In Loving Memory of
David John Donovan
February 11, 1962 - January 25, 2000
Sadly, David's mom Kay joined him in Heaven about 3-1/2 years ago.
TO RICHARD AND KAY
Your dear son has closed his eyes
In God’s eternal sleep.
His pain is gone forever,
So for him you shouldn’t weep.
For God is our only Savior,
In sickness and in health,
And in suffering and sorrow,
We will find eternal wealth.
Remember all the good times,
and grieve for a little while.
Then put your sorrow behind you,
and remember David with a smile.
By a Groton Friend
This is a special birthday gift for Angel David from my friend Marie.
You can visit her website for her son Rob here ~Rob Northrop's Site.
These three images are beautiful and loving gifts for Angel David from my dear friend, Carol, mom to Angel Michael.
David's first photo, at one week old, in February 1962.
David with his Mom at 3 months old, and then David with his Dad at 5-1/2 months old.
About David ~
David John Donovan was born February 11, 1962 (was suppose to be born on January 25th). He was the oldest of our five children and was healthy until just after he graduated from high school in 1980. Took 3 months and lots of drs and a biopsy to find out he had a fast growing type of brain tumor (doubled in size every 12 days). David was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 18, in August of 1980, on the day he was to enroll in college. The medical people, many, many of them, gave him 3-6 months to live. After the six months had passed he decided to start college while he was as he said "waiting to die". Good thing that he did! He died very suddenly on January 25th of 2000, drs. said the cause was the massive brain radiation done for pain control in 1980. They never did find any more evidence of the tumor even though the biopsy was redone a few more times over the years and the original diagnosis was always the same. I have lots of stories about David as I was not only his Mom but his primary caregiver for most of the 20 years and he always lived at home.
David with his sister, Deb, in early 1963, and then David at 3 years old, in June 1965.
David's school picture from 1971, he was 9-1/2 years old here.
David's favorite song was "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night and he sang it all the time. That is why we have it playing on here.
On the left, David and his horse Nippy in the summer of 1970. On the right,
David hunting with his brothers, Kevin and Steve, in November of 1978.
David played basketball and football and track in high school. His father, Richard, was his coach in both football and track. He loved to hunt with his Dad and two brothers;
they did archery and rifle hunting for deer and also pheasant, goose and duck hunting.
David at High School Graduation, in 1980.
David was an ardent fan of the Minnesota Twins baseball team and the Minnesota Vikings football team. He was a "Trekie" but only the original Star Trek show with Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock.
He had huge cutouts of them in his room. He wanted to be a teacher and coach like his Dad, one of his brothers and his sister. David was the oldest of our children, we had five, each born one year apart.
He was very close to his sister, Deb, both in age and relationship.
David having chemotherapy at North Memorial, in 1980.
David at St. Luke's on the N.S.C. Campus, in 1992.
David had a marvelous sense of humor, very dry humor. He was bald, which he absolutely hated. He tried wigs but they itched so that he usually wore a baseball cap. The picture at the top of this web page is the last picture of David taken shortly before he died. It was for our church family book, and he is wearing his favorite Star Trek hat. Right after the brain surgery, we were sent by ambulance to the radiation center. The doctor told my 18 year old son with the beautiful hair that he would always be bald when treatment was finished. David was on a stretcher hooked up to lots of IV's at the time. He got up from the bed, took his IV poles and left the building! The doctor was great and had a lot of faith that David would think it over. He did and had the radiation and was bald the rest of his life.
David and his goddaughter, Katie, in 1982. He was so proud of her!
David in 1994.
Another story is about what happened after David's first coma (he had about 8 and when he did come out of them had to learn to walk, talk, read, etc. etc. all over again. He had been in the hospital a couple of weeks and had woke up and my husband and I were doing stimulating exercises, reading to him, playing cards, etc. when all the doctors came in and once again asked him all the standard questions, what's your name, where do you live, etc. David just looked at them and remained silent as he had been for about 3 weeks. When the drs. left, I became angry (a first for me) and asked him why he wouldn't talk to the doctors. He said his first words in 3 weeks "because there is nothing wrong with me and I just want to go home"! Well, we did, but had a long road of recovery ahead of us.
David goose hunting in 1984.
This is David and his brothers at his sister's wedding in 1987.
At the end of his stay, my husband and I and David had to attend a meeting with all the medical staff, rehab people, therapists, etc. about 20 of them around the table. They told us that David would never be able to finish his college education, he just no longer had the mental or physical abilities to handle the work. Well, David got up and left the room and never came back. He did graduate from college in 1988 as you will see from this picture below.
David on his Last Hurrah Trip in 1998.
When he grew a mustache, my Mother told him how ugly she thought it was to have hair on his face. David said, that mustache is telling my head to grow hair. We took him to Mayo Clinic just two years before he died because he had become deaf and had to be tube fed (radiation damage once again catching up with him). After five days of tests and appts., we met with all the doctors and they told him they couldn't help him. He was silent for a few moments, then he said, "O.K., but I'm coming back in two years and you guys better have something figured out by then." Two days before he died, he said his last words to the EMT (who was a classmate of his). He told the man, who was placing him on a stretcher for transporting to the hospital, "be careful, I only have that one arm left that I can move and I don't want to lose it!." The rest of him had become paralyzed over the course of two days.
