March 4, 2016

Daren Should Be Turning 30 Today

I could have seen him having a wild and borderline crazy night tonight to celebrate his 30th. The kind full of lots of laughter and booze and stories for years to come. The types of stories we do get to remember from the almost 25 years we got with him. My sister made a comment that she "loves the memories she has of him" and I think everyone who knew he could agree with that. Daren was just fun. He was goofy and childish and thoughtful and wonderful and we just miss him.

Last night as I was snuggling with Finn we talked about how we would go out to eat for Uncle Daren's birthday. The conversation went like this:

Me: I wish you could have met Uncle Daren. I think you would have really liked him.
Finn: But I like Cale the most, I miss him.
Me: Yeah, I miss them both.
Finn: How did Uncle Daren die?
Me: Well, he was fighting bad guys and there was an explosion and he got hurt.
Finn: He got hurt and he died?
Me: That's right.
Finn: He was fighting bad guys? Is Uncle Daren a Superhero?
Me: Sort of sweetie, he's our hero.
Finn: But I should fight the bad guys because I have powers and he didn't have my powers so I should just fight the bad guys.

. . . . . . .

On the way to dinner tonight Finn said, "We should get balloons and send them up to the sky, way, way up to Uncle Daren." But lest you think he's nothing but sweet two nights ago he said, "we can make Uncle Daren a birthday pie and then eat it ALL because he died!" Miles and I couldn't stop laughing. He said it in a way to suggest that because Daren died we would all get more pie! It was so messed up, yet sorta sweet, but mostly just really, really funny.

Daren's favorite meal has been remembered to have been chicken fingers. I'm not sure if this was his favorite meal as a child, but wouldn't have been surprised if it was also a favorite into his adult years. Nonetheless, we all seem to eat chicken fingers on his birthday, drink a beer, and give him a toast. We had dinner with some good friends tonight who brought some delicious cupcakes for an after dinner birthday treat. Mary took it very seriously.

. . . . . .

Our good friend Kyle is currently teaching at West Point. Kyle, who also has a birthday today, took his four year old son out to visit Daren. He left him a beer and slice of cake (in the picture above) and sent us this video. 

Means a lot to have these friends who help remember and celebrate him. I hope he's feeling our love today on his 30th birthday.


  1. Caroline. You have the most wonderful friends. Your friend went to Daren's grave and left a cupcake and beer? Honestly, I don't even know why, but that has my heart doing crazy flutters. What a selfless, wonderful act. I seriously have chills.

    Finn and Benjamin have similar sweet (yet punk) comments about deceased family. It's so sweet, and yet, you can totally see why these little people were born inherently evil. ;)

    Dinner with friends for chicken fingers and cupcakes sounds like a wonderful tradition for Daren's birthday. Also, Michelle and her husband are ADORABLE.

    Happy Birthday, Daren.

  2. I'm glad you can laugh and share Daren's big 30th birthday together. I wish so much that he was reveling in it himself, on earth. xoxo

  3. Happy Birthday Daren. I think that was the most fabulous thing his friends did. Just amazing.

  4. I came back to watch the video and I'm so glad I did. What incredible friends. It's so special to see the kids so involved, too. Daren really must have felt all the love (and it sounds like he definitely would've joined in the laughter!).