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How Death Affected Me

Death is a very touchy subject with many people. When I started the David Reid RD Blog, I said no subject was off limits, including death. I used to obsess about death when I was young, I would sit up thinking about how afraid I was of dying. Death is something we will all deal with at one time or another in our lives.  The older we get, the more likely it is we will encounter it. I certainly have seen enough of it in my lifetime to know what it feels like in every way, shape or form. I had been to funerals when I was young, but those didn’t really affect me or really even pertain to me. I know I would watch a lot of people cry and they all looked so somber and sad. As I got a little older, around 14-15, there was some deaths of classmates that were shocking. It isn’t natural to deal with the death of a 14 year old girl. I remember our whole school just kind of paused. It was the first time I really thought “Wow, you can actually die this young, nothing is guaranteed.” It became more apparent to me that life is fragile, it can end in a minute. Death was a new reality in the equation of life. In my early twenties, my Nana died and she was buried in Toronto. I was sad because she was gone, but I was also happy that the past 10 years that she had spent a prisoner in her own body was no longer something she had to endure. I am a Christian so I believe that she had moved past earthly life to eternal life. I was more sad for my Mother who took it very hard.

Death Of My Good Friend

When I went away to college, I left behind several friends who went into trades. One of them was my friend Keny Lindsay. Keny was a larger than life person who had charisma to burn. He was a bit of a wild child, but he was well liked by guys and girls alike. Especially the girls! He was a gifted athlete who could run like the wind and was an excellent track runner and football player. I used to love watching him run because he was so powerful and graceful. When we first met, we didn’t really like each other; alpha males rarely do. I went to Troy Athens and he went to Utica High, in different districts, in different counties. We couldn’t have been different on the outside, but we both had good hearts. After some rough patches as neighbors, we became really good friends, basically hanging out together all day everyday. We had some absolutely crazy nights, but I promised to keep those to myself. I am a father after all and I don’t want to get bit with Google when my daughter is old enough to use it against me. Well, We kind of drifted apart as I was gone 8-9 months of the year with school and he was busy as a plumbers apprentice. One night, he made a tragic mistake and was in a bad car accident. I was up in Lansing at my girlfriends house when my Mother called. She asked when I was coming home, I said I would leave at 11 pm as it was a 1 1/2 hour drive home. She said “I wish you would come sooner.” She never said that. I asked why She said “Keny has been in a car accident.” I asked if he was okay, She replied “It’s pretty bad.” I just handed the phone to my girlfriend speechless. I went in the other room and cried my eyes out. He had fallen asleep at the wheel and hit the train going into the Ford complex. He suffered some pretty severe injuries and was put into a medically induced coma.  He lived 2 weeks and then passed. I had to be a pallbearer at his funeral and it hit me hard. I was rattled at losing a 22 year old friend. I kept thinking about him and one night in a dream, he came to me. We were talking like we used to reading Muscle and Fitness and Hot Rod magazine. After a while, he said “You know I have to go, I said yes.” And he left, but that healed my heart. I truly believe he came to me to ease my burden, my pain. It forever changed the way I viewed life though.

My Dad Dying

My father and I weren’t always the closest people. We weren’t the usual father and son playing catch and things of that nature. My father worked midnight’s at Chrysler and slept during the day. I rarely saw much of him to be honest. He felt his job was to provide, not parent. My mother also worked, so I spent a lot of time being raised by my Nana. She was a warm, loving person and I used to be her favorite. I knew how to suck up and be cute at a young age. She used to spoil me pretty well. Well, at 5 years of age, my fathers life of work and drinking wore my Mom out and she filed for divorce. Pretty soon, he lived out of the house and we would see him once a week after school and go on vacation with him one week out of the year. I think I was so much like my mother that a part of my Dad didn’t like me. He and my sister were always closer, with similar personalities. I got used to not having a strong male role model in my life, other then my Uncle Gordon. My parents got back together when I was a freshman in college. They always cared for each other, they just couldn’t live with each other. Well, they lived a mostly smooth 12 years together and then my father was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. He was given 4-5 months to live and he made it 14 months. He was stubborn if nothing else. We got to talk and make peace if you will. He told me some life lessons and told me he was proud of me. Those were tough words I bet because he held his emotions in check almost always. We got to play some golf and talk a lot. I learned how much I really loved him and admired him for his work ethic. He passed away on October 21, 1998. I was really competing at a high level in bodybuilding at the time and I was on the verge of the big time. Without him in my life, I just stopped. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I still drive by golf courses and remember fond memories like when he told me “Put the f**king driver in the bag and leave it there!” I played a pretty wild game that day and he was getting pissed off at me spraying balls onto other fairways. I still laugh because My sister never heard him say the F word, but I got him to say it twice. Haha

