[07/01/2010 - from John, Doug's brother-in-law. One gift Doug's life and loss gave us is a renewed appreciation of the fact that life can be short, and increased awareness that we should live it well.]

Doug and John

Some of you knew my brother in law some didn’t. He will be missed by all that knew him.

But one thing I can say about Doug was that he lived life to the fullest. He did the things he did and enjoyed them to the max.

When I came back home, from his funeral, I thought, life is short and you need to do things you enjoy. So even though I really couldn’t afford it, I booked two different scuba trips for me and my son Nash who is eleven years old.

Our first dive went well; we had been to the Stone and Dredge wrecks before, and had another good dive. Today we went on our second trip to the Hyde and the Markham, two wonderful wrecks in NC. I dove them before but never managed to get Nash on the boat with me.

The conditions were good today with excellent visibility, although it was a little rough on top. It turned out to be one of my ten best ever days (thank God I am beyond having only one). We were in contact with over fifteen different sand tiger sharks. On the way down on the first dive I was already pointing out the sharks. We floated on the first wreck and saw pairs of large sand tigers cruising within ten feet of us.

On the second dive, the Hyde, Nash became a little more comfortable and we entered the wreck. At times I had to grab Nash’s regulator to pull him out of the way of sharks cruising through the wreck. We were literally within arms length of 4 to 5 foot sharks.

Nash as usual became very curious and led the way through the ship. I was very proud of him for being, not only adventurous, but also cautious. In all my time diving this had to be the BEST dive I have ever had in my life. The largest shark we saw was pushing 8 ft. We saw the usual grouper, amberjack, and barracuda, Cobia and reef fish. Unfortunately Nash missed seeing a 30 plus pound Cuda carving up baits at the surface.

For those who know me, the things I enjoy doing are pretty exciting. While I don’t advocate spending money you don’t have, I can say without a doubt, life is short. If you have a way of enjoying it seize the moment and do what seems right.

My sister asked me to write down some of my thoughts about Doug. I have been close to death 3 times, and each time I saw my life flash before my eyes. They say it’s true, I can tell you it is. Today will be one of my sights in the far distant future when I may have this happen again.

I know, my brother in law, saw things none of us can imagine (he was an avid mountain climber). He loved life and my sister and they were incredibly fortunate to have the time together they did.

So in closing all I have to say is thank you Doug, for reminding me to do what I love. I hope you all have a day soon like we did today (or as we call it the coolest day ever)

- John

PS. while running spell check on this I just spilled a large glass of wine all over my floor and skeet gun. Having children teaches you how to clean quickly with a smile on your face, but it certainly doesn’t make you a good writer.


[Note from Bet: John was channeling Doug with the wine. See Doing a Doug]


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