I think I took this picture the last time we were all at Hayfield. I made Dave put on his goofy hat so that I could take a picture. He was happy enough to ham it up for the camera.
To say that Hayfield was a big part of Dave’s life would be a huge understatement. There were times when he stayed almost every night of the work week for some meeting or activity. He was always so happy when we would join him. Some or all of us attended footballs games, wrestling matches, plays, Broadway nights, car shows, basketball games, the JROTC ball, basket bingo, and college night, to name a few. Dave liked to attend all the different events and see his students in their many talents. I wish I had said yes every time he asked me to meet him. I wish I had just jumped on Fairfax County Parkway and headed south. Kids’ activities, work, and sometimes just general busy-ness got in the way. If I had known our time would be so limited, I would have found a way to do more.
Our family’s favorite restaurant, House of Dynasty, is across the way from Hayfield. Some nights we would meet Dave at school, visit with the animals, goof around in his office and then grab dinner together. It seems like we did this on a semi-regular basis, but I am wishing we had done it a few times more.
Today we went in to pack up his stuff. I think we were all dreading it, and last night I began to have doubts as to whether it was a good idea. As soon as we walked into Dave’s office we were greeted with a table full of goodies left by two of Dave’s favorite Hayfield moms, Heidi and Liz (even if your child graduates you are still a Hayfield mom, right?). Tina and Cheryl, two people Dave was so grateful for and whom he relied on daily, had boxes ready and were happy to help in any way. Some of Dave’s favorite people stopped by to say hello. So, although it was so hard to be there, and I was fighting tears pretty much the entire time, it was good to be there too. Hayfield is such a special place filled with amazing people who are so caring and generous of their time and spirit. It makes sense that Dave was so happy there.
When I spoke to the Washington Post reporter the morning after Dave died, he asked me of what Dave was most proud. In the article he says that Hayfield was Dave’s dream job and that he felt like he was just getting started there. What he left out and what Dave truly was most proud of is the team he put together. With each new hire to the “A Team”, he got more and more energized by the possibilities. He was SO thrilled when these incredible people agreed to come work with him. Thank you Alfonso, Bianca, Chris, Jesse, Matt, Tangy, and Warren for being his Dream Team.
The kids and I look forward to returning to Hayfield sometime in the future as we have plans for some projects there. It will forever have a special place in all of our hearts.