He was her modern-day superhero, and she was his little sister, whom she looked up to as a child. Chicago is mean, cold and ravishing, but you would have to move hell and highwater to hurt his baby girl.
David Price, Sr. was more than a statistic on the evening news. He was Joy West, M.D.’s big brother, and the male leader in her mother’s family, as children growing up on Chicago’s Southside.
Down-to-earth, with a great sense of humor, David’s smile lit up a room and followed you to your seat. He was my Thanksgiving dinner partner, with his sister, Liz, in 2019. We sat around the table, with cures for all ailments and solutions for the entire. His wife sat quietly, while her husband, David, roared with laughter at our responses because he was “big Dave,” a seasoned man, whose wisdom conquered all.
Just as I was making my own plans for a real Thanksgiving in 2021, my phone rang, and I was told that they were calling the family in to say farewell. I froze in my tracks while my mind raced back and forth.
Just the other day, Joy said that he responded to the nurse, who asked him to squeeze her finger, and he did. Open your eyes, and he did. Are you in any pain and he shook his head no. I did not go to the hospital, as I was in denial emotionally and praying for him to pull through. David wore many hats, but he was not a quitter.
When that final call came that he had made a peaceful transition, I sat stunned, pretending to watch television, when all I saw was a blur.
At most COVID press conferences, our officials rattle off numbers and site examples of the various problems that the disease has caused on any given day. November 30th was the day David’s earthly time expired. He had entered the hospital on November 2nd, and after 28 days, he went home spiritually.
This must be so hard on Joy, who has saved countless lives this year, including my daughter. Tamer Lee’s mild with COVID happened in mid-spring, as she was never admitted into the hospital. Joy gave her specific directions for self-care and she recovered by mid-summer. That was when I learned of the various COVID stages and how it can impact one’s body.
I thought that because Joy saved Tamer Lee’s life, David’s life would be spared. However, Joy pointed out that 34 year age difference, which she says gives some youth patients an edge over older people with pre-existing conditions.
The disease is no friend to anyone, but it eats up the mature population quickly. The elected officials claim that the vaccine will be arriving in Illinois soon, but David did not have that opportunity extended to him. People in the United Kingdom have had the good fortune of using the coveted vaccine for a week now, but David never saw the broadcast story about its cure.
Health professionals say that the worst is coming, as Thanksgiving cases are expected to peak the week of Christmas. With New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations forthcoming, national news stations are guessing that the United States may surpass the 500,000 marks of deaths by early 2021.
While my faith has been shaken, it has not been shattered. David has joined our ancestors. Ashae my brother, ashae. May the fruits of your work live on in your beautiful children and family members as they take the message of COVID to the streets of Chicago.