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We will always remember your struggle for justice for those most powerless in the mental health system, David!

Memorial created 08-1-2008 by
David Oaks
David Romprey
August 18 1965 - July 30 2008

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08-18-2008 5:24 PM -- By: Angel,  From:  

Celebrating the life of a fallen soldier on the anniversary of his birth.          &nbs p;     

You will not be forgotten on this day or any day.......

God Bless

 


08-15-2008 11:38 PM -- By: renee,  From:  

god bless you always...

 


08-15-2008 11:37 PM -- By: renee,  From:  

i am so sorry for your recent loss... 


08-13-2008 1:33 PM -- By: Lois Johnson,  From:  

My David, oh My David.  We were planning, setting the date for your anticipated trip to Antioch, California to see us.  Even though I was born and raised in this SF Bay Area, I had never yet toured Alcatraz, and you told me we would have this special “date” together.  The tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type this, Honey.  I was just barely getting around to accepting the awful silence of not ever getting to hear “my Frien Glenn’s” voice, see his emails or hug his neck again – when the chaplain from Salem Hospital called me around 7 pm on July 30, 2008 with the now unbelievable news of your death!
You have suffered and gone through so much, dear David.  Struggling at the “age” of 30 minutes post birth when your heart stopped beating for 3 full minutes.  So much prayer and promises to God went up in the next hours as the doctor came in and out of my recovery room to give his ominous reports (“he won’t live”, then “he will live but will have water on the brain”, and finally, “ruled out first 2 reports – but surely he will have permanent brain damage”.)  Meanwhile your sailor Daddy who had never yet disobeyed a direct order, stood glued to the nursery window as medics flew about trying to revive you and he was ordered to leave the scene. 
Well, you not only grew to be a healthy, robust little guy, but when we returned from Sweden to enter you into an Englewood Colorado grade school the teacher said, “What is he doing in 1st grade” and they advanced you to 2nd.  You were always dubbed “our golden boy” – such a sweet peacemaker! – sandwiched in between rambunctious Glenn (10 ½ months older than you) and petite, utterly adorable Susanna (10 ½ months younger than you).
To my heartbreaking consternation, I was never made fully aware of the awful impact my own unresolved from childhood experiences had upon you, David, until you had become an adult.  Much too late!  That, coupled with your having to battle the inherited mental illness, seems more than is possible to bear.  But David, you were blessed to be surrounded with the love and support of the beautiful people (many if not all who are included in this Guestbook).  YOU found the way to work through the past – and the joy of our reconciliation filled each of us with anticipation and excitement for our future.
Your last precious email to me, written on July 30, you chuckled about how “yeah, we’re doing great – let’s avoid those potholes”  (Politics was now the only shaky ground topic between us)  I will forever miss your calling me MomE.  That big “E” was the sign that you and I were doing great!!!  And when you wanted me to know how OK we were, you’d call me “MomEEEEEEE”.
I am so very proud of you.  Today I left a phone message at Englewood High School.  I will speak with Mrs. Gibson, your Journalism teacher who absolutely adored you and saw you win many awards for your already amazing command of the English language. 
We have to go on, David.  We will.  I’ll see you later, Honey!  MomE.

Even when walking through the dark valley of death, You are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.
Psalms 23:4
 
 
 


08-13-2008 11:15 AM -- By: Lois Johnson,  From: Antioch, California  

 

My David, oh My David.  We were planning, setting the date for your anticipated trip to Antioch, California to see us.  Even though I was born and raised in this SF Bay Area, I had never yet toured Alcatraz, and you told me we would have this special “date” together.  The tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type this, Honey.  I was just barely getting around to accepting the awful silence of not ever getting to hear “my Frien Glenn’s” voice, see his emails or hug his neck again – when the chaplain from Salem Hospital called me around 7 pm on July 30, 2008 with the now unbelievable news of your death!

You have suffered and gone through so much, dear David.  Struggling at the “age” of 30 minutes post birth when your heart stopped beating for 3 full minutes.  So much prayer and promises to God went up in the next hours as the doctor came in and out of my recovery room to give his ominous reports (“he won’t live”, then “he will live but will have water on the brain”, and finally, “ruled out first 2 reports – but surely he will have permanent brain damage”.)  Meanwhile your sailor Daddy who had never yet disobeyed a direct order, stood glued to the nursery window as medics flew about trying to  revive you and he was ordered to leave the scene. 

Well, you not only grew to be a healthy, robust little guy, but when we returned from Sweden to enter you into an Englewood Colorado grade school the teacher said, “what is he doing in 1st grade” and they advanced you to 2nd.  You were always dubbed “our golden boy” – such a sweet peacemaker! – sandwiched in between rambunctious Glenn (10 ½ months older than you) and petite, utterly adorable Susanna (10 ½ months younger than you).

