A Story: Omas and Opas

“One of my favorite nights was when I took Dave to Shea Stadium for a Mets game.  I grew up loving baseball and Dave agreed to go to a MLB game with me.  However, once the game started I realized that Dave knew nothing about baseball.  He was a good sport about it though, and listened patiently as I attempted to explain the rules of the game.  Eventually we ended up just talking during the entire game and got to know one another very well.  I remember his shock when he found out that this seemingly Puerto Rican girl actually called her grandparents “Oma” and “Opa,” and laughing when he observed that I said it with no accent.  Years later, Dave messaged me how he was sorry that my Opa passed away.  I responded telling him about that night at Shea Stadium and how we realized we both had an “Opa.”  That memory of Dave made me laugh a little while I mourned the loss of my grandfather.”

~ Diana V., NYU classmate

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Discussions with Opa back in the day.

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Selfie with Oma

In Memory: 05/27/16

“Dear Officer,
Thank you so much for helping our comeunity all these days. I appreciate that you keep us relley really safe.
your frend,
Charishma”

[Note: that is the best spelling of community I’ve ever seen. Let’s hope this kid is right!]

A Story: Taking the Jump

Dave seemed to have a knack for being memorable even through the briefest of interactions. He truly understood people and could bridge gaps like very few people I know. Here is another example.

First and foremost, I want to express how sorry I am for your loss.  Our thoughts and prayers have been, and will always be with your family, Marta, and those closest to Dave.  Though my fiancee and I didn’t know Dave very long, or very well, I still felt compelled to share a memory of him, because it truly is a testament to his generosity, his character, his love of the job and of Texas.  

My fiancee and I, both born and raised in New York, were told by friends about an opportunity to possibly work and live in Texas.  My fiancee loved the whole idea from the get-go, but being the typical Type A personality that I am, I knew that if I was even going to consider this craziness, I would need to do my research and see all of it first-hand before I made a decision.  Enter Dave.  My fiancee was given his number, and they talked back and forth for several days about the possibilities that Texas presented for us.  As the days went on, I was getting a bit skeptical about this mysterious “Dave” character. 

Eventually after many, many conversations, we decided to fly down to Texas for a few days to check out the area and see it all for ourselves.  Dave and Marta, without ever having met me at all, were more than willing to meet us and show us around. For the few days we were there, they worked around their already busy schedules to show us their favorite spots in the area.  Total Wine was one of the first places Dave told us about (because, priorities).  Babe’s Chicken Dinner House gave us a real Texas feel, and the Shops at Legacy made me see that this wasn’t exactly the rural version of Texas I had envisioned.  They showed us restaurants, shops, apartment complexes, you name it, and when they couldn’t physically be with us, they pointed us in the right direction.  Dave even took my fiancee on a ride along so that he could see first hand what the department was like. I was in awe of their generosity, their kindness, and of Texas. But still, I was hesitant about making a move this big.

On our last day, before we made our way to the airport, Dave took my fiancee and I to TruFire, which was yet another delicious choice.  My fiancee left the table for a moment, and without me having to say a word, Dave called me out on my hesitation.  He asked what was holding me back, and wanted to know what my biggest concern was.  I told him that this was a big risk.  I was afraid I’d miss my family too much, and that taking a jump this big would ultimately end up being a big mistake.  I held my breath a bit, because I knew how Dave felt about Texas, and his decision to move here, and considering he had spent the last few days showing us around,  I was anticipating a little irritation in his response.  I got the opposite.  Dave was considerate and honest.  He told me that he understood my concerns, that they were valid, and that ultimately and obviously it was our decision to make, but that he could guarantee if we took the jump, I wouldn’t regret it.  

Fast forward to now, May of 2016.  I’ve been living in Texas for almost a year and some of my favorite places are still ones that Dave and Marta showed me during our first visit. Our journey here has had its ups and downs, its twists and turns, and it certainly did not turn out like we had originally planned, but what more can be expected of life?  Although my fiancee and I are making our way back to New York next month, I couldn’t be happier with our decision to have moved here.  It is an experience that I am truly grateful for and one I will never forget.

As I reflect back on our time here, I can’t help but think back to our first trip to Texas.  Dave’s love for this place and the possibilities it presented inspired me to push outside of my comfort zone and take a leap of faith, something I don’t often do.  Although we didn’t speak much, and didn’t know each other well, I will always be grateful to have met him.  Ultimately, he was right. I took the jump, and I don’t regret it. 

– Dana F.

A Tribute: A Lifetime of Light

This is final part of a longer note I received from Bryan R. For related posts see: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7.

He was an anomaly. He operated out of the norm at times, yet he always had a reason, and I always had a laugh.  My life is better because I knew him; my life is shattered because I knew him.  However, for every moment in which I think back to March 1st, I have a lifetime of light to break the darkness.

~ Bryan R., NYPD