“LIVE as to be Missed”

Posted: July 28, 2010 in Mission 180- 2010

MY GOOD FRIEND AND MENTOR DR. RICK DeBLANDER PASSED AWAY  9 YEARS AGO.  SINCE HE WAS SUCH AN INSPIRATION TO ME, I THOUGHT I WOULD START COACH PYPER 180 WITH A TRIBUTE THAT I WROTE SOON AFTER HIS DEATH.

DOC GOT UP EVERY MORNING AT 4:30AM, GOT HIS COFFEE READY AND DID HIS DEVOTION.  HE RAN A FEW MILES, THEN BROUGHT HIS WIFE CATHY HER COFFEE.  THAT’S WHAT RICK DID EVERYDAY-IT WASN’T AN ACCIDENT THAT HE LED A CHRIST-LIKE LIFE.

WELL I GOT UP THIS MORNING 4:30-ish, OK I’M NOT THERE YET.  I GOT MY COFFEE, READ MY DEVOTION AND THEN TOOK A TRIP TO RICK’S HOMETOWN, CANTON, OH.  RICK TOOK ME DOWN THERE A COUPLE OF TIMES SO I WANTED TO SEE HIM AGAIN.  I WENT TO THE FIELDS WHERE HE PLAYED, NORTH CANTON HOOVER HIGH SCHOOL.  I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE TO BE A TEAMMATE.  HOW HE LOVED SPORTS.  I COULDN’T WAIT FOR HIM TO SEE MY BOYS PLAY.  WE ALWAYS TALKED ABOUT THAT.  THEY’RE STARTING TO PLAY SPORTS NOW SO I KNOW HE CAN WATCH THEM EVERY DAY.

HE WAS:  A HUSBAND, DAD, BROTHER, FRIEND, MENTOR, COACH, AND DOCTOR.

A HUSBAND- I DON’T KNOW A BETTER HUSBAND- LOVE,  PROTECT, AND HONOR.   I NEVER HEARD HIM SAY A BAD THING ABOUT CATHY, EVER. ALWAYS HONORED, ALWAYS PROTECTED, ALWAYS LOVED, SHE WAS HIS QUEEN AND THE GIRLS HIS PRINCESSES. I WATCHED HOW RICK AND CATHY WOULD LOVE EACH OTHER AND I COULD ALWAYS SEE IT IN CATHY’S EYES.   I WANT TO BE THAT KIND OF HUSBAND.

A DAD- HE SHOWED THE GIRLS THE IMPORTANT THINGS WITH LOVE AND LESSONS THROUGH PATIENCE AND ENDURANCE.  THEY KNEW WHAT WAS IMPORTANT AND THEY LIVED IT.  HE ALWAYS HAD THE RIGHT WAY TO SAY IT.  HE ALWAYS STOOD BY HIS PRINCIPLES.

A BROTHER-ONE OF OUR FIRST ENCOUNTERS WAS WHEN WE PLAYED BASKETBALL TOGETHER. I GOT AN ELBOW HERE OR A HEAD-BUTT THERE.  I WAS A LITTLE WOOSY AND ON THE GROUND BUT HE HELPED ME UP AND SMILED AND LIKE ANY GOOD BROTHER, HE DID IT AGAIN ON THE NEXT PLAY.  HE WAS AN EXAMPLE OF TOUGHNESS ON AND OFF THE COURT.

A FRIEND- SOMETIMES WE JUST LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND CRIED.  WE CRIED OVER SILLY THINGS; HOME RUNS AND TOUCHDOWNS, SERIOUS THINGS; INJURIES AND CATASTROPHES, MOVING THINGS; WEDDINGS AND VICTORIES.  WE LAUGHED. YOU KNOW I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT WE LAUGHED ABOUT, BUT WE LAUGHED.  ON FRIDAY NIGHTS IN TWINSBURG, DOC WAS THE TEAM DOCTOR FOR THE FOOTBALL TEAM.  I WOULD GO WITH HIM TO THE GAMES AND WE WOULD WALK IN TOGETHER, HIM WITH HIS PASS AND ME WITH HIS BAG.  HE WOULD SAY,  “TEAM DOCTOR,” AND I WOULD SAY, “ASSISTANT.” ONCE WE WERE SETTLED WE WOULD TELL THE SAME OLD STORIES FROM OUR PAST.  EVERY WEEK THE STORIES GOT A LITTLE BETTER.  I DON’T REMEMBER THE STORIES  BUT I DO KNOW WE ALWAYS WON AND SOMEONE ALWAYS MADE A REALLY GREAT PLAY.  HIS PLAYS WERE USUALLY BETTER THAN MINE.