To my heartbreaking consternation, I was never made fully aware of the awful impact my own unresolved from childhood experiences had upon you, David, until you had become an adult.  Much too late!  That, coupled with your having to battle the inherited mental illness, seems more than is possible to bear.  But David, you were blessed to be surrounded with the love and support of the beautiful people (many if not all who are included in this Guestbook).  YOU found the way to work through the past – and the joy of our reconciliation  filled each of us with anticipation and excitement for our future.

Your last precious email to me, written on July 30, you chuckled about how “yeah, we’re doing great – let’s avoid those potholes”  (Politics was now the only shaky ground topic between us)  I will forever miss your calling me MomE.  That big “E” was the sign that you and I were doing great!!!  And when you wanted me to know how OK we were, you’d call me “MomEEEEEEE”.

I am so very proud of you.  Today I left a phone message at Englewood High School.  I will speak with Mrs. Gibson, your Journalism teacher who absolutely adored you and saw you win many awards for your already amazing command of the English language. 

We have to go on, David.  We will.  I’ll see you later, Honey!  MomE.

 

 


08-12-2008 6:49 PM -- By: Jacob,  From:  

David was a great friend and I will never forget Him. Hope to see Him again someday soon.He will be missed. 


08-12-2008 6:26 PM -- By: One of many,  From:  

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.  Kahlil Gibran


08-11-2008 10:44 PM -- By: Maggie Bennington-Davis,  From: Portland  

David was a most amazing teacher. He found the best in everyone - and was an advocate for everyone... even me on occasion. I don't have the right words, so I'll borrow this quote which reminds me of David: "Burn to be great, Pay not thy praise to lofty things alone. The plains are everlsting as the hills; the ard cannot have two pursuits; aught else Comes on the mind with the like shock as if two worlds hav gone to war, and met in air." (Philip James Bailey). David was one of the best well-read people in my life - we loved exchanging pertinent quotes. I'll sign off with one he once sent to me, from George Eliot: "No great deed is done By falterers who ask for certainty".

thanks, David, for oh so much. Best, Maggie

08-10-2008 8:08 PM -- By: Marliese,  From: Portland  

Dear David,

The girls and I are really missing you.  We love telling each other fun stories about you and Maxwell and Courage.

We cherish you. 

Love, Always,

Marliese, Jasmin and Cecilia


08-09-2008 5:42 PM -- By: Marxist Mama,  From:  

Hey Maestro,

You and Alexander Solzhenitsyn must be having a ball wherever you are:  you asking him about his fourth book of the Gulag--"the Soul and Barbed Wire"---- he as curious about your State Hospital "Gulag".  I couldn't help thinking how similar your eloquence and how fitting that you two left the world in such close time together.  I'll miss you  much more than Alexander, but I thought you would appreciate the following I found from one of his essays:

    

  "The Decline in Courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days.  The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party.  Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society.  Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable as well as intellectually and even morally warranted it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice.  And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and weak counties, not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance.  But they get tongue tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerul governments and theratening forces., with aggressors and international terrorists..."

If there is anyone I know who knew you knew the meaning of courage, it's you Romprey. 

Thank you for raising the bar for all of us and reminding us that Courage can be as simple as a smile, a hug  a prayer and  a forever open heartand that courage is forever persistant and can only build bridges where none imagined them:  between people, between cultures, class, ideas of God, and ideas in general.  I learned so much from you, Thank YOU!

My beneficient friend, mmmkaiy?

M


08-09-2008 2:19 PM -- By: Jacque Greenleaf,  From: now: Klickitat then: Salem  

I'm checking email in the Coffee House Cafe before driving back home. I have the hardest time accepting that David will not be bouncing through the door to ask me a provocative question just to hear what I have to say, or to talk about his work, or to tell me about the latest development in his love life.

David was unique, funny, exasperating. He faced his problems with humor and courage, and was  alive to the moment. I'm glad I knew him.


08-09-2008 3:08 AM -- By: Patty Starkey,  From: Salem, Oregon  

 Dear David, 

Thank you for taking me out on my B'day and trying to make the day special for me. How were we to know that within an hour you would go home to glory! You knew I was having a hard time and I didn't even share that it was my B'day until fairly late into the day but you scrambled within your other plans to make something happen for me. Replete with appropriate card and gift--you were the kindest of friends....I didn't know that when you walked out of the Brownstowne (on my birthday), that I would never see you again. I have shed many a tear.....You were always there for me and I hope I was there for you. 

My memory of you is a cherished one and you know what? You have brought  a lot of very unique and special people together in your name. Thank you for attracting and loving some most excellent people who are now my friends.

