Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Very Special Birthday Celebration

We've had the pleasure of meeting some really awesome people on our Grace-Filled Journey, and tonight, we got to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of them.

I can't say that we met Dave Kane because of Grace's illness. We knew him before we even had Grace, but he has and continues to be one of her biggest supporters.

Flat Gracie came along for the birthday celebration.
Dave is a sports writer for the Springfield State Journal-Register, and routinely covers sports teams in Montgomery County. So, Kyle and I have known Dave for a long time. And Kyle would tell you that Dave is one of the biggest influences on his sports writing career. Well, that and the fact that he married the boss's daughter. 

In a lot of ways, Dave and Kyle are two peas in a pod when it comes to covering high school sports. They care about the kids and their teams, and both do such a great job of writing for their newspapers. So, it's only natural that our paths would cross.

It was a fun night out with our family.
When Dave found out about Grace's diagnosis, he was one of the first ones to ask us for a purple gracelet to wear. In fact, I think Dave is on about his second or third gracelet, and he's always helping us to raise awareness for INAD. When we were working on publicity for our second Grace Race, we reached out to Dave, and he got us set up with a reporter from Springfield to do a story on Grace and the 5K.  That story even inspired a virtual 5K in Springfield, organized by some friends of ours.

One of the most special moments with Dave was a chance to meet his wife, Abbe, before she passed away. Grace was at her usual physical therapy appointment in Springfield, and Dave and Abbe just happened to be there. They made sure to stop by our room, and we loved meeting her and visiting with her.  I'm sure she and I could have shared a lot of stories about being married to sports writers. I even told her about Kyle's favorite road trip game, "Guess the Mascot." She laughed a lot and said Dave never made her play that one.  

Needless to say, we were delighted to receive a card from Dave's children a few weeks ago in the mail inviting us to a surprise birthday party in his honor. Originally, we didn't think we would be able to attend as our newspaper's Christmas party was scheduled for tonight. However, our party got cancelled because of the threat of inclement weather, and when we didn't get much accumulation, we were able to go to Dave's birthday party tonight.

Although we are almost never on time, we managed to make it to the restaurant before the surprise. We enjoyed meeting Dave's children, and Charlotte was especially delighted to play with his grandson, Liam. The two were practically inseparable all night, and it was so much fun to watch.

I think the best part of the night was seeing the look of surprise on Dave's face when he arrived at the party, and we were just so honored to be there to help him celebrate. We loved visiting and catching up. He and Kyle talked basketball tournaments, and we enjoyed visiting with some other area newspeople too. 

This Grace-Filled Journey definitely has its share of ups and downs, but the people we have met along the way, and who continue to share in our journey, definitely make the ride worthwhile. Happy 60th birthday, Dave, and many happy returns!


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