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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

David

My David

by Lois Johnson (a.k.a. MomE)

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.

 
David 2 months old

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