Yesterday would have been the 31st birthday of our
precious friend, Captain David Hortman. David was first a son and brother, uncle and friend who loved all of those and his country. He was a West Point graduate and a Special Ops helicopter pilot who was killed in an accident last August. My husband and I had the honor of knowing and loving David since he was a little boy and the privilege to serve as his first contact in an emergency. When I say privilege I know that sounds unrealistic. When David asked us in 2008 to serve him in this capacity we hoped and prayed to never have this job. We also accepted the responsibility of knowing the absolute worst could happen. David lost his father to cancer when he was a teen. He didn't want his mother to receive devastating news from a stranger. And so on August 9th at 5:02 AM my husband answered a loud knocking on our door to receive two military men in full dress uniform. We knew, without the formal notification that had to be made, that our sweet friend was no longer alive. He had told us what to expect. We had the very difficult responsibility of sharing this dreadful news with his mother and extended family and friends. We miss our friend but yet in letters he left for his mom, sister and my husband and me, he asked that we celebrate his life. So, yesterday we spent a lot of time remembering all the wonderful things about this special man. He was a man with a zest for life. He was a man of courage and honor. David Hortman was truly a wonderful son and brother and for my husband and me, we loved him liked a son and he let us. His laugh was infectious and his voice in song was full of joy, which he and Stan, my husband, loved to do together. In fact, the song My Girl was one of their favorites to harmonize and yes, change the words to make them funny and all about those two. When we remember David in the midst of our grieiving and days that feel cloudy, the memories we shared together do bring us rays of sunshine.
Just a few photos to share to celebrate David's 30 years here on Earth.
David surrounded by his mom and sister. I took this photo on his 27th birthday.
David and friends.
David with his niece last Easter.
David and Stan - One of my very favorites of the two of them.
David and I on his 27th birthday.
Arlington National Cemetery
Gone but never forgotten, always loved and missed.
We do not grieve like those with no hope but grieve knowing we will see David again.
I made this little felt reminder of choosing to celebrate those memories when we miss our dear friend.
The hoop is six inches. I found this great cloudy fabric at Hobby Lobby. I found a free font, Delius, through Pinterest. I used Word to add a circle shape, printed it, then cut it in half. The sun was glued around the edges Elmer's Craft Bond Acid Free Glue stick. I edge stitched the sun then I printed off the words I wanted and used a transfer pencil on the reverse side of the paper. I ironed the words on to the fabric and stitched it using a backstitch. The words on the yellow had two strands of DMC threads and the lower words used one strand. I cut strips of the extra gray fabric and wrapped the outer layer of the hoop for a more finished project.