Friday, May 18, 2007

the best kind of friend

I've been putting off writing something here for days now. Not because I have little to say - I have lots of memories of Dave - the words just don't seem to do him justice.

I can't actually remember when I first met Dave. We both worked for the Canadian Federation of Students - so it was some time in the early 90's - he was in BC, I was in Ontario. It was during an intense period of upheaval in the student movement and when in need of good organizers Dave's name was generally the first mentioned. We became fast friends.

He was confident without being arrogant, smart without being obnoxious, patient without being patronizing. He was one of those people who was able to talk to anyone and honestly enjoyed a difference of opinion. I learned from him a tonne about politics, about people and about being passionate about what you believe. Dave genuinely cared about helping people. Whether it was writing policy or organizing, it was about empowerment. It was about giving back to the community and helping to make life better. He touched so many lives in doing so.

One memory does stand out in my mind. During a particularly stressful time in my life, he invited me out to Vancouver for a visit. He seemed to know what I needed even before I did. We just spent time together. He introduced me to Phil Ochs (his music, that is), visited Whistler and Pender Island (where he treated me and Jennifer S., to breakfast in bed), read my Tarot Cards, let me sleep in. We did simple things but they made such a difference.

He taught me what it means to be a friend by being a good one - by forgiving at times when it was really hard, by being understanding rather than judgemental and by giving of himself and not keeping track of the IOUs.

I know I will feel this loss for a long time to come.

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