Wednesday, February 27, 2013

David Baldwin Barnes- The Legacy

Well, folks, as we all know I was giving up this blog to do But over the past few months, I have realized that certain things just aren't appropriate for the other blog. In fact, I feel like it censors me, like I have to make everything relevant to the topic. So in order to appease all 26 of my fans I am coming back to goneiighana, so that I can continue to share personal experiences with people. But dont fret I will also be doing as well...yes, I am greedy, but the fact of the matter is I just really have a lot to say, especially now.

I find myself fortunate in life because in my 32 years on this earth, I have never had a close friend or relative die. I mean, yes, my grandmother did die in 2011, but she had lung cancer and was 76. So although it was a shocker, it wasn't really a shocker.

But last week, death came knocking on my front door delivering the news that David Baldwin Barnes, was dead. Now, some of you reading this blog know David, but for the others that don't let me give you some background.

I met David almost five years ago in Washington, DC. My first thought was, "Damn, who is this foooinnne, skinny brother?!?!" It was unfortunate for me at that time he had a girlfriend. But that never stopped me from admiring him or becoming his friend. Fast forward two years later, David and I both lose our congressional jobs. Me, I decide to move to Ghana. David he decides to hang in least for a little while. But eventually, he decides Ghana should be his new home. Now, I can't take all the credit for this decision considering his best friend, Chris, was already on ground in Ghana doing farming, but I know I definitely helped influence him. We spent hours talking on skype and I even convinced this boy to cut his locks. Which, if you knew David, was a feat in itself.  So he arrived in Ghana, January 21st, 2012, bringing me my fat girl snacks- Butterfingers and Starbursts.

He and his friend Chris lived in the boonies, aka the cut, aka the village (well sort of), so we never really saw much of each other. Occasionally we would randomly bump into each other in town or exchange phone calls if either one of us was in need of information or we had some other random request. But somehow as fate would have it, we spent New Years Eve together.

You see, Accra is the size of a matchbox so there is less than one degree of separation; especially if you have lived abroad. So, although it was surprising, I was not shocked that David was dating a friend of friend.So we spent the weekend together and we laughed. Ok, I am lying really it was my friend and I that had great laughs at the expense of Kuukua, his girlfriend, and David. It was unfortunate that Kuukua and David decided to arrive in Busua late. Therefore, when they arrived the only room at the guest house left didn't have a private bathroom. Considering the bathroom was like a camping latrine from a horror film, its no surprise they wanted to use our private bathroom. What did surprise them, is that we charged them. That's right, we made them buy us each a beer. The look on David's face... priceless. It took him half the trip to get over it, but by New Years Eve we were all chummy again, sitting around the bonfire and then later watching fireworks and dancing on the beach, ringing the New Year in.

So when I got the news last week that  David died in a motorcycle accident last week in Accra, Ghana, I instantly broke down in the ugly cry. At first so many emotions ran through me, especially that of guilt. How could I play a pawn in destiny's cruel fate to take David's life? After all, David would have never thought about relocating outside of the country if Chris and I weren't already abroad. But now, one week in I know it was his destiny.

You see David did everything bigger and better than everyone else. He dressed better than his other colleagues, his infectious personality made his 6'4'' frame look bigger than life and his wide smile could be compared to no other. Therefore, I am not surprised that David decided to go out in a way he would be forever remembered. After all, die in your sleep in old age...Nah, that was way too boring for David.

It doesn't make losing him any easier, but knowing David, he is loving all of the attention-even from afar. As his friends and family celebrate David's life this week may we all learn the importance of doing things your way, in your own time and to your own standard of perfection. That is the way David lived each day of his life and I hope to live my life the same. After all, living a life where you follow your dreams and overcome fears and obstacles, is what David would have wanted for all of us. So today I will chase my dreams harder, laugh a little louder and love even harder all in the memory of the great David Baldwin Barnes.

We love you and miss you.