ed Devon Grimme’ was born on February 12, 1988 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was my first-born child, followed when he was 3 by boy/girl twins, Cameron and Courtney.
Devon was outgoing from the start; the manager of our townhouse complex called Devon “the Mayor,” as he was always talking with everyone, made friends easily, and was never afraid in new situations -or if he was, his natural curiosity won out and he would forge ahead. School was easy for him and he was class valedictorian of his high school class of over 500 students. He went to the University of Florida for both undergrad and grad school, receiving his MBA in 2010.
Now for his character: Devon was a normally nice kid growing up. We attended church, fed the homeless, did community service in high school. A Catholic, Devon was awarded the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award for his community work, and for that I thank Anytown- please see my blog on Anytown. Devon took what he learned at home to the uber. I was not aware just how kind he was, how much he reached out to others, until after he died. Now I will spend the rest of my life trying to livelikeDevon- striving to be better, kinder, than is comfortable or normal for me. And I encourage you to do so, too.
I have tried to explain how Devon was, how he lived, but my words fail me. I will let others explain him for me. All of the emails that I received from strangers around the world start like this: "You don't know me, but....."
..." Devon was my team leader at Anytown. No one in my family has graduated from high school and I had no reason to expect that I would either. Devon told me repeatedly that there was no reason NOT for me to succeed, and encouraged me for years through emails. phone calls and letters to keep going. I want you to know that I will graduate from Brown University next semester and I owe it to Devon."
...."I was a visiting professor at the University of Florida and Devon was my scuba diving instructor. He was very careful to calculate American standard math into the metric system for me, so I would be safe while diving. When he found out that I was alone in your country he had me over for dinner and parties. He was the only friend I made while I was in Florida. You have a daughter in Turkey now."
...." I flew down to Tampa from New Jersey for the Superbowl when Bruce Springsteen played in the halftime show.
As I was walking into the stadium I slipped and twisted my ankle. No one stopped to help me until Devon and his brother came to my side. They could have gotten me help and let it go at that, but Devon said, if you came all this way you are going to see the concert. Your two sons carried me to my seat and back to my car. I will never forget your sons."
...."My daughter and I live in Bonaire; we were moving and carrying a dresser to the rental truck- we were struggling. Devon had come to Bonaire with several friends for a scuba diving trip- they were driving past our house when Devon saw us struggling. He stopped his car, got all of the guys out, and moved our furniture into the truck. Who does that while they are on vacation?! My heart breaks for you."
We can all do this- help each other, do just a little bit more . How have you livedlikeDevon recently?!
Devon’s mom -