A few weeks ago David was talking to me about how a lot of people would get scared when they heard he had schizophrenia. He didn’t want to be stereotyped. He was concerned that when people heard that word—schizophrenia—they would think that they knew the most important thing there was to know about him. But there was so much more to David.
One thing I really admired about him was his diverse group of friends. He was able to relate to anyone, no matter where they came from or what they looked like. He learned from my Dad that it is a good idea to spend time with people who have different life stories from your own, because you’ll probably learn something.
My family hopes that the David Mulder Mental Health Fund will enrich Evanston’s community by creating greater understanding of mental illness and better opportunities for those who live with it.
I want to conclude by telling you about a funny conversation I had with David a few weeks ago. We were talking on the phone and he said: “So I was thinking about what I want to wear to your wedding.”
And I said: “Oh yeah?”
And he said: “Yeah, Dad says I should get a new suit. And I was thinking it should be all white.”
I said, “Gosh, Dave, that’s a pretty big fashion statement, considering I’ll probably be the only other person wearing all white.”
“But don’t you remember?” he said. “I wore an all-white suit to prom? With Virginia Vasquez!”
Of course, I’d forgotten all about that––it was twelve or thirteen years ago. But as soon as he said it, the image came back to me. There’s a picture over there on one of those boards, and you should all check it out because he looks awesome.
David had the biggest heart, with room for everyone. I’m going to think of him every day for the rest of my life, and I hope you’ll think of him, too. Because when you think about David, you can’t help but smile.