I’ll never forget November 19th, 2004. We were living in NYC, it was around 10PM… I finally got William to fall asleep (he was 2 months old), and I had just crawled into bed to watch TV and try to get a little sleep before he woke up for a midnight feeding. I heard Matt’s cell phone ring and truthfully didn’t think anything of it. I heard him talking, but couldn’t quite make anything out from the bedroom. But then… then Matt walked into the bedroom, looking shocked as can be and said, “It’s Dimi…”
And I knew. He didn’t have to say anymore. His face told me everything. I’d never seen that look on his face before, and haven’t seen that look since. I don’t ever want to see that look again.
His best friend was killed in Fallujah while defending our country as a Marine on November 19, 2004… one day before Matt turned 30.
I know I’ve spoken about Dimi before on my blog, he was such a very special person in our lives. He actually helped shape our lives… actually, very much so.
My husband has been very fortunate in his lifetime to have great guy friends. He has a group from high school that he will always be close with and then he has a group from Brown. Dimi was someone he met at Brown… and just forged a close friendship with that grew over the years. I remember being so nervous to meet Dimi because I knew his “approval” of me meant a lot to Matt. From the moment I met Dimi, I just loved him. He had a gentle soul, a quick wit and was unbelievably fun to be around. After Dimi graduated he moved to NYC to take on Wall Street… after I graduated 2 years later, Matt and I ended up in NYC because Dimi was there. We had originally planned to moved to Los Angeles… but we thought it would be fun to be in the same City as Dimi for a bit.
That changed the course of our lives… we LOVED to NYC and never once thought of moving out west after that.
Dimi had a higher calling, and he will always, always, always be my hero.
Another way Dimi changed our lives… as soon as he passed away, we knew we wanted to celebrate life in his honor. We know our Alexander Dimitri was a gift from him… a special, beautiful gift. Everyone always asks us why we had 2 babies so close in age, it’s really a special thing for us. Alex couldn’t have been more planned, he was truly a needed baby at that point in my husband’s life.
And I know – somewhere – Dimi is looking down on his best friend and smiling. I know he would see Matt with 4 boys and now with a little girl and just think it was the coolest thing in the world. Two guys who never had brothers of their own, and really filled that void for each other… I know Dimi had a little something to do with the amount of brothers in this family.
Remembering Dimi today… and always.
Love to the Gavriel family today. I always think about them, but I know today – Nov 19th – I’ve always thought of them a little extra tightly in my heart.
*reshared bits of a blog post from years ago today in this.