My Uncle Gordon, My Male Role Model

When I was a little boy, my Uncle Gordon was a larger than life human being to me. He was a riot because he was really funny and joked often, but he would always teach me life lessons. He used to constantly bend my fingers so I would roll around squealing on the floor while he watched football. He did it in fun but damn, it was uncomfortable, I won’t lie. He used to say “maximum pain, minimum effort.” When I was older, I tried to get him to lace up the boxing gloves so I could pay him back and his response was “the Marquis de Queensberry was a sissy.” For the less initiated, the modern rules of boxing were made by the Marquis. He always was quick to show you love and sometimes tough love when the occasion called for it. I once threw a penny down the street and he made me look for it for hours. When I said I couldn’t find it, he told me “take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” It was sage advice that I have never forgotten to this day. My Uncle was in some ways the father I didn’t have. Even in my 20’s, I would see him and he wouldn’t shake my hand, he always gave me a hug. I loved him dearly as did many of my cousins. I remember the day he passed away. I was watching the U of M vs MSU football game at home and I saw my Aunt and Uncles marina number come up on my cell. I figured I would call at halftime. Immediately there after, my Mom called. I knew something wasn’t right. My Mom told me he had passed away and I started screaming, no,no,no! I tore the shirt off my back and almost tore my kitchen counter off the wall. I was sobbing. I was so angry at the world. I got really drunk that day. To this day I miss seeing him at the holidays. I feel badly for my Aunt Carol and my cousins Laura and Janis because they lost a husband and a father. I lost a father figure and a friend. My life has been better for having known him. I know I am a better man for all the lessons and love he bestowed on me.


My Mother, My Rock, My Soul

My Mom was diagnosed with cancer back in 2012, after falling a getting splenectomy. They noticed a spot on her lung and she was later confirmed as Stage 2B lung cancer. She took the news hard as anyone would. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to have surgery due to advancing emphysema. Her only real chance was to take chemotherapy, and that’s not a cure, but more of a way of extending life. She took chemo like a champ and was feisty for the better part of 3 years. She was a very likable woman, and was a favorite at the cancer center. She was always encouraging and friendly, even on the worst of days. My mother was a very small woman, weighing 95 lbs at 5′. She really had no reserves, but she was holding her own on sheer will to live. I think my daughter gave her fire to keep fighting. When she started having issues with chemo, we even tried medical marijuana. That was a trip because she mixed up the wrong pills and ended up “High as balls” according to my sister. So that stopped. She fell one day and broke her femur and hip and that was the beginning of the end. She spent 6 moths in a long term care rehab center trying to get the ability to walk back. In there she got C-diff, a nasty GI infection that is tough to get rid of. She was quarantined a good deal of the stay, on her own. My sister and I would visit her daily. She got down at times but never really let it get to her. She just was a strong woman. I remember the day she got released, she was thrilled. We got home and her and my sister lived together to the end. My mom passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 2, 2015. I look at it as a blessing, she is no longer a prisoner in her own body. I know she is with me in spirit, I fell her in my heart, in my thoughts. She taught me how to be a strong person, to take life head on. Be afraid of nothing. I miss her daily, but I realize the impact she had on me. She made me to be able to endure the hardships life will present. She taught me to grind through anything and everything. I now have the onus of teaching this to my 5 year old daughter. Be kind, be strong, never give up, and always keep grinding through the obstacles life will present. I refuse to mourn my mothers death, but I prefer to celebrate a life well lived.