Day 192: I have gratitude for our friend Don, and the intersection of our lives during our time at our old home in Wilkinsburg. We learned that Don passed away last evening and although this brings heaviness to our hearts, we are thankful for the blessing of knowing him. Don was the kind of guy you’d hope that you’d grow into: accomplished, respected, driven, and loving. Even in retirement, he kept busy. Due to his nature, he was dubbed “The Mayor” of our old neighborhood; he would often be out with his mountain dog Fritz walking the neighborhood and engaging those with whom he encountered. When he spoke, people listened because they recognized the wisdom in his words. His gregarious personality and witty humor could make anyone feel at ease and crack a smile. To us, he was even more. Don seemed to always be around during the big events. Present after the birth of both Caden and Callan, we enjoyed his company. When we moved out of our house in Wilkinsburg, he was there; when we moved into our house in Swissvale, he stopped by. I recently learned that when Mom died, he showed up at our house and talked to Marnie for an hour about his past events with losing loved ones. He would often send science articles from magazines, even when we had moved away – his passion for learning and then sharing that knowledge was admirable.
I’m going to miss Don. Whenever we were in the area, I would make it a point to stop by the neighborhood even if just to wave hi to him. Though it is easy to be sad with the news of his passing, I know that I am a better person from the six years of friendship. Thank you Don.