Today, Dan’s memory was honored by the Mike Weaver Friends Helping Friends Foundation with the donation of two AED machines to the Hopedale High School Boys’ Ice Hockey and Boys’ Lacrosse Teams. Much like Dan, Mike Weaver was someone hard to miss. Tall, a little bit goofy, and a genuinely kind person. Dan literally and figuratively looked up to Mike for many years as the father of his dear friends Jake and Josh and as his baseball coach. Mike’s untimely passing in 2015 had a major impact on Dan and our entire family.
The winter after Mike’s passing, Dan had nagged me incessantly about purchasing him a new hockey helmet with the bubble face mask. After weeks of pleading, I finally conceded with a stern lecture about how much money it had cost and to take care of it because it was the last helmet I was buying for his high school career, etc. He disappeared into his room for close to an hour adjusting the facemask and attaching his team stickers. He came out to show me the finished product with a huge area of hockey tape and some writing on the mask. I proceeded to go on a rant about respecting materials and what was he doing putting weird messages on his face mask, etc. etc. Dan stood there and took it, and then said, “You’re going to feel really stupid in a minute.” I continued to rant and then asked what he had to say for himself, he then proceeded to hand the helmet to me and told me to read what it said. With the helmet in my hand, I could now see what I had thought was graffiti was the initials M.W. and the date of 6.4.15 (the date Mike Weaver had passed). I believe I mumbled some sort of apology and made my way into my bedroom where I proceeded to text Mike’s wife, my dear friend Mel, to tell her what an ass I had just made of myself and what a truly heartfelt tribute Dan had paid to Mike. Every helmet Dan wore throughout his high school sports career and club team had the same tribute to Mike Weaver.
So it seems fitting that today we remember two amazing humans and in their memory have the ability to save lives. While I sincerely hope that these machines will never need to be used, it is a comfort to know that the athletes and spectators at future sporting events have an AED machine available. Thank you to Mel Weaver and the Mike Weaver Friends Helping Friends Foundation for this incredible gift and honor in Dan’s memory.