Friday, November 17, 2006

Reflections on David

Please allow me to share some things that touched me that were read at my brother's memorial service.

From his eulogy, read by my sister's husband Dan:

Today I find myself standing before family, friends, and loved ones, honored to have the opportunity to present a eulogy to David Webb. My name is Dan and I'm David's brother-in-law by way of being married to one of his big sisters, Angie.

David Webb came into this world on November 24, 1970 in Coos Bay, Oregon by his parents Dave and Karen. He also came into this world instantly outnumbered by three older sisters who would end up having a significant impact on his development as a child, which we'll talk about in a moment. But make no mistake, his parents and three sisters...he loved dearly and they love him dearly too.

David was an educated man who had a passion for reading and studying different languages. As you have heard, his Spanish was impeccable, earning him the reputation at work for being able to handle those situations that played to his strengths. David attended high school in Medford, Oregon; he studied Cultural Studies and Criminal Justice after high school, and it was during this time that he met and married his angel Celia. If you know Celia, you know David was at the "top of his game" when he convinced her to be with him, carrying on a fine tradition we men have in this family of marrying way out of our league. David and Celia carried on the second great tradition this family has and that's building a family - quickly! Son Tysaac was born soon after in 1999 and of course, son Sethric in 2003. But I know that doesn't surprise because you all know...he just got things done!

David loved spending time with his boys and playing video games with them. When I first met David he was 12 years old, and you guessed it, playing a video game (I think it was Pong or something like that). His sister introduced me, and of course I did not warrant an actual face to face acknowledgement, but I did get a raised controller and a quick "hey"....well, a couple of days ago we were gathered at the house, Tysaac was entertaining himself with a video game in the living room. A presentation was being made and the speaker was right in front of Tysaac...he's trying to peer around as he's playing. The speaker gets done and I lean over to Tysaac and ask him, "Hey buddy, are you winning?" He turns to me and says, as serious as he can be: "Not if everyone keeps getting in my way"...now that's David's son!

I want to spend just a few quick minutes telling you a few stories from his family in hopes of possibly providing some insight to David's early development as a child, maybe explaining some of those traits that became the adult we all knew.

My first story I will title "The Little Red Wagon".
Apparently the four kids had this little red wagon and they would take this thing to the top of these hills by their house. Now the cool job of course was steering it and that would go to the ringleader and eldest, Angie. Next Laura would pile in behind most likely in hopes that the driver would get tossed and she would suddenly get the cool job of steering, Katrina behind that and then of course, poor David would somehow shoehorn himself into this mess with his little legs hanging out. Well, you know what his job was don't you?...yeah, the brakes! Poor guy kept wearing the heels out on his boots getting shorter by the ride!
Now you know why David didn't want to be last place in anything!

My second story I will title "Who, What, When and Why".
Now when you live in Coos Bay, there isn't a lot to do and you have to make a few things up as you go along. Again, the ringleader (Angie) would gather everybody up, sit each of them in a circle and each kid had an assignment...you know...one person had to think of a who, one a what, and so on. Then each kid took a turn telling the others what their who was or their what or their why...so as you went around this circle, you got something like..."Uncle Buster...picks his nose...in the morning...to go to sleep." Apparently this was fairly humorous, and I'm sure it was...but more importantly, I think we now have a better understanding into David's approach to humor.

My last story I will title "School House".
As the oldest, Angie would prepare lesson plans for each of them, acting as the teacher of this pretend school house and these kids would have lesson after lesson after lesson to do. As a result, each one of them were solid readers before they hit first grade and I'm sure, drove David's passion for learning. Now, all this pretend schooling was fine, but David wanted to actually GO to school. But there was a problem...he wasn't old enough. So each day he had to painfully watch them travel off to school while he was left with lame lessons from his big sister. So for David, there was only one thing he could think of to do...and that's get his toy gun, strap it to his side, dress in his army gear and follow them to the bus stop hiding behind a mound of dirt...and guard his best friends until they were safely out of sight.

Now you know why David loved protecting America...

I will finish with these final thoughts...
It's important for you to know that David was there for his family during the tough times...he could talk with his mom without talking. David would say "remember me to my kids, and I ask you as Grandma to let them see your blue eyes as often as you can."
In speaking with his family I know he would be so happy and proud with the way the Border Patrol has treated his family.

And it's also important that you know...that David is proud...that you are proud of him.

Make no mistake...David left us a hero...

Death is a thief...and not often a welcome one...

But I do know that this feeling of grief is borne out of a tremendous love that we all have for David and that this sadness we feel is a result of the fact that we will miss him terribly.

