Saturday, September 12, 2009

Things I Remember that Daniel Loved

We are nearing the season in which Daniel (and my Dad) passed to spirit almost one year year ago. The major medical center who sent the helicopter to help Daniel has invited our family to a memorial service where he, and other children who passed this year will be remembered again. It's a sweet sentiment, as if any of us have forgotten the child who is no longer breathing under our rooves, for even a moment.
It is in the spirit of this remembrance that I have thought I might list a few of Daniel's favorite things. As I list I am taken by how full a life he really had in 12 1/2 short years.


I will mix both past and present tense here, as appropriate, because some things
are likely to have changed, now that he has been freed from the flesh suit we inhabit, and some things are likely still to be true where he is now.

1. Days in which the entire family is home.
2. Our dogs Jake, Susan, Sally, Spook, Alvin, Angus, Roisin (pronounced Ro-sheen),
Jared, Benjamin, Mark, Albert, and Daisy. Many of them were adopted as older dogs and many have passed during Daniel's lifetime.
3. Our rabbits, chickens and our ducks on the farm, who were too numerous to mention by name, but who are very special to him.
4. Daniel loves computers, particularly laptops. He likes wifi, and a variety of gaming software.
5. He likes books and had a wide variety of reading materials.
6 Since about three, he has liked at "Dairy Queen" styled vanilla cone with "a chocolate forcefield".
7. He loves a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings but without sugar because his sister is diabetic. He loves pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
8. Daniel loves a particular cat named MacIntosh, who attended his "Celebration of Life" just after his passing.
9. Daniel loves going for a walk on the farm with his sister. He could walk for miles.
10, He likes outings with his family, particularly with one or two of us at a time.
11.He liked to pray before a meal, even at McDonalds.
12. He believed in modesty, for him, and for everyone else, including young women in midriff tops !
13. He loved creating animations and power point presentations on his computer.
He was exceedingly gifted in the creation and formulation of animations.
Even at 12 1/2, he was planning to attend Virginia Commonwealth Universities
"Kinetic Studies" department which is part of their highly rated art program.
He intended to attend college early.
14. He enjoyed homeschooling and was exceeedingly bright and accomplished academically.
15. He enjoys political discussion with Congressmen. He gave Eric Cantor something to think about when Daniel opposed 70 billion dollars to save what Daniel considered "poorly run banking institutions which deserve to fail" in September 2008.
16. Daniel loved homeschooling social gatherings such as barbecues, Field Days, and Harvest Festivals, even if he were the youngest there.
17. Daniel liked softtoys which resembled real animals. (Yes, I listed it in the past tense sweetie)
18. He looked forward to college and life afterward.
19. He loves God and had an uncanny acceptance of whatever God would bring to him.
20, He loved comfortable shoes, and an occasional suit, and looked fantastic in a suit with a tie.
21. He loved the Celtic Festival.
22. He loved to go to Panera with his laptop, have the bacon turkey bravo sandwich with the "You Pick Two" special, along with the brocolli and cheddar soup.
23. Daniel loved to create amusing songs to tunes that were familiar to us all. He had us in stitches a lot of the time. He had a tremendous drole sense of humor.
24. His favorite television programs included "A Bit of Fry and Laurie", the four season British comedy series which showcased the talents of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. He liked Tia Carrere and Relic Hunter series. He enjoyed Airwolf. He also liked "Monarch of the Glen" the BBC longrunning series about a Scottish family who lived in a castle in a fictional place called Glenbogle. (In real life it was filmed in Lagganmore and environs in Inverness Shire, in the Scottish Highlands) He also considered "Family Guy" and "Southpark" to be both vulgar but in his words, "superior satire".
25. He liked soda, particularly name brand cola. This was a longstanding concern as we thought this was not good for his teeth, so we limited it as we could.
26. He liked playing volleyball with his siblings, soccer and foxtail (ball with a tail that glides) on special occasions. He liked to play ball with our Golden Retriever Benjamin.
27. He loved our annual Easter Egg Hunt in the front yard, especially after I stopped using wrapped candy in plastic eggs and started using quarters after the older kids went to college.
28. He loves my father who passed before him. I remember the last visit
with Daniel to the ICU before my Dad passed. I remember how upset Dan was
and how he hugged me. Now, they are free to spend as much time as they can
29. Dan loved homemade oatmeal raisin cookies, particularly the flourless recipe.
30. Daniel liked our casseroles which had whole grain pasta, chicken, cheese, and chopped chives, carrots, and herbs grown in our garden.
31. He liked chilled water with ice from home.
32. He liked running and sliding on the oak floors in stocking feet.

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