Back in 2003, I became involved in a community theatre. I met Dennis, who is the mustachioed gentleman in the middle of this photo. (It's a cast photo from the play we did together.)
We started as fellow actors. I met his wife Teri, and before they moved out of state, they became my real estate clients. But underneath it all, always, we were friends. Even with only occasional contact, we cared about each other. Last year they moved back to town, and once again they were my clients. It was wonderful to get to know them all over again.
Yesterday Dennis passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. I want to share some of my memories of him.
- Dennis and Teri gave me the chance to help them sell a really awesome home, when I was still new to real estate. What's better, they trusted me through the process. That trust was a gift to me. What a great way to encourage me to be a great agent, and to build my confidence.
- After they moved, Dennis and Teri drove back to town to watch me in a play. That meant so much to me!
- A number of months later, I drove to their new home to watch Dennis play Daddy Warbucks in Annie. What a great role for him! He already had the acting and singing skills; he just had to shave his head, and he was a wonderful Daddy Warbucks. I bet those kids loved acting with him! And he and Teri were such sweet hosts. I'm so glad I took that trip.
- He used to share openly about his experience coming home from Vietnam...about the warm welcome he didn't receive. So sometimes on Veteran's Day I'd send him an email, thanking him for serving. He responded with such warmth. I know I'll be thinking about him on November 11.
- It was so great to reconnect with Dennis and Teri when they moved back to town last year. I had the pleasure of representing them as they built a house. I remember sitting in the car with Dennis. I think Teri was out walking a piece of land they were considering building on. "The most important thing," he told me, "is that Teri is happy. I know that this cancer may be what takes my life. I want to make sure she's in a place where she feels comfortable." No wonder she loved him so much!
- When Teri called me earlier today to let me know about Dennis' passing, she told me, "I wanted to make sure I called you in person, because you've always been so special to us." It meant so much--so much--to hear that. They've been so special to me too. It's possible to feel close to someone even if you only see them or talk to them occasionally. That's how the relationship between me and Dennis/Teri has been. We respect each other. We love each other.