“And thus ever, by day and by night, under the sun and under the stars, climbing the dusty hills and toiling along the weary plains, journeying by land and journeying by sea, coming and going on strangely, to meet and to act and react on one another, move all we restless travellers through the pilgrimage of life.” Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
I first met Dave back in 1995, while teaching a telecommunications course to some senior engineering colleagues.
It was one of those courses that I loved to teach since I was, in essence, getting paid to teach what I previously had been gotten paid to design. I also relished the fact that I was abandoning for a couple of weeks the freezing Canadian winter in favour of the warm plus twenty five degrees Celsius Texas weather.
Dave was the senior manager of the group I was assigned to instruct, a group that would eventually spearhead the push of mobile broadband communication systems to the American market. Dave and I, aside from our technical background, discovered that we had numerous other things in common and became exceptionally good friends. Our friendship became so strong that it would eventually evolve into a brotherly bond that would prove to stand the test of time.
Dave at that time was madly in love and matrimonially engaged to a lovely young woman named Kristen. Their wedding was scheduled to take place in December, right before the Christmas Season.
A couple of months before the wedding, Kristen was diagnosed with an advanced stage of mesothelioma and was given 3 months to live.
Dave being a virtuous man of character and strength, decided to nevertheless proceed with the wedding; the wedding ceremony took place at the appointed date and time, at Kristen’s house.
I flew in from Montreal to do the honours as Dave’s best man.
The wedding ceremony was necessarily performed in Kristen’s bedroom since Kristen – who looked ravishing in her bridal gown - could no longer walk because of the metastatic tumour in her spinal cord.
A couple of weeks later Kristen passed away.
About two years after Kristen’s passing, in 1997 and while I was working and living in Mexico, Dave paid me a visit and stayed at my place for about 2 weeks. He informed me that he was leaving the US and heading for the Middle East on some serious business. He left me, as a symbol of our friendship and fraternal bond, a ring.
I lost contact with Dave after that and as the years rolled on, I returned to Europe and decided to have a family.
One sunny afternoon, as I sat on the place where sea meets shore idly sipping cold ale and languidly helping my kids build sandcastles, I received a cablegram that my friend and brother David left this world for the Elysian Fields, to join his eternal love Kristen.
I still have his ring…