Sunday, November 13, 2011

Did you hear the one about the model rocket enthusiast?

He took off and flew away to heaven.

But before he did, he passed his joy on to so many others.  His love for rockets and, unfortunately, his love for puns have found their way into my heart.  (Luckily for those around me, my ability to create puns is puny at best...)

It seems I've managed to take my longest hiatus from this thing yet... but this time it wasn't just laziness.  On the night of my last blog post, Dave Ward, father of a dear friend of mine, passed away unexpectedly.  I've spent the past few weeks realizing who he was to me: a man who I respected, who I enjoyed interacting with, who I looked up to.  Someone I expected to be hovering with a bad pun or a random thought in response to nearly everything I posted on Facebook.  Someone who was very, very good at making bad puns.  Someone who knew more than I would expect: once, when I complained about the caterwauling coming from Pitzer, he somehow knew about the Grove House and their Friday Night Noise nights (or... you know... music... it's actually been pretty good this year...)

Most of the time I spent with Dave was at the rocket launches he orchestrated for local Boy Scouts (or other groups of kids, I suppose).  I left both launches I helped with suffering from a massive migraine and still feeling extremely excited by his infectious enthusiasm about everything.  I look back and I remember the moments I didn't really notice then: the younger sisters he reached out to, the little girls sitting forlornly in the grass, wondering why they had to come along to yet another of their brother's activities that they couldn't participate in.  The joy on their faces when he asked if they wanted to launch a rocket, and they got to push the button to send one of his own personal (read: large and impressive) rockets into the air.  He knew that all children love rockets, love to launch rockets, even when they're his age.

Now I think of him whenever someone starts to talk about rocket launching.  Whenever Pitzer starts caterwauling.  Whenever someone makes a bad pun.  And I hope he's happy now, joking and launching rockets with his wife in heaven.  I know I can't believe in a heaven without model rockets and puns.