A MENTOR- WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE I LEARNED A GREAT LESSON FROM ONE OF MY PROFESSORS.  HE SAID IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY A STUDENT BEHAVES THE WAY HE OR SHE DOES GO VISIT THEM AT HOME— AROUND DINNER TIME.  SO I TOOK HIS ADVICE AND WENT TO DOC’S HOUSE AND I FOUND OUT WHY THESE GIRLS WERE THE WAY THEY WERE…THEIR DAD.   I JUST WENT OVER TO WATCH AND LEARN. THERE WERE SO MANY LESSONS I LEARNED AND APPLIED TO MY LIFE AS A DAD.

A COACH-1993 RICK GAVE ME A BOOK THE WINNER WITHIN BY PAT RILEY THE FAMOUS LAKERS COACH. ON THE INSIDE COVER HE WROTE:

CHRISTMAS 1993 TO DAVE, SOMETHING ABOUT YOU REMINDS ME OF PAT RILEY… THE CLOTHES  NA, THE HAIR NA, MUST BE THE GREAT COACHING.  THANKS FOR BEING A GREAT FRIEND AND TEACHER TO ME AND MY GIRLS.

RICK

THAT WAS WHEN I WAS A JR HIGH COACH.  SIX YEARS LATER WE WON THE HS VARSITY DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP AND I HUGGED HIM AT HALF COURT AND THANKED HIM FOR THAT BOOK.  HE LEGITIMIZED ME.

A DOCTOR- COMING TO THE HOSPITAL WHEN THE BOYS WERE BORN, GIBSON WITH A 104 DEGREE FEVER, CODY WITH PNEUMONIA, BROCK SEPERATED SOMETHING, MASON’S LAST CHECKUP A FEW WEEKS BEFORE DOC DIED.

RICK KNEW HOW MUCH HE MEANT TO ME.  I MADE SURE I TOLD HIM ALL THE TIME.  MAKE SURE YOU TELL SOMEONE YOU MISS THEM BEFORE THEY ARE GONE.

THANKS RICK AND I MISS YOU.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Sharon Cosby says:

    Thanks, Dave! He (RicK) lived the song, “May All Who Come Behind Us Find Us Faithful!” So, yeah- “Live as to be Missed!” You never know who’s watching! God Bless you, Sharon, and all!

  2. Katie Hinman says:

    Coach Pyper that was amazing it brought tears to eyes. Dr. D was a GREAT man. Thank you it was a great read!! Hope your whole family is well

  3. Brenda Speas says:

    Dave,
    Thanks for remembering such a fine man. I also admired and loved Rick DeBlander. He was such an inspiration to me. I still use him as an example in my Health classes. What a great example he was a a person, man, father, friend, and most of all a TRUE man of God.
    What a great family he made. His girls are still my favorite students also. Thanks for sharing.
    He IS missed.
    Brenda Speas

  4. Kristen DeBlander Joy says:

    Coach Pyper,

    THANK YOU!

    What a great way to start my day. I loved your post and every word you wrote. You knew my dad so well. Reading it made me sad and heartbroken, but most of all it made me PROUD. I am a very lucky girl to have had such an amazing father. I miss him every day, but today, You filled my thoughts with amazing memories. Thank you for being such a good friend to my dad and to our family. I hope to see you all soon!

    Love and miss you,
    Kristen

  5. Hannah Gear says:

    Hey, Mr. Pyper!

    Thanks for sharing this with everyone. It is evident that Dr. DeBlander touched your heart and set an excellent example for all of those he came in contact with. Your teaching and compassion made an impact on me…even watching as a cheerleader as you coached basketball. Thank you for living your passion and setting an example for all of us you taught. As an aside, I’ll never forget your spectacular basketball shot in the VCA gym:)

    Hannah (Horak) Gear

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s