I have known Darby since I was 16 years old. He started out as a coworker and became a trusted confidante, an uncle. Someone who would constantly tease me lovingly, tell me which boys were bad news, and make me feel genuinely safe and cared for, assuring I made it to my car each evening when we would close the shop. His kindness, generosity, guidance, and positive attitude were tireless. He would proudly flaunt his lunchbox each day packed with homemade sandwiches from homemade bread or gourmet leftovers from his outstanding wife, and wax poetic about how wonderful and capable she is. Their love was so adorable to bear witness.
This whole cancer thing just boggles my mind. There doesn't seem to be any amount of kindness or good living that can stave off its arbitrary grasp. I do know that it feels like it has gripped too many, far too young.
Darb, I love you. Thank you for keeping me on my toes, keeping me out of trouble, and being a constant in my life. Someone who was always there with a hug, a smile, and some sarcastic remark when I would drop by to say hello.
I am so, so saddened that I won't be able to see your face in the flesh ever again. May I humbly request that you still keep an eye on me? I may be twice as old as I was when we first met...but you know...I could use your loving eyes in the sky to help keep me in line, please.
Hope the sun is out, the waves are pumping, the wind is just right, and fresh fish tacos await you on the beach wherever you are.
Love you, Darb.
You are already missed by so many the world over.