The Suburbanite
  • Life more meaningful with laughter, smiles

  • Life is to be celebrated. It’s too short to do anything else.

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  • He was as passionate and positive as anybody you’ll ever meet.
    For him, the glass is half-full even when it’s empty. If you had a dollar for every time he smiled or laughed during the two hours we spent together several weeks ago, you could treat you and all of your friends to a nice dinner.
    I don’t remember his name, but I remember him. He was a joy, the kind of person who makes you feel better about pretty much everything.
    At one point, he just shook his head and smiled.
    “Everybody’s so uptight,” he said. “Life’s too short to do that. For goodness sakes, laugh a little bit.”
    My late father was like that, too.
    “There a lot of times in life when you can either laugh or cry, and it’s a whole lot easier to laugh,” he would say.
    I never really understood what my dad was saying way back when. Now that I’m almost as old as he was when he died I know exactly what he was saying.
    And he was right on point.
    I thought of all of this recently when I got the news that longtime New Franklin resident Dave Calvert passed away. Just two months short of his 58th birthday, he died of an apparent heart attack while sitting in his easy chair watching TV late one Friday night at home.
    His death stunned the people who knew him and they packed the House of Eberhardt Funeral Hom to pay their respects.
    The guy seemed bigger than life. That such a person is no longer here still doesn’t seem real.
    Dave was on the same wavelength as the man I met recently. He believed in laughing – long and hard, whenever and wherever. When you ran across him, you knew he was going to crack a joke, smile and say something funny.
    God bless him for doing that; God bless everybody who does that.
    We are in crabby moods way too often. For whatever the reason, we sweat bullets over the small stuff.
    And the big stuff? Well, that’s the apocalypse. It’s catastrophic. It’s going to swallow us up.
    Oh, woe is us.
    Dave didn’t live a problem-free life. He had things that ate at him, bothered him and kept him up at night. But he made a conscious decision not to let it get the best of him. He wasn’t minimizing his problems when he tackled them with humor.
    When he laughed it made you laugh. That was medcine for the soul. It was a chance to exhale and breathe easy. His laug gave you reason to wonder, “Is this thing that’s bothering me really as bad as I’m making it out to be?”
    Page 2 of 2 - As Sgt. Hulka said in droll fashion in the movie, Stripes, “Lighten up, Francis.”
    Yeah, lighten up.
    There are all kinds of people such as Dave Calvert in our communities. They quietly go about their business without any fanfare. They don’t stick their chests out proclaiming they’re going to do this or that.
    But when the time comes to make a positive contribution they roll up their sleeves, jump in with both feet and get to work.
    Nobody ever asked Dave to do his magic. He just did it. It was who he was. He dealt with life with a grin and a wink.
    He never took a dime for it.
    It was what Dave knew best, and it was his way of giving back.
    As Dave made clear to us, life is to be celebrated. It’s too short to do anything else.
    Though he didn’t live nearly long enough, he lived a full life, and a meaningful one. His impact was felt. And it should continue to be.

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