I just learned that DD passed away today at noon. My first response was to write about it. My eyes are weary from all the crying I have been doing these last few days. It seems so hard for me to realize she won’t be sitting in her favorite chair in my classes each Thursday at 11:30. She would always arrive early so she could have a cup of coffee with me and munch on her favorite cookie.
My mind races back to when I first met DD about 3 years ago. Neither one of us knew the effect we would each have on each other. We both opened each other up to new horizons. I smile as I remember that not too long after she started coming to class she told me, she had an idea! She told me she wanted to attend her 60th high school reunion up in Washington, but really needed a driver and since my son lived up there would I be willing to drive her there and back. I told her I would see what I could do but to make a long story short I agreed and the date was set for us to travel that summer.
I should have gotten a clue when DD had several “paper” maps spread out on the counter before the trip. I told DD I didn’t even know how to read a paper map but I had GPS on my phone and that would lead us to our destination, but DD liked the “paper” map better so that was what we would use.
We started the trip by her telling me she wanted to start the drive and then I could take over after just a bit. Well, we traveled from Palm Desert to Seattle and she rarely gave me a turn to drive. I kept saying DD, remember that’s why I’m here to drive, but what she really wanted was company.
It wasn’t an easy trip, but we did lots of talking and laughing and on the way back I talked our friend Barb into flying in and driving back with us in hopes that she could get DD to maybe let us both drive. Nope, pretty much she wanted to drive.
But that was how DD was, she was in control and that was how she liked it. Probably all those years in the military helped create the woman she was.
That was the beginning of many road trips we took together. She was so proud of me when she was at the finish line of the San Diego half marathon.
I loved being a part of DD’s life and I always knew that she was my number one fan. She wanted every one to write their memoirs and be apart of the “group”. Every one who met DD loved her. She was one of the most generous loving person I have ever met.
DD became a part of my family and spent the last few Thanksgivings with me and my family.
She was my business “manager” always thinking of ways for me to grow my business.
But most important she was a friend and a confidante.
I have so many wonderful memories of my time on earth with DD, it was so short, but in the 3 years I knew her I learned so much about her and her life growing up in Ketchikan. She loved her home state of Alaska, she loved the United States, she loved her sister and she loved her nieces and she loved the catholic church, especially Father Lincoln and she loved being a Republican. We chose to disagree on religion and politics but we had plenty of other things to agree on.
I was proud to call DD my friend and what a huge hole in my heart I now have. So DD, here’s to you…I always told you that when you get old and needed me I would be there for you. I’m so sorry we didn’t get to say good-bye today. I am happy that I was able to spend a minute with you this morning even though you were sleeping…but I’m grateful the other visits I made this week at the hospital you were awake and knew me. The last thing we talked about was that you were going to hang in there for my 50th birthday in November.
I promise to pay it forward for you. I promise to be a friend to others just like you were to me. I salute you DD Gore and thank you for always being there for me…I know you are still watching over me, but from above.
So DD, thank you for so many fun memories of times spent together…