Chapter 3 – Hello Everyone

Hello everyone.

As I stand here now, among all of you, there is a song in my head I can't get rid of. Some of you may know it. It was a popular song from a not so good television show a few years ago called the Heights. The song was: How do you talk to an angel? I'm standing here, just wondering that, because there is no doubt in my mind that Derek was an angel here on earth and is now an angel in heaven. He had a heart of gold. Looking around this church today makes it clear just how many lives Derek has touched with that heart of gold. He's made us laugh so hard we would cry...

How was I supposed to choose from all those memories of joy and laughter and share one here today with all of you? If you knew Derek, you know one thing. His sense of humor. His laughter. God, his innocent laugh… Still sends a chill running up and down my spine every time I close my eyes and hear it.

Death of life is not only measured by how much we appreciate the important things, but also by how much we, in turn, are appreciated. And again, we find the true meaning of this idea among ourselves and our feelings. We are here because we cared. We are here because our connection with Derek was a deep connection based on friendship, love, trust, and understanding. And that can only happen with a treasured human spirit, with a spirit like Derek.

It wasn't the big important days that mattered with Derek. It was the small days. The simple ones. The days where we did nothing important, nothing noteworthy—those were the good, fun days. When we just sat around and hung out and had fun talking about anything. About everything.

So let's all get up-stand up and face the reality. We're not here to mourn our friend's death today. We're here to celebrate his life.

Derek will always be a part of my life. He will always stay in my heart, in my soul, in my mind.

Always making us laugh so hard we would cry...

And thank you.