Monday, June 10, 2013

Missing Dan

For well over 10 years now, Mrs. YDP and I celebrate birthdays with two other couples in Minneapolis.  We've done various things, but mostly we've always gone to the same Chinese restaurant in Eden Prairie where we've drunk the same drinks and ordered the same food.  Just about every time.

And a constant in all those visits was Dan, our waiter.  Dan (clearly, not his real name given his strong accent), was an amazing man.  After just a couple of visits, he knew all of our names, and would call us by them upon seeing us and throughout the night.  Likewise, he remembered what each of us traditionally ordered, and would often just tell us what we were about to order before writing it down.

While it never started out that way, it was clear that Dan was one of the main reasons why we went to the restaurant.  And when we'd go when Dan had a night off, well, it just wasn't nearly as fun.

But when he was there, the fun we'd have.  And through it all he smiled and laughed so much.  He'd shake your hand upon greeting us and again at saying goodbye.  He'd remembered that we had moved to Green Bay, and always wanted to be sure that we were still cheering for the Vikings.  

But all of that is gone.  Our friends just found out that Dan is dead.  He took his own life.  A man with such incredible gifts and incredible life was suffering so bad that he felt he had to kill himself.

The heartbreak of this is hard to bear.  I feel so sorry for his family, friends, coworkers, and customers that loved him so.  If he was anything outside of the restaurant like he was inside of it, he had to be deeply admired and loved.

Who knows what demons possessed him?  But in situations like this, ones that survive can't help but wonder what could have been done to prevent this loss.  Perhaps the lesson is that life is fragile, fleeting, and cannot be taken for granted.  And since it's that way, it's incumbent on us, all of us, to not miss opportunities to enjoy each other, and more importantly, tell each other what they mean to us.  

When I'm particularly down, there's a lyric from Kid Rock's song Amen that I play for myself.  It goes as follows:

Somewhere you got a brother, sister, friend
Grandmother, niece or nephew just dying to be with you
You know there's someone out there
Who unconditionally, religiously, loves you
So just hold on 'cause you know it's true

Indeed, when you think about it, you know it's true.  Someone out there who unconditionally, religiously loves you.  And I feel so very sad that Dan didn't feel it or know it.

May your troubled soul finally rest at peace, Dan.  You will be missed far more than you ever thought you would.

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry for your loss. However, you bring a good takeaway message to the table. Thanks for this insightful post.


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