Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Dave!

Today is my brother Dave's birthday. I would tell you how old he is, but then you'd have a clue about my real age and I'm happy to have you believe I'm 29.

I'm so incredibly grateful that Dave is my brother and although I was, at one point, inclined to trade him in for a better model (cut me some slack, I was 4 when I attempted this), I've decided he's a keeper.

When I was in college, Dave built me a loft that was not only strong enough to survive an earthquake, but was one that I would not roll out of because it was considerably wider than the mattress so if I started to roll out (it happened), I would hit the platform first.

For my twenty-first birthday, Dave made me a silver pendant of two people connected and standing next to each other. At first, I thought it was a lovely pendant and was touched that he'd given me a piece of his artwork, but then I discovered that he specifically made this piece for me and wrote a paper about it for his English class. According to his paper, the two people represented us and the bond we share; the way we always took care of each other and the role played in each others lives. I sobbed like a baby when I read these words that, as a 17 year old high school kid, he could not say out loud.

To this day, Dave always carves out a couple of days in the fall to help me get the house ready for winter and whenever he's in town, he generously offers to fix anything I need done. He even gave me a new water heater for my birthday this year. Really. No one else should think that's a good gift to give me, but from Dave, it's perfect. When my neighbor's tree fell on my backyard fence and shed a few years ago in an awful storm, Dave put aside his own plans to move to Michigan and spent an entire day taking down the tree when they refused to do it. He did it so carefully that nothing was damaged and it saved me a ton of money.

Dave motivates me to be better by challenging me to hike Baldy and keep going when I think I won't make it, kayak, and swim to BooHoo. Rather than ever berating me for being slow or needing a break, he shows the patience of Job and always makes me feel great about my accomplishments. No one believes in me and pushes me to step outside my comfort zone the way Dave does.

So go over to Facebook and wish David W. Gardner a very happy birthday. No one deserves a great day like Dave!

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