Thursday, September 11, 2008

The good ones always die young.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. Had 8 hours of sleep, which is very unusual for me as I suffer from insomnia. So, I felt today was going to be a great one until I got a phone call at 7:20 in the morning. The phone call was to give me the bad news that an old friend had tragically died in a freak accident. The friend was Gilbert Danz. He died when a support scaffolding broke and crushed him, killing him instantly. He was on the I-75/Ambassador Bridge project.

Gilbert was the kind of guy that would do anything for you. His heart was bigger than most. I worked with him at Mushin Karate dojo for years. We both taught martial arts. He also worked at the Home Depot with me. He helped me and my dad build the deck on my parent’s house one summer. I remember when we had Karate camp in the summer we used to all get cases of beer and get completely wasted then have to teach in the hot sun all the next day. It was worth it, getting drunk having fun with your friends. That was the best times, just hanging out.

Gilbert always was looking for something that would ground him; you know something that would make him happy. He had this ugly green car, I think it was a Fury or something. He sunk every dollar he had into that thing. It wasn’t worth the money he put into it, but to him it was. He talked about going into the military then the Coast Guard and this that and the other. He was always searching for something.

Then I saw him one day hand he said he had a job in construction and he seemed really happy. I think it was the brotherhood he was looking for that made him happy. Then about a year later I bumped into him when he and his wife were shopping with their first child. The look of joy on his face was a look I had never seen before. He was for the first time, genuinely happy. It was his wife and 3 kids that made him proud and smile the most, he was a family man and he loved it.
So the world has lost a friend, a teacher, a husband, a brother and a father. He was only 29 and left a wife, 3 kids, siblings and a whole lot of friends and people who loved him. Gil, you will be greatly missed.

Miss you already bro. :-(