David so wanted to date; but he never did. Early in the month he died, he told me he had to find a girl because if you weren't married by the age of 40, there was no hope for you to find someone. He was 38 at the time and he told me he was going to ask one of the high school seniors to be his girl friend. I told him that he was 20 years older than that girl. He fired back at me, "only 19 1/2". He had it all figured out!
David in 1999. He did like the girls...
David so wanted to hunt the last few years of his life, but we couldn't trust him with a gun. Now there is a solitary deer that comes to his grave and stands there, then leaves to return another day. All seasons, the tracks of that lone deer are leading up to his grave only, standing in front of the stone, and then leaving.
David so wanted to be able to eat real food, especially burgers and fries and would beg us for "just once". We couldn't let him because food went right into his lungs. He had pneumonia probably 8 or more times because of aspiration into his lungs.
He died on January 25, 2000 of a massive brain hemmorage caused by the radiation done for pain control in 1980. He had many, many struggles during his almost 20 years of life and the last five years he experienced much deterioration in mental, physical and emotional capabilities. No one has ever lived almost 20 years after that type of tumor and radiation so guess he was a miracle. But the brain radiation caused many problems and lots of breakdowns as the years went by, swallowing, hearing, balance, personality, etc. etc. Still, it bothered me terribly when people said at the funeral "It was a blessing".
David told me once that I was the best treatment he had for cancer. I will always treasure that because he became quite belligerent and very angry in his actions and words to me in the last few years of his life.
David at his last birthday, in February of 1999, at age 38.
I can not "get over" my grief,
As no one can get over the love of their child.
I will get through this one second at a time.
I need your support through this
Long and painful journey.....
I do not need to stay busy,
I just need to talk about my child.
I need to talk about the good times, and the bad.
I need to remember and not to forget.
I CAN NOT FORGET!
I need to cry, I do not need to stay strong.
I need to have you listen
and not to change the subject.
I need you to support me,
Not to say that you understand.....
I know you can not understand,
Unless you have lost a child.
I need you to help me with things in life,
That are simple tasks.
I need to concentrate on the loss of my child.
I need you to be there for me.
and to care.
I need a friend to be there.....
I just need to talk about my child.
~ Author unknown
David's grave stone has entwined hearts and says "Beloved of God" which is what the name David means. The hearts are because our nine year old granddaughter sang a solo (beside the open coffin) at the memorial service. She sang "My Heart Will Go On", Celine Dion's song from Titantic. I will never forget that. Plus another of our granddaughters (age seven) gave me all the hearts from all her jewelry and asked me to place them on his grave.
A friend can hear a tear drop.
This webpage is created
In Loving Memory of David John Donovan
on May 21, 2004
Last updated: February 6, 2017
© 2000 - 2017
Maria's Tribute to Christopher
A small gift for the Donovan Family on David's Birthday.
May God bless you always.
GEOFFREY P. EDWARDS
You are in my heart
With Loving Memory of Your Precious Son
I am finding it so hard to say what I'm feeling right now. I saw David's beautiful web page and what a wonderful tribute to his very courageous life. His beautiful smile is imprinted in my memory. His courage reminds me so much of my own daughter Laura. who also had to leave this earth in the same way as David, and like your precious son, she laughed almost right up until the end. These were truly special souls too good for this earth. Although our hearts will forever ache and be broken, we will see them again. I hold on to this promise and hope.
Love to you my friend
Maybe some people just aren't meant to be in our lives forever.
Maybe some people are just passing through...maybe they get it all down
faster than the rest of us. They don't need to stick around for a hundred years to get it all right. They get it down real quick... it's like... some people just come through our lives to bring us something, a gift, a blessing, a lesson, we need to learn, and that's why they're here. He taught you something, I'll bet... about love, and giving, and caring so much about someone...that was his gift to you...he taught you all that and when he left, Maybe he just didn't need to stay longer than that. He gave you the gift, and then he was free to move on...he was a special soul...You'll have that gift forever.
Danille Steel...."The Gift"
I want you to know I'm thinking of you today and I know it never gets any better. David always holds a very special place in my heart because my own Laura died in the same way David did.
Here is a little something for your David's webpage and I'm sending it on to Maria to add on.
I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers today. You will be with him again in God's glorious kingdom.
For David, One of Heaven's Own
DAVID'S OWN SPECIAL ANGEL
In Honor Of David
Seventeen Years In Heaven
We Hold You In Our Hearts
You Are With Us In Everything We Do
Your Memory is Never Gone
Forever Loving You
In Loving Memory of Laura Ann Kimble
02-11-62 ~ 01-25-00
So David you liked "Minnesota Twins, and Vikings, I love watching them play" Something else I noticed you use to like, which was a favorite of mine "Star Trek, the original with Captain James T Kirk" infact more a favorite of my ANGEL Lee, you should get together, as he also was a favorite of 3 Dog Night. It is amazing what you find out when you meet new friends.
Any games on lately, maybe for your Heavenly Birthday, get together with some of your new friends,
some beer, pop corn, not forgetting the Birthday Cake.
GO VIKINGS GO
REMEMBERING YOU ANGEL DAVID
MY LOVE TO YOU
I know you miss your ANGEL
But do not Fear
He has made a lot of New Friends
But still loves you so Dear
HOLD HIM CLOSE TO YOUR HEART
My Deepest Love
In Loving Memory of Lee Henry Aguilera