I think it's also important for us to remember the foundation our Heavenly Father gives us. As the Apostle Paul tells us: "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me."

I think we are left with a choice of where we go from here...and I am certain that David would want us to choose healing and love for one another...in his honor.

Lastly, from David's brother-in-law Khoi who could not be here: Anh tung Em...which is Vietnamese for..."I love you, little brother."

May God bless this family.

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From a wonderful piece written in David's perspective by his mother-in-law who adored him, translated from Spanish to English:

Thank You

Never like right now I thank God for the privilege of life, value the people that are around me, recognize the infinite pleasure of friendship and am satisfied with the mission that my Heavenly Father sent me for to this earth.

I loved and was loved by my parents, sisters, wife, sons, stepparents, neighbors and friends.

I learned from life that the wealth of a human being is in sharing with everyone, and that the true measure of compatibility is not in the amount of time we spend together, but in the quality of that time and the relationship for one another. I now know that broken hearts last for as long as we wish and cut so deeply, depending on how long you let them continue to hurt you, so for this, the challenge in surviving a broken heart is to know how we will learn from that pain.

Thank you, my friends...I will be with you as long as you remember me.

Thank you, family. I went ahead of you to explore the way and wait at the end until our joyous, everlasting get-together.

Thank you, God: praise You for receiving me into Your home. I ask you once more for all my loved ones, please send them the strength and grace not to question Your actions, but to accept Your will.

I do not wish to cause you pain. Remember me as a person with virtues and defects, but especially as the man that, God providing, tried to be a son, husband and father, and that in my way I found friendly and giving people that I trust will be the best support for those I leave behind.

I am at peace. I am with God.

David Norman Webb
November 1970-November 2006


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And a poem that has helped bring comfort to me over these sad days:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
So do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I did not die.

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And on a personal note:

I've learned over these last few weeks that sharing my grief with other people who are also hurting helps to heal us both.

That my brother is around and present in every funny story we tell about him.

That cards and emails, no matter how small, really do bring immeasurable comfort to my saddened heart.

Thank you, my friends, for letting me share my brother with you.

16 comments:

mamma said...

Such a lovely tribute. Someone e-mailed me that poem after my Mom died. I carried it around with me for weeks. I love that poem.

You are so strong my sweet friend. You will carve a way through this. Just be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. My heart gieves with you and your family.

mamma said...

Such a lovely tribute. Someone e-mailed me that poem after my Mom died. I carried it around with me for weeks. I love that poem.

You are so strong my sweet friend. You will carve a way through this. Just be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. My heart gieves with you and your family.

Angela Martínez said...

And thank you for sharing him with us...

msubulldog said...

Ditto. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a Secret Pal 9 Pal, and I just want to let you know that I'm here and thinking of you during this very difficult time. I wish there were something I could say to make it better, but I know there isn't. So I will just sit here and send you and your family healing thoughts. Thanks for sharing your brother with us.

kessa said...

Hi, SP9 pal here too. The eulogy was beautifully written and I can tell he is well loved by family and friends. Grief does not go easy but I wish you and your family/friends strength to go through this.
xox

Aurora's Mom said...

That is a beautiful tribute, and I especially love the poem. I'd never heard it before, and I wish I had for when my dad passed away. Lots of love and hugs to you and your family <3 Ashley

Heather said...

SP 9 Pal here... I to love that poem and repeat it often. I was given it after the death of my first daughter and held it close after the passing of my mother.... Please, know you are in my thoughts and prayers...

Marsha Brofka-Berends said...

Katrina, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like a wonderful person, and I'm sure he will be missed.
--Marsha (from your SP9 group)

Julie said...

He sounds like such an amazing person and an absolute asset in anyone's life. I'm so sorry for your untimely loss.

(SP9 group)

Debbie said...

I am tremendously moved by the tributes to your brother and the obvious love that all who knew him felt for him. I hope that great love carries your spirits through your grieving process. All the best to you and your family.

Miss Scarlett said...

Without knowing you and your family I am deeply saddened to hear of your loss. May the memories you hold dear bring you comfort in the times of sorrow. Please know how many of us are thinking of you and yours and sending you our support.

Michelle
(SP9 group)

Rosie said...

Hugs from an SP9 knitter in England, who can't find words but sends loving thoughts.

R a i n said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, there is nothing that anyone can say or do to take that void away but God will help you and your family heal in time.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

God bless you,
SP 9 pal

Tiffany said...

I've been praying for you. I'm so sorry for you loss.

alex said...

Katrina,

I really do believe that David was blessed to have a sister like you and I thank him for sharing you, as well as your husband!!!! Love you always
Alex