About David’s “LIST”

A documentary series on a guy who has a list of things to do before he dies. Follow along as he goes down his list, crossing things off, learning, seeing, experiencing new things that ultimately change his life. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll inspire you too.



This “LIST” came to be because of the passing of both my parents as well as countless friends who died well before they should have.

When my father passed away, I felt an enormous sense of “passing of the torch”. In essence, I was my own man now. After learning how my father had passed, it really opened my eyes to the fact that you really just never know. He was on the job as a front end loader operator when he suffered a fatal brain aneurysm. Crashing the front end scoop into the roof of the house he was working at, he jumped down and ran to the door complaining of an extreme pain in his head. He eventually fell unconscious and was placed on life support and remained that way until the family could say good-bye.

Ultimately, it became my choice to let him go, as my mom, who had been so in love with him for many years felt that was the one thing should she could NEVER commit to, “letting go of her man”. Being the closest tie between the two, the responsibility was bestowed upon me. If ever a boy needed to grow up in a hurry to be a man, this was a sure-fire way.

I started to ponder my own mortality and what I was doing with my life. I thought to myself, I should make a list of things to do before I die. But what though?

Not long after my father’s passing, my mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She took these as signs that Bob was calling for her to come be with him. She endured all the treatment that followed, clearly sending a message to my father that she was not ready to go just yet. She had some unfinished business as it were. Not even after narrowly escaping a serious house fire. She too had a list and needed to cross a few things off. From what I can recall, through the years, owning her own home, owning a horse and learning to ride it, marrying the man of her dreams, learning to play the piano and guitar were but a few of the things on her list.

Five years later, cancer came knocking again. This time it would not take NO for an answer. It was very aggressive and within mere weeks, we had to say goodbye. A lesson that I had learned after losing my father without a proper goodbye and clearing up any sort of unresolved issues, was to capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves. I saw AND felt a “one and only” opportunity to tell my mom how much I loved her and thank her for all she had done. One night, I flew out of bed and quickly got dressed. I packed some snacks in case we got hungry. I almost wasn’t able to see her because it was 3am and the hospital would not allow visitors. But after much persuasion and a scolding from the head nurse, I was granted this opportunity. My mom woke up, surprising, considering she hadn’t been conscious for a couple days due to the blitzkrieg of drugs she had been administered. We talked and talked as I tended to her every request. I spilled my guts, telling her things I should have told her many years ago. It was definitely a soul cleansing experience to say the least. As the sun rose, she slowly drifted back into her deep sleep.

I returned later that day to find that she had briefly woke one more time during my Aunt’s morning visit and she told her all about our secret little meeting in the wee hours of the night. My aunt was convinced that my mom had been dreaming, but my mom insisted, “No, David WAS here and he stayed with me. He sat right there!” She remembered everything that I had said and how wonderful it was. My mom never woke again after my Aunt’s visit.

So you see, some opportunities only present themselves once. I learned from that. I also learned from the way my parents lived their lives: It’s not about the amount of years in your life, it’s about the amount of life in your years.

Once we were able to lay mom to rest and comprehend the loss, it became time to start crossing some of the things off of my list that I had written down.

I was fortunate to learn such a valuable lesson at such a young age. I might actually get a lot accomplished and possibly leave a legacy of my own for others. But then again it could all be over tomorrow. Nobody knows for certain. If it all ends tomorrow, at least I’ll know, I not only was alive but I was living. If I live till I’m 80, then I’ll have quite the incredible story to be told.

There is no particular order to crossing items off this list. Sometimes opportunities just present themselves when they do. Others go by affordability, time, and practicality.

The really cool part is, sometimes when I am able to cross something off, I discover something new that interests me by simply talking to others about my list. Some of those people are involved in whatever it is I’m crossing off at the time. Some have had side projects of their own or know of people who have lists of their own. So my list is ever growing and perpetual. Such is life.

Thank you mom and dad, Margaret and Robert. XO. You showed me life is like an amusement park. I’m gonna go on as many rides as I can before the park closes. Sure, some rides might make me sick as not all rides are gonna be fun. Hell, I may try some more than once. But when that park does close, you can be sure I’ll be leaving with a huge smile on my face.

  1. suzanne holt says:

    You my friend are an amazing man and I am proud to be part of your world in any capacity. Fuck cancer, I’m still fighting and I’m WINNING! Thanks for being here for my journey and some of the things on my list. xoxoxoxo

  2. missmegs1 says:

    Just stumbled upon this…THANK YOU for taking the time to write this!! I’m with Suzanne on this…I’m lucky to be part of your life in any capacity as well! You have an incredible story, and it’s brought me to tears reading it just now. It’s truly amazing that you are not only crossing off so many things on your list, but helping others in your life accomplish their lists too (myself included). You ARE an inspiration!

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