A couple summers ago I went to watch Meriah’s energy-packed, incredibly intelligent kids.
For a while, I hadn’t met Dana, the man of the land, and when I heard he was arriving and that I’d be meeting him, I was very anxious about making a good impression and establishing trust, as I was taking care of his neice and nephews, and I didn’t want my ass kicked off the incredibly beautiful land!
Before I knew it, I was driving back down to Vallejo (a considerably long drive) to bring my sister up north. What might have been a total of 13-14 hours of awkward small talk turned out to be the most uplifting of my life.
He openly discussed all aspects of life and love, happily listened and discussed with me my questions, fears, hopes and dreams with me, all the while listening to his music of choice; slow, usually romantic music with encapturing vocals. He had even met my boyfriend at the time and welcomed him onto his land for a visit; and warned me that if I wanted to travel I ought to find a new boyfriend!
It was hilarious but also very sincere.
Having broken up a couple years ago, my ex still saw the news of his passing and needed to contact me; and extend his apologies for everyone’s loss, and mention that he was a great man: but he was wrong. I lost nothing in meeting and getting to know Dana.
Dana was someone that reminded me that good men, good fathers with loving open hearts and minds existed. He showed me what it meant to live and love, regardless of my nihilistic, cynical outlook on life at the young age of 18, which was a gem I could never receive from anyone I knew, even my own father.
I feel so lucky to have met him and stay on his farm with his family that I could never regard his memory as a loss. Because he sure raised hell and heaven with his presence, asking only for honesty and genuinity from those he knew.
Having touched so many hearts and being the open minded, happy person he was, I can honestly say for once that he’ll always be a presence in my heart and mind, no matter what shitty things life throws at me. He’s been the greatest inspiration and friend to me, so much so that even though I hadn’t seen him for a long time, his laughter and character remain constantly in my memory.
I’m not religious at all, but his existence is so divine, so true, that he will ALWAYS live on in our hearts and minds.
His voice will always resound in our heads, saying that we’ve got work to do, and to stop sitting around sulking on our asses while we have the time and opportunity to make something bigger with our lives!! I thank the entire universe for the privilege of meeting such a Godly man, being a godless child.
He’ll never, ever leave anyone’s heart or mind, whether you were a long time friend or you simply passed him by on the street.