Love,

Patty


08-08-2008 11:55 PM -- By: Miss Brittania,  From:  

"Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend we will meet again...." James Blunt


08-08-2008 10:56 PM -- By: Her Majesty,  From:  

is calling, to say I love and miss you

xxx


08-08-2008 10:52 PM -- By: Long Tall Woman in a Black Dress,  From:  

"Mr America"

Looking forward to seeing the way we talked about ..."Two  people  just meeting barely touching each other, two spirits greeting trying to carry the other......."

I love you. x


08-08-2008 10:07 PM -- By: The Office Girl,  From:  

My darling, I have just read these  words you wrote to me and  hope they offer some comfort to all your friends and loved ones

 "THOUGH NO ONE CAN GO BACK AND MAKE A BRAND NEW START,
ANYONE CAN START FROM NOW AND MAKE A BRAND NEW ENDING."

The Office Girl

x

 


08-08-2008 6:17 PM -- By: Yana L Pichardo,  From: Salem  

David, I can't stop crying lately.  I miss you.  I wish that you were still around. I wish God would have given me more time to expand my own mind......so that into your nineties, I would have been able to absorb more of your intensity.

You had no problem, when you were alive with me crying.  You always defended me.  I cried as I talked to you many times while you were on this earth. When everyone around me said the most appropriate thing was or is to shut up and look normal...you let me cry and be angry.  you never were shocked or judgemental of anything I said. You told me my boyfriends were mean and stupid. you agreed that my sisters were jealous brats. you said I was beautiful and you never ever would have even thought that I was crazy.

You saw thru everyone's crap.  Their egotistical controlling patterns.  Who cares if you went overboard sometimes.  we all miss you now.....nobody has a thing to say against u, now that you have gone to be with Jesus.  I miss you so much.  I'm so sorry I yelled at you two weeks ago. 

  You saw things like i see them.....you saw straight, fast lines to getting things done the right way.  How can I find the courage to speak up diplomatically against people who see nothing but a wild crazy girl in me, even though I am right.

 You were one of the only people I know who was crazier than me.  What do I have to do now?  How can I find enough strength and bravery to be to younger people struggling with mental health issues what you were to me.  

I feel alone without you around.  A lone unique, artistic, successful creature that few people understand. 

David, stay close to us in our hearts, in our decisions.  tell those around me to stop telling me what to do just because they think they can.  I am after all right, you always said.  I am grateful that we were close. You always defended me. 

The most wonderful thing that I can do to honor your life is defend the youth that are like us, innovative, bright, brave, so loving, and so driven.

always, Yana Pichardo.


08-08-2008 2:20 PM -- By: Jan Lacy,  From: Portland  

I met David this past April at a PSU workshop with Dr. Dan Fisher. His dedication and empathy for the need and mission of advocacy uplifted us all and inspired hope. That memory shall never go away. I consider myself so fortunate to have this memory of this very special individual.


08-08-2008 11:37 AM -- By: Stephen Kliewer,  From: Wallowa County  

I have no pictures of David

But I can picture David well as he bounced into Wallowa County to meet with and encourage people in our county struggling with mental illness.

There is a wonderful poem by a person called Flavia.  She notes "Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some poeple come into our lives, stay a whle, and leave footprints in our hearts and we are never the same"

David definitely left footprints.  Those of us at Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness are thankful for the footprints. We are thankful for the way David encouraged us and challenged us.  For the way he energized and motivated.  We will remember serious talks, and fun times eating and just enjoying one another.

Peace brother !

Peace.

We are not the same for your passing our way!


08-08-2008 11:19 AM -- By: Christine Woods,  From: Hampton, VA  

A challenge to our balance - momentum extraordinair - beauty exemplified, - courage and care.  Outrageous and fun, all man on the run.   Dance freely in celebration of the beauty you created - paving new paths towards justice - sharing your gifts along the way.  We are all blessed to have held your hand - been challenged with your engaging eyes and powerful presence.    We will keep your spirit and your work alive and welcome your continued presence in our lives.  Missing you though...

Much Love,

Chris


08-07-2008 11:59 PM -- By: Silver Sage Consumer Group,  From: Ontario, Oregon  

To the family, our sincere condolences.

To the mental health community, let us honor David with our dedication to recovery.

To all, Peace.


08-07-2008 4:07 PM -- By: G. L. Jordan,  From:  

 

Dear David...

"YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE"

and may God bless you until we meet again...

Gary


08-07-2008 3:57 PM -- By: Kathleen Burns,  From: Portland  

I had the privilege of knowing David only briefly.  We worked together on the Wellness Initiative at Addictions and Mental Health (state office where I work).  This is a prayer (from the book LIfe Prayers by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon, 1996) in his memory:

Not for me steel coffins

Nor even a pinewood box.

Lay me out in the wilderness

And let me return to the Earth.

