Friday, July 22, 2011

For Everyman

This will be the fifth time I have tried to write a blog about Dave Baton. As others have said, we were not very good friends, but strangely I have had several heavy conversations with him. We shared a love for cycling, we both did low voltage stereo wiring, and we were both Fathers trying to raise sons. We talked a lot about the challenges of raising boys, of when to be heavy handed and when to do nothing (by far the biggest challenge all fathers face). I always seemed to run into him when he was on a peak or deep in a valley, and as such, our talks were weighted with the problems of life.

In the last few years he had really seemed to be in a good place. I never saw him without Jake in tow. If he was with Jake he was smiling, because seeing your kid do what you love, is one of life's great gifts.

After all my health issues, he followed my Facebook page and always seemed to know what was up with me. He had a blunt sense of humor and once asked me point blank if, I was going to live. I howled with laughter, for one of first times since I was out of the hospital. He was my kind of dude. I have a weakness for people that are incapable of bullshit and Dave was the king of that mentality. Some people are put off by that and it's not fun to be on the receiving end, but I always dug his intensity and honesty. The more blunt he was with people the more he made me laugh. That was just Dave.

I can't accurately comment on his life, or what it was like to be his friend, but I can say this: I was always happy to see him, and he was always seemed happy to see me. On the last Munson Monday ride, I extended my hand to him and said "there he is the legend!" He smiled, stuck out his hand and said: "I always read about your rides on Facebook, now I'm finally on one." He was proud to tell us all that Jake had been riding well. He never stopped smiling the whole time we talked.

The next day he was gone. When I found out Jake was with him when he died, my heart broke. I just can't imagine how much that little guy is hurting. I wish I could do something grand for Dave's memory and for Jake, but the hell of it is, we are helpless, except to begin the grieving.

Tuesday night my son and I saddled up and rode from our house, an hour after getting the news. Every time a car went by my shoulders hunched. We had to ride, it was literally all we could do. Had it been one of us, Dave probably would have raised hell when he heard the news, but I promise you, he would still ride.

See you at the finish bro.



Human Wrecking Ball said...

Sorry about deleting the blog with your comment Sister Moon, I couldn't get it right, I'm not sure I ever will.

Ms. Moon said...

Darling- All you can do is all you can do. Love you...M

nicol said...

It was written beautifully. I am sorry about this loss in your community. I have to admit, I thought of this person I've been reading about on many of the Tally blogs, as I rode last night. It is so sad-especially hearing that he was with his son when it happened. Ugh.

mungam said...

yes, helpless is exactly it, yet this helps.