I have felt the pain all over again today. I have felt for Smitty and I have felt for me. I feel for all of Dan's friends who do not know that he is gone or who can not share the pain of his loss with anyone. There are trucker friends out there who's names I will never know.
I know that Dan touched their lives. I think about the ladies at the Petco Truck Stop in Corning, California who, when we showed them Dan's picture not only remembered him but had wonderful things to say about him. He was a gentleman to them. He made them feel good about themselves. He always had a smile for them.
He touched the people that he interacted with. He, in that way, was more like his father than Bill or I ever could be. He was truly gregarious.
But he lived his life in parts. No one knew all there was to know about Dan. Some friends knew some things. Some friends knew other things. He compartmentalized because he had to do that to stay sane. To be alone on the road and part of the world at other times.
So I must give myself some room for not knowing all of his friends or where they are. But I hope no one else has to feel the pain that Smitty feels right now.
Smitty, I am so sorry.