Sunday, January 27, 2008

David Coyle, 1945-2007

Today my family is hosting a memorial of sorts for David Coyle. He was my sister's ex-husband, father to Mercedes and Seamus, surrogate father to Sean, and a perpetual thorn in all of our sides from time to time over the thirty-plus years I've known him. His energy and strength was legendary, and, when used for good works, were awesome gifts. If anyone had car trouble or appliances that refused to behave properly, he was your go-to guy. A natural clown, I remember him entertaining the kids with his goofy demeanor and Howdy Doody-like countenance, encouraging them to be daring and silly with him. He smoked too much, had a fondness for meat and potatoes in all forms, and had too close a relationship with drugs and alcohol than was good for him. It was a relationship that fueled an explosive and sometimes unpredictable temper. At the same time, there existed in him a tenderness for animals, kids, and the old or downtrodden.
Dave was a paradox; a guy who could fix practically anything that was broken, but ultimately couldn't deal with the demons that plagued him his whole life. All those contradictions aside, we'll miss him. He was, in the end, a good guy who enriched our lives in ways some of us didn't really understand until it was too late to let him know.

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