Lessons learned from an all-too-brief life
The Evanston Review
Thursday, July 11, 2002

What if you lived authentically out of the box? You didn't have to figure out how to become "authentic" and no one had to tell you, "think out of the box." From the day you were born, you just did it as naturally as you breathed and laughed and enjoyed life. Every day was an adventure to be explored. Every person a friend for life.

Danielle Drumke lived and her cup ran over with joy. She died on June 16, 2002, only 28 years old, and our cups ran dry from the loss of her. She went to King Lab School here in Evanston and graduated from Evanston Township High School. She was a member of our Evanston family and so much more. All the parents and friends were a little grayer as we gathered to remember her. One of our own had suffered the unimaginable slow exit from this life as the result of a brain tumor. How could that happen to one of our collective children?

Our grief in her passing from us is more than in equal measure to the energy and enthusiasm she shared with us while she was here in our midst. Why do we grieve more? Because she was so young, because we could only imagine her potential through those she touched and because we loved her. On Sunday, June 30, the memorial service in Evanston was overflowing with those whose hearts keep a little part of her sweet, magnanimous soul tucked inside them forever.

In her brief time, she showed us that living out of the box means not allowing yourself to be bound by self-imposed limitations. The stars and the sky and the universe beyond that were not limits but an extension of her personality and all that it held.

How lucky we were to have had her among us; how lucky the heavens are to hold her close. --Susan Roupp

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