Tear my flesh, coyote

And I will run with you

over the plains.

Take my eyes, eagle

And I will soar with you

In the mountains.

Pick my bones clean, little beetles

And I will flow back

Into the lifestream

To think like a mountain

And sing like a river.       --Mary de La Vallette

 


08-07-2008 2:30 PM -- By: Terry Faler,  From: Corvallis, OR  

     Our fledgling MH Peer Support and advocacy programs here in Benton Co. will be missing one of our State role models.  BCMH Peer Wellness Coordinator Meghan Caughey, as David's friend, was inspired by his passionate activism.  I only met him a few times but also read some of his online letters to the MH "consumer" community and was impressed by his eloquence and heart.  Farewell, mentor to many!   Terry Faler,  Benton Co. MH Peer Counselor and advocate, and VP of B.E.A.R.S.


08-07-2008 1:45 AM -- By: Denise M. Dion,  From: The Dalles  

I will miss David's passion and committment, I will miss his deep tenderness and willingness to reach out with a warm embrace, I will miss his humor and his beautiful smile. But I am stronger and braver and wiser because he is a part of my life. I will always hold him in my heart.


08-06-2008 11:27 PM -- By: Kirsten Swanson,  From: Salem, OR  

I didn't know David very long, but we became fast email buddies... What can I say? David, you are missed, man!!!


08-06-2008 8:50 PM -- By: Steve Silver (Stuckey),  From:  

I have known this young man for since the day he walked out of the hospitol as a patient.  I have watched over the years as he labors to help those who were left behind there.  i have been blessed over the years watching him further his education and do many things others have said he would be unable to do.  Tho the years have taken our lives in different directions,  I would continue to encounter him and always his pleasantness was evident.  He is one of those rare individuals who left an impression on everyone he met


08-06-2008 7:40 PM -- By: Michael Hlebechuk,  From: Portland, Oregon  

David,

I don't want to say goodbye. I don't want to march on without you. I want you here, with us, as we work toward a better day for people who need hope; who need to know that they can recover from this thing some call mental illness. I want you here to continue the heroic work we have seen come from your tireless efforts and persistent drive. I don't want to say goodbye. And I won't. You live on in each of us who shares the vision you painted so well in words and deeds.

I don't want to say goodbye to you, a dear friend and confident. I can't bear to think that you will not be there when I need your support, your friendship and your love. So, I won't say goodbye. I'll listen to your words of encouragement gently resting in my soul, knowing that you live on.

You marched through life as a lightening rod, a warrior, a prince, a knight, an advocate, a friend, a man of strategy, a kind soul, a tenacious fighter, a soft touch. What forged you into this incredible mix of strengths we may never fully understand. Was it being locked on a state ward? Was an ever-so-timely visit from Garrett Smith? Was it your upbringing; the influence of your mother, your father, your brother, you son, your daughter, the loves of your life? Was it witnessing the injustice of the oppressed? Was it being oppressed? We may never know. But thank God Almighty that the fire that burned inside you was lit, because you started a multitude of fires that burn in unison within many souls here in Oregon, in Louisiana, in Boston, and elsewhere. Together, these fires burn to light a path to set the captives free.

I miss you my brother. But I cannot say goodbye. Not out of denial. Rather, out of knowing that you shall never truly leave us. Your work, and your spirit, will live on.

Your friend,

 Mike


08-06-2008 1:30 PM -- By: Sid Friedman,  From:  

David,

It's hard to believe we'll never see you again, have a beer together, take a hike, argue, solve life's problems, sit in the sun and enjoy the moment.  I'll miss you.

Here's a poem David wrote and e-mailed me about a year ago.

Father’s Day for Kentucky Fried Sinners
(Dedicated to the Army Reserve families of Bowling Green)

 
Love your dad, take to lunch
The desperate, quiet, family munch.
Appreciate while gullets down
Saturation fats, chunky words - for
Biggest American Dad around.
Honor father, you scrawny son!
He’d kill a Muslim in wartime fun.
Praise God in Heaven -
Sent His Son
Sheep tribe slaying, for everyone
Tortured begotten boy on cross -
Pass the coleslaw, thanks -
He’d kill you too for God his boss.
Dads just do what their dads say “do”:
Bowling Green, your president’s callin’ you.
Wipe chicken grease off your face,
It’s America Big, and it’s Daddy’s place.

by David

Romprey
Poems From Severe and Persistent Mental Illness

08-06-2008 12:38 PM -- By: Denver D. Nobles Jr.,  From: Lafayette,La.  

Without you my well traveled brother,this journey will continue like no other,as old as I am and young as you are,there is no doubt about where you are,please remember we know what you have done,with that being said you are the one,with our hearts we give you up,not knowing this would be just our luck.  Denver Nobles 


 

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