|Daryl and Me on the right.|
During Easter Vacation of 1972 the town would fill up with revelers and if you did not have a reservation you would be out of luck to get a room. That is the time my acquaintance started with Daryl. He was a Marine, back from Vietnam and stationed at 29 Palms in the high desert north of Palm Springs. He showed up at the counter looking for a room. We had none so I did my best to find him one in town. Unsuccessful, I said I was sorry and he said thanks. Then I thought why not see if the wife would let him come to our place and sleep on the couch? Mary said sure and that is how our friendship began.
I went to visit him a few times over the years and he came here. We kept in contact regularly. Then about a year ago he said he was getting sick and needed tests. Being a vet he went to the VA in Birmingham for a physical and after a bunch of tests he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I knew it was bad. My dad passed away from that terrible disease back in 1982. Dad made it to 62 and the disease ravaged him. Dad weighed about 100 pounds when he went to heaven.
So some time passed and Daryl and I decided I should come to see him and so I did. Daryl picked me up at the airport and he looked like a walking skeleton. His 67 years looked ninety. He has hope though and I encouraged him to do whatever he could to beat this disease. He said he signed up for the new VA care allowing vets to seek out private doctors if they could not get help at their VA Hospital. We drove down to Pensacola, Florida to the VA there so he could arrange a private setup.
The week was tough on Daryl as he has no muscles and is fatigued by simply walking to the bathroom. I did my best to keep a positive attitude while I was there but having need through this with Dad I was in my heart being a realist. Even Dad had hope until the end and I expect that is a human characteristic. It is so difficult to stay positive as the body and mind get ravaged and I was grateful Daryl was as positive about surviving this cancer. I reaffirmed my desire to live each day as if it were my last which keeps me positive.
Anyone out there who has their health and wishes they were dead should rethink all that. We have the gift of life GOD gives us all and we should not ever take it for granted. We are all GOD's creatures and are the only living things we know of in the universe. And we know we are alive so don't squander that gift. The man is so talented as well. He plays the piano, trumpet, and guitar. He sings opera and has an amazing voice. How one man can have all that talent is not fair. Since I can't hold a tune. Daryl is a true believer and he knows he will be with GOD when he moves on. God bless him!
UPDATE August 26, 2018
I was just informed by Daryl's brother Davis that my friend passed away this morning at 5:30 AM He was a believer and I know he is now in heaven along with his folks. John McCain and Daryl were in the military during Vietnam. Daryl was a Marine. God Bless his soul and the soul of Jon McCain. They are chatting about their lives I am sure.