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David Crooks

I spoke briefly at your memorial today. I wanted to tell everyone how amazing of a person you were, and how I hope to carry your legacy with me wherever I go. I wanted to tell them that I have become a good person, doing good things, and I owe huge dividends to you for that. I wanted to tell them that no person stands out so profoundly in my life as you. I wanted to tell them that so much about the way I’m going to raise my kids is because of how you helped to raise me.

I should have said a lot of things:

I should have told them about the guitar you bought for me when I turned 16. I should have told them how you drove with me to stores all over Palm Beach County all day looking for the right guitar, and the place that wouldn’t rip us off for it. I should have told them how you told me you were proud of me for knowing what I wanted, and not settling to get it right.

I should have told them how terrified I was to hear that you were dying of liver failure when I was 18. I should have told them how I spent my 18th birthday sitting at a restaurant bar eating a sandwich contemplating my life without you around in it. I should have told them that after you got back, you gave me a necklace for my 18th birthday, that I still wear. I should have told them how my kids love to play with that necklace when I hold them, and how one day I’ll give that necklace to them.

I should have told them about the years I spent working for your block company. I should have told them how it’s the work I’m most proud of in my life. I should have told them how the people I met while doing that work, have changed my world view more profoundly than most folks will ever have the opportunity to understand.

I should have told them about the time I didn’t show up for work on Saturday. I should have told them how you broke in my house, yelling at me to get my ass to work. I should have told them about the number of times you were incredibly tough on me, and how it’s shaped so much of who I am today.

I should have told them about the time you sunk a Lull up to it’s wheels. I should have told them about the times you would put a lit cigarette in someone’s pocket, or put a rubber snake next to one of the masons working, and how we would all laugh. I should have told them that your since of humor was amazing, and how it will be carried on long past your departure in this world.

I should have told them about when I graduated community college, how you came up to me (during the ceremony), to tell me how proud you were of me. I should have told them how much it meant to me.

I should have told them how much you meant to my mom. I should have told them that the 10 years you were together were some of the hardest, and best times of her life. I should have told them how much it meant to me that for so long, you were such a good part of her life.

I should have said a lot of things to those people sitting there today. But when I got up there, the enormity of your absence hit me like a cube of block. I love you like a father. That’s not to the deteriment of my dad (who is awesome), but to the testament of who you are. I’ll always consider you my dad, and I’ll miss you as much as I’ll miss anyone in my life. You are one of the greatest people I’ve ever encountered, and that’s what I should have said today.

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