The Presidio, San Francisco, CA
June 21, 2002
Unlike most of you I have only known Danielle for about three years, though rather intensely throughout her illness in the past two. I met her three years ago at Chris Campbell and Amanda Barnhardt's wedding in North Carolina, which is a great story in and of itself. It was a great time. But there's Danielle, dancing and full of the great energy and vitality that is Danielle--I'm not going to use the past tense. I strongly suspect that all of you--with the exception of Doug who was too small to remember the details-- has a story of meeting Danielle and thinking, "Wow, she's so great," because that's cleary what happened with everybody. In my case, we hung out and have a fabulous time at this wedding and that was that until 6, 8, maybe 10 months later, when Kate and I found out that Danielle was moving to San Francisco. We were so excited, which, for me, was funny because I'd only spent a few hours with her...or so I think!
You see, one day after we've been spending lots of time together, Danielle corrects me and says, "No, no, no. We met before. Yeah, it was a day with Jenn Maier and Jennie Abbott and we were driving you to the airport." That ride to the airport, which was about a decade ago at this point, had completely faded from the mind. But Danielle was just incredibly good at remembering each and every person she met. I think she had, and possibly has, a capacity for appreciating something in each individual. So many of us go through life and there is little bit of noise. I don't think Danielle had a lot of noise in her life. I think she had a lot of person, person, person, person, person, and loving each and every one of them. So I find out we met during a car ride, 45 minutes of fun, but a decade ago, and she remembered it.
In the past couple of years that Danielle has been in San Francisco, I have been incredibly lucky to have gotten to know her, to be her friend and for her to share herself in what...well, a lot of it has been fairly rough. And it's remarkable how Danielle was able to share with me even when her vocabulary was about 10 words: "Blah, blah, blah," "Yes, but," "Yo!" and "Oy!"
I have been moved in ways that I can't express without completely losing it right now. I am very much appreciative of the opportunity to have been her friend and to have let Danielle radiate some of her light on me.
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