On the Day Dan Goodman Died

It was January 13, 2009 and I was on my way to the college when my cell phone rang.

"Where are you?" my GWU friend asked.

"On the way. What's up?"

"Uhhh, nothin', just wanted to see if you wanted to meet Gary and me for coffee."

"You're out of class?" I asked. It was only 8:30 and they had Dr. Cal Robertson. Doc Cal never ends class early. Never. "I thought you had Robertson."

"We do. . . we just . . . well . . . we're at the coffee shop."

"Is something wrong with Robertson? Is he sick?" There was something she wasn't telling me, but she said he was fine.  "Robertson is NOT fine if he let you out of class early."

"No, really. Robertson is fine."

I'm slow on the uptake at 8:30 in the morning. I didn't hear the shock in her voice, the utter disbelief. I didn't hurry.  When I got to GWU, my friends met me, not at the coffee shop, but in the yard outside the divinity school.

"Aileen. Dr. Goodman died this morning," Donna told me.

"What?"

"It's true Aileen," Gary said, "He collapsed in the shower. We don't know any more details right now."

"Dr. Goodman?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "Are you sure?" (We ask stupid questions like that when we are in shock.) They nodded, even while still disbelieving the news themselves.

"We're having chapel today, but they changed the planned service. Now the focus will be Dr. Goodman." In a few hours, we all went to churchHere's what I wrote about that service.

About the Author Aileen Lawrimore

Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 28 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.

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4 comments
T. Perry Hildreth says January 14, 2014

Aileen. How very present that moment becomes as you remember it here. Although our lives go on and good things happen to us, those of us who knew and loved Danny are still aware of our great loss even 5 years after his death. While very few of the students in the School of Divinity today knew him or know his story, your words are a simple reminder that he is not forgotten. I know he would be very happy about that.

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    Aileen Lawrimore says January 14, 2014

    Thanks, Perry, for your kind words. I had him for New Testament and Greek 1 in the last semester he taught. Hard to believe that has been more than five years ago. Blessings and more to you friend!

    Reply
Anonymous says January 15, 2015

I Knew him, and while i was very obstinate and immature, Dan Goodman still managed to get through to me. He had a profound impact on me. Still, as much as his life resonates in how i think, I still know we were robbed, and its one more big fat reminder that there is so much about the world that is just broken. One of those things is that Dr. Goodman isn't in it.

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