Monday, October 02, 2006
His laugh was infectious. Whenever something funny would come up, not something mildly funny that the rest of us would laugh at, but rather something truly and mysteriously funny that could only be delivered by Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, or Jerry Lewis, Don would start to laugh and that was the end of world as we knew it. From there the rest of the room would catch it and it would continue spreading until finally everyone with tears in eyes would be croaking out the laughs. Don Cuttill could laugh as no one could laugh. And when he did, everyone else was consumed with laughter. I think the contagiousness of his laugh had something to do with the size of his heart. Only someone with a huge heart could laugh the way he did.
I remember one time, when I was in college and living with Don and Marsha in the old Southshores house, we had to replace the wax ring seal underneath the toilet in the basement. After unscrewing the bolts we tried to lift the toilet. Don had to move into the shower to set the toilet aside. I was on one side and Don on the other. Don's foot hit the lip of the shower and he tripped. I dropped the toilet in the shower and it shattered. We no longer needed to merely replace the wax ring; we had to replace the toilet as well. Though it was thouroughly enraging, I laugh about it now, and I'm sure he does too. The picture of Don dropping the toilet and it shattering stirs other memories of Don.
When we'd drive around together the radio tuned to the classic rock station, and Led Zeppelin would come on. Don would inveriably say, "A little Led for the head." It was cool no matter how many times he'd say it.
Don liked good movies. Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Stripes, Young Frankenstein, The Nutty Professor, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World all brought on that infectious laugh. Sometimes I watch Groundhog Day just to remember Don. I've easily watched it five times in the last month and a half.
Don is a Christian, which means that this November 1st (All Saint's Day) I will be celebrating him. I will be praying that the Father's glory fills him continually as he basks in God's presence in Paradise, Don sitting next to all those other saints of the church and he's playing a heavenly Martin guitar, strung by angels themselves. You know at the feast they serve Krekel's burgers and Famous Dave's barbeque. This is not the final destiny for which he is bound, though. We all await the resurrection.
The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest:
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
I miss him terribly. Writing this is harder than you can imagine and it's taken a week. I was very young when my sister and Don were married. They lived with us for a while and I really have no memories without him. That is to say until this past year.