When Bad Things Happen To Good People

Damm Cancer

Hate to bring the room down in the wake of Cowboys 20, Eagles 16, but I'm sitting here crying. Tears streaming down my face. Off my cheeks. Onto my keyboard.

I shit you not.

A year ago I was introduced to one of the bravest, most courageous men I've ever met. Steve Damm was, like a lot of us, an average 40-something dude. Married. Father of two. A runner. Just a happy guy living his modest life.

In November 2007 he woke up with a headache.

On Sept. 7, 2009, he died of brain cancer.

Though he knew he wouldn't ultimately win his fight against the glioblastoma on his brain stem, Steve never cracked. Never complained. Never stopped living. His wife, Tyra, started a website that has never wavered.

They are - I admit - better people than me.

Steve handled death with more class and dignity and grace than most of us handle life. And even as she described the "terrifying noises" of his last breaths - I recall the same horrifying, bedside experience as I watched and listened to my grandmother dying in 2000 - Tyra did the best she could amidst a bad situation.

I know this goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway:

Don't take life for granted. Hug your kids. Call your mom. Open the door for your wife. Enjoy and embrace the little things - whether it's sipping on a cold one under a shade tree or bathing in Cowboys Kool-Aid or, simply, going for a morning run.

If you read only one of my Dallas Observer columns - read the one about that Damm Spot.

Though his family celebrated his 41st birthday last Wednesday in Frisco, Steve Damm is gone. I just wished he would've taken cancer with him.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt