I’ve been putting off writing something for quite some time now; not completely understanding why I have been putting it off. I have several theories, one of them includes the difficulty of talking about David. I didn’t know David in the same way as his family and close friends knew him. I showed up to the funeral in a coat and tie. I did however get to know a part of David I think we all knew, that sparkle in his eye. He was very fair and very clear with his boundaries with me straight from the beginning. He told me we were going to do this his way or not at all. He then told me he would not give up sugar and that he didn’t want to ever know how much time he had left. We then made a pact, which I completely and totally respected our entire relationship. Our contract was written in spoken word and a handshake and I knew what that meant. It had been written in stone and I had signed up to keep my end of the bargain. After I had agreed to the terms and later after we had developed trust and honor for one another he invited me into a re-commitment to our relationship. He asked me if I was in it until the end no matter how long it took. I told him I was solid in my commitment; naïvely not knowing the true meaning I would find in our relationship. He then said that we were both in this until the end, communicating that he would do his part to not abandon our quest for healing and then reiterated that he was going to beat this thing. He said we had many years left to work together and that he would recover. I knew he wanted me to live that dream with him and I agreed to live that vision with him as well. I hoped and prayed every day. I did the best I could every time I saw him. I cried many nights towards the end when things started to look abysmal. I was very fond of David. We didn’t talk about too many personal things. However, he treated me like a brother or a best friend. We knew the language each other spoke in so many different ways. We talked a lot about truth, integrity, love, compassion, acceptance, heart centeredness, appreciation, respect, honor, devotion, cannabis, music, old movies, his place in Mexico, his place in the Himalayas... David shared his Heart with me. I was unable to charge him for his last treatment partially because I felt so blessed to have had the opportunity to still be in his life. I’m a bit of a recluse and so those of us who enjoy solitude know just how much it means to have an invitation to come over. David kept the door open for me for a few hours once a week for the last months of his life. He tested me towards the end, I think possibly giving me a way out in case I couldn’t handle the devastation. However, not knowing his intentions I can only say that he closed the door at one point and I had to come knocking to remind him of our pact. He agreed to keep his end of the bargain as well. I was so grateful for our pact, I’m not sure how I could’ve beared grieving over David while not being able to see him. Our last time together was a type of goodbye. I spent about 30 minutes playing with him and joking around. Knowing where his psychological boundaries and buttons were, pushing them in ways in which he was challenged and liked, only the way a brother can tease. He smiled and laughed quite a lot. We were able to summon his stubborn side and toy with it a bit. I spent about 30 minutes listening to him and doing my best not to cry. I spent about 30 minutes massaging his neck, shoulders, back, arms, feet and hands. He showed so much appreciation for my trained hands, it seemed as if he could decipher the expert level of my technique. He seemed to get so much relief from the pain especially around the area of his neck. He gave me this look that only a comfort seeker can give, so much gratitude for the relief. It was quite a reflection of just how much pain he was really in, it must’ve been so unbearable.
David. I will miss you. I want to say to your family and friends that you and Steve and Katyjo continuously inspire me to resist wherever I'm roving at any given time. And the attributes of the Kelly Ann Brown Foundation pretty much describe how I try to live my life. I'm grateful for all the friendship you gave over the years. You are still part of the struggle for social justice and Human rights through me and a lot of others, I am sure . Your friend, Joe Pagano. Anti war veteran
It was a warm, sunny day in Los Angeles, as I was driving up the winding pavement that lead to your home on Mandeville Canyon Road. I was a smiling stranger with red glasses and a red car, as I came to your home for the first time. I was in awe of the trees casting their willowy shadow prints across the gravel. I admired the craftsmanship of the wooden boards carved expressly for your memories. I knocked on the door and your mother, Maria, greeted me. She has a special kindness that penetrates through her eyes and warms your heart with a smile. I was welcomed to come inside and led to the back room where your father, David, enjoyed his days. The golden interior of your home reminded me of the fairy tales I read when I was child. As I walked through, there was a room immediately to the left filled with toys and books. Your mother stated it was “David Miles Playroom”. I poked my head inside the room. In the middle of the play rug, there was a bright red fire truck. She said this was your favorite toy. Your mother had just put you down for a nap, but you were resisting her attempts for peace. I chuckled softly and thought to myself “I can’t wait to meet this kid!” Your mother took me to the room, to meet this whimsical and inviting person, your father David Sr. Your father was a humble, generous and resilient man. He was the strongest individual I had ever met in all my years of travel nursing. He kept a positive mental attitude despite his adversity. He told me every time we met he was playing the long game. He lived his life with one purpose, YOU David Miles. He enjoyed his inside days lounging in the chair next to the wood pane windows that opened to your front yard. He would watch nature through the window, observe the sound of the wind, or the feel of the breeze. His favorite place was the back yard. The lavender bushes attracted big, beautiful butterflies and you would chase them with joyous excitement and open arms. Your father would lie outside on the grass, in the sun, watching your every moment tenderly. His spirit was one with nature and he connected with every beautiful moment. On the first day we met, you were bashful when your mom introduced us. David Miles, you are someone special. You took my breath away when I laid eyes on those sunshine curls that captured the golden twinkle from the sun. In that moment, I saw a young man with the courage to maintain a positive mental attitude as I peered into those liquid blue eyes with the depth of another galaxy. Immediately, I was drawn into your infectious energy. You, David Miles, have a courageous spirit. You are full of life that is gifted to you from pure love by your parents. I was only in your life for a short time but nothing happens by chance or circumstance. The picture I gifted you was painted with glitter. It is a representation of the Sunshine Lion that lays dormant inside YOU. Use this strength and innate courage to conquer the sorrows in your life. I wish you health, wealth and peace of mind on your journey through life. With Love, Ashley “Amazing” Asberry, RN, BSN, CCRN