In late July 2019 my friend, and brother in Christ, went missing while hiking in the Colorado mountains. His name was Lt Col Daniel Wallick. After a few days of searching his body was found on Challenger mountain and the Custer County Search and Rescue risked their lives to bring him down from the mountain back to his family.
Dan was the type of guy who was in great shape all the time. He would just call you up and say, “Hey come run this tough mudder with me on Saturday!” He was a great husband, dad, brother, soldier and friend. He was there for me during some of my darkest days, while I battled PTSD and Depression, after losing 4 friend in a plane crash on my last deployment with the Air Force.
Today is the celebration of life for Dan. I am unable to make it, but I really wanted to be there. So since I am not able to go I was just looking through some old photos of us together and also reading his Facebook posts.
In the past 10 years I’ve lost 28 friends and family to death. In losing so many people I know I have come to realize that:
By loving others you will have more pain in life, but you will also have so much more joy”
I’ve realized that I have to thank God for the short time I knew them. Whether it’s thanking God for the 9 years I knew Dan and the amazing life and legacy he left or it’s holding my wife and weeping, while cradling our 12 week old baby in my hand, seeing its eyes, little fingers and toes and thanking God for the 12 weeks of joy we had; I thank God for the life he gave and the life He now receives.
One of the things that I do after losing someone is I go back and see the last thing that they posted on their social media accounts. I like to find actual text they have written and not just shared links. This was the last thing Dan wrote:
Powerful words from a gifted writer you’ll one day (soon) see on the bookshelves. I love my wife’s depth of connection to the Holy Spirit, and her desires to teach others.”Dan Wallick March 16th, 2019
Dan was such an encouragement to his amazing wife Danita. Encouraging her to start her blog TheQuirkyKingdom.com and to really pursue her passion of writing. Danita has such wisdom and Dan new this.
So today I write in honor of Dan. He has encouraged me to start writing again through his encouragement to Danita. Dan had a clean and loving heart and his legacy will continue.
I’ll end this post with a quick story and a challenge to you since Dan liked challenges.
A few weeks ago my wife and our four children traveled to Colorado Springs. We had been there for five days and we were just driving out of town and headed back to Oklahoma when my wife said, “I totally forgot Dan and Danita just moved here. Should we go back and see them?” We discussed it for a few minutes, but decided since we were about 30 minutes away we would just keep going and then come see them the next time we were in town.
That next time we will not have the earthly opportunity to see both of them for it will only be Danita and the girls when we come to visit. I am grateful for this lesson. Many times we all have someone on our hearts we should call or drop by and see.
Follow that Holy Spirit prompting when someone comes on your heart. Call them. Drop by and see them. Text them.
You never know when it might be the last time you see or speak to them.
Who is on your heart to call, text or see today?