“1988, that was the year I was born!” Eight little words, a short sentence spoken with no malice and my heart and emotions were immediately hijacked. Fighting back tears, I told the technician who came to fix a leak under my sink about my David who also was born in 1988. I’m sure the young man was a little startled by my emotion.
The conversation started by him asking about the blue Yankee stadium chairs he saw as he entered our lanai. David was a true Yankee fan. Before he died one of our dear friends blessed us with a trip to New York to see the Yankees play. They gave us tickets, a limo, a hotel, tickets to see The Lion King, and money to tip everyone generously. It was a memory maker for the Pfohl family. David died in 2009, the year the Yankees won the World Series. One night after David’s funeral I was watching the Yankees play the Philadelphia Phillies, both teams battling for the championship, and the door bell rang. The family who blessed us with our “Make a Wish” Yankee trip were standing there with two blue Yankee stadium chairs from the old stadium. They said, “We are not staying, but we wanted you to have this as a way to remember David.” We hugged, cried, and they left. On each chair there is a brass plaque. The first one says,
“The day God gave you David – November 2, 1988, The day God gave David eternity – October 22, 2009 Love, The Kunz Family”
As I read David’s birth date to the technician, he said, “1988, that was the year I was born!” Standing before me was a young man who was the age of my son if he had lived. He was married, had a child with one on the way, loved his family, was a great technician, and openly shared about his love for God. I told Brenda later that I wanted to call him up and tell him I wanted to adopt him and his family. My mind was running a million miles an hour wondering what David would have looked like, what he would have been doing, would he be married, would we have more grandchildren, where he would be living, and how he was changing the world. I missed him. I longed to hold him. Once again I felt ripped off, a little angry.
Later that day I went to look at the Yankee chairs and reread the second plaque that says,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7”
This was the verse my friend and pastor, Doug Bullock preached from at David’s funeral. David lived his short life well with its many challenges. David lived every day God had ordained for him. Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” His faith, child-like yet deep, motivated us to keep trusting and believing in a good God when we struggled to do so. I still miss him! I still feel a little ripped off. But I am thankful that David’s life and influence lives on.
If you ever come to visit us in Florida, I hope you take a few minutes to sit in our blue Yankee stadium chairs and listen to a few stories about my son David who was born in 1988!