Tag Archives: Dave R.

Dave

A little over a year ago, I posted this story about Dave. Noah’s Dad. This past week, Dave has been in California along with the rest of his family. A group of us met in Lake Tahoe over the weekend for a couple of days of camping and fellowship. They’ve been down in the Bay Area since Sunday and left this morning.

They culminated their visit last night by coming down to Mom and Dad’s house in Santa Clara. They were flying out of San Jose and stayed overnight there. An even dozen of us had a very nice dinner on the patio. The kids played with the toys Mom keeps there, they went over to the park and played in the sand, and they picked lemons off the tree in the backyard and made lemonade for everyone.

During all this activity, Dave was just being Dad: carrying Myles on his shoulders, playing airplanes with Myles, talking with Noah about this thing or that that we were seeing. Just like his comment from 2 1/2 years ago, Dave was always calm and engaged with his children.

I don’t want to imply that Ally was absent in childcare duties. She was not. She did plenty of carrying and playing too. She’s a stay at home Mom now and I think she appreciated having a little break. I’m sure having Zach’s family around her for most of a week had some special stresses. Whether Dave is like this all the time or if he recognized those stresses doesn’t really matter. He was a great Dad this week. I’m pretty sure he’s a great Dad back home too. Yay Dave!

Language can be weird sometimes. I think I am Noah’s grandfather despite having no legal status as such. He has two more back in Ohio. Ally is the mother of this grandson but is not, nor was she ever, my daughter-in-law. Dave is just Noah’s Dad. Whatever else we call ourselves, I am proud to call these people ‘family’.

EDIT: Ally posted this photo on Facebook and I filched it. Maybe not so special in and of itself, but to me emblematic of Dave.

And just to be fair, here’s one of Ally at our Lake Tahoe campsite:

Noah’s Dad

Jeremy posted this on FaceBook yesterday (Fathers’ Day):

Fathers Day is a good time to reflect not just on the amazing dads who’ve been a part of my life, but on a guy who rose to an extraordinary challenge — loving and raising my nephew as if Noah was his own — and has been more supportive, open and friendly in the aftermath of Zach’s horrible tragedy than anyone in our extended family had a right to expect. Hope you enjoyed your day, Daddy Dave Richer. You’re an awesome dude and Noah and Myles are blessed to have you as a dad.

As a father, I couldn’t be prouder to have raised a son who can think this way.

I want to add my own story about Dave.

In the aftermath of the tragedy Saturday night in Baton Rouge, by Tuesday the whole family was gathered down there. Wednesday we discovered the existence of Noah, and by Wednesday night Ashley had established contact with Ally. Zach’s friends and colleagues at the school arranged to have a memorial there on the Friday afternoon. As someone with graphics experience, I was called on to help with the program. I was in a daze, though.

Sometime Friday – I think – Jeremy told me we were all getting on an airplane Saturday morning to fly to Michigan for another celebration. I had no cold weather gear; I hadn’t spoken to anyone on that side of the family since our divorce four years earlier. I didn’t want to go, but I couldn’t say no. They all loved Zach too.

So we flew to Detroit, where it was snowing. Everyone there was welcoming and sympathetic to me but I was still in shock. At the celebration on Sunday, I couldn’t speak. As soon as I could I went to a corner and sat mostly by myself. Eventually I noticed that people were starting to leave and I remembered something Sarah had said to me. She had said Ally was bringing Noah to the celebration with her husband Dave. They were driving up from Cincinnati in the snow!

Sarah was walking by so I called to her, ‘Didn’t you tell me Ally and Dave were coming up with Noah?’

She didn’t say anything. She just grabbed me and pulled me to go with her outside. It was still snowing and all I had on was a sweater! She pulled me anyway. Noah was outside playing in the snow. She introduced me to Ally. I don’t even remember what i said to her but I remember what I said to Dave, ‘You must be the step father.’

Dave shook his head. ‘No, I’m the Dad.’