he looked so much like his father—my boss, Mario. He was wearing a striped shirt with a collar and shorts, and he marched into my office like he owned the place.
“Leave Janet alone, she has work to do,” Mario teased. David at him and then back to me. “Come on David,” Mario persisted. “Come into my office now.”
“He can stay here,” I offered, bringing out a ream of paper and a jar of colored pens. Joe, his brother, kept his distance, clinging to Mario warily.
“Joe, do you want to color with us, while your Dad returns phone calls?”
Soon, David, Joe and I were drawing pictures as Mario talked in his office. Now and then he would look and smile at me. At that time, we were still employer/employee, but Mario would soon become my boyfriend, and then my husband.
So, my first memory of David is this– us coloring pictures at my state-issued desk.
Supposedly David is 38 today, but I’m sure that’s impossible. It was only yesterday that I met him, dressed in a striped shirt and leading Joe into my dusty office at Carnegie. He was beautiful, with brown eyes alive and seeking to know everything. He was only six, but spoke with wit and humor that made me laugh. He liked making me laugh.
Looking back, I realize that Mario and I were meant to be together (as corny as that sounds, it is true.) David and Joe were part of Mario’s “package deal” and Vince was part of mine. Blending our little families together meant we were in for some heart-stretching and learning to love one another.
|David at the computer - 1987
I learned to love David easily. He never smart-mouthed me, ever. He loved computers and math, solving puzzles that involved reasoning and figuring out recurring patterns of things.
“Do you have a math brain?” I asked when he was in Jr. High. He shrugged like it was no big deal.
“I think so,” he answered, without boasting. “I’m not a genius, but I just see patterns.”
He graduated from high school, went off to college and then learned UNIX, which changed his life. A series of crazy girlfriends drove me nuts and caused my prayer life to take on new forms; then he met his wife, Lennae, a person I truly love and cherish. His kids were the first to make us grandparents – Callen, Lilli, and Lauren – whose humor is so like their father’s.
David is what people call my step-son—Mario’s eldest child with his first wife, Cathy. A long time ago I dropped the “step” and just said son…David is our eldest son. He lives in the Kansas City area, so we don’t see him as much as we want to. When we do speak, there’s instant connection and a lot of laughter.
|David "fishing" 1985
Tonight, I am sitting here remembering him…and thinking of how blessed I am to know him—let alone have him in the family.
Happy Birthday, David!! We love you!!
|David and Mario Smokin' stogies --2014