A Word About That Phone...

A Word About That Phone...

On the edge in Tennessee 😀

One of the best lessons Dennis taught us had to do with technology. When he could find his phone, he used it, of course, sometimes to rant and rave! (heads nodding). When he remembered to, he also used it to check in, talk, console, laugh, or encourage you. However, as noted, most of the time he lived without it.

Dennis was the guy looking at other people in the airport (especially the ones sweating bullets before the flight 😅), on the bus, on the train, in any store or restaurant, and then talking to them. He was endlessly curious about all human activity, the act itself, and the person involved. He was going to know more about the waiter or waitress serving him than anyone else at the table. He was going to hold the door for the Door Man. He was going to chat up the Uber driver and help with directions if the GPS doesn’t work. He was going into the artist's shop to learn the life story of the store owner, and while he's there, he was going to offer the canvas of his own skin to a budding tattoo artist, just so he could practice his craft. 🍸 (Of course, that really happened: a friend wanted to be a tattooist, so Den repeatedly offered up his skin to support that dream. See guinea pig. 😄)

He was going to be invited to go to everything because he was the first name on everybody’s guest list. He was going to hold the elevator door open for so many people, he’d cheerfully take the stairs. He could have been a Gentleman in King Arthur’s Court, but he would have needed to borrow some of his AWOL armor. 😋

His attention was never blocked by his device. He wanted to know what other humans were doing, what was happening in front of him. He lived for those moments. He paid attention to the stuff that matters. Like his grandfather, he took great pleasure in fishing. The solitude kind. Where you go out on a small boat by yourself or with a buddy and throw out a line. He liked places where devices were not the Center of Attention. Being in nature was essential to Dennis. If he watched T.V. or went to the movies, he was whispering jokes in your ear or sharing spot-on observations about the show and/or the audience. His connection was eye to eye, heart to heart.

with Jonah (Florida)

Dennis often boarded trains, planes, and buses without a wallet, or a coat, or a suitcase, because being a joy-giver was apparently his actual occupation. Everywhere he went, his focus was on other people. Despite his incredible intelligence, it never ceased to amaze his family and friends that he was never aware of how much attention he showered others with, and how much his presence lifted their spirits...

Always racing to catch his next ride, he was often coming from having just bought a down-and-out stranger a ticket or coffee or meal, or having just handed them all his mula that was burning a giving hole in his pocket. He would know that stranger’s life story and he would share that story with you because it mattered to him and it damn well ought to matter to you too. Because he was sure this was the most important use of any human being’s time and emotional energy in every given moment.

Birthday mula soon to burn a giving hole in Den's pocket 😚

Continue the Journey

Dennis’s journey continues to inspire. Right now, friends and family are picking up his innovative baton and carrying on in new ways. They have a new plan, a new goal, a new idea, a new career path, a new undertaking or hobby. His rare ability to truly motivate and encourage others to live life in a more fully realized manner, lives on.

Spend your life in the pursuit of understanding the people who love you and accept every messy main course with just a side of the good stuff, and you might begin to know what made Den tick. (tock) 🍸Forgive everyone for everything real or imagined, but most of all, give every piece of your heart to all those you know, so your own heart transforms into a home for abandoned hurts. Keep nothing for yourself except your joy in others. Spend your time making more joy than money, spending all your money on others and in equal parts, spend that joy. Every ounce of it. 🍸

joyful DJ

Make someone feel as if he or she is the most important person in a particular moment in time, and maybe, just maybe, you will have a glimpse of Dennis James Lord 11. Accept a call from your loved one while you are working your fingers (9 and a half of them, to be exact) to the bone on a boat in the middle of the Pacific, with waves crashing over and rain pelting you. Your task at that moment requires your undivided attention, both hands, both feet, and all your mental processes, or there is a very strong possibility that you will be Man Overboard.  Try to avoid that calamity while instructing a fellow crew member to hold the phone up for face-time, so you can listen attentively, so you can be eye to eye, heart to heart.  It’s your cousin Jonah with something he thinks is important. So you think it’s important. Because you are Big Love. Because your journey is essentially a love story.

Chess w/Grandpa; Den Looking with love and pride at Jonah: "And then the rains came." 

Fall in love, repeatedly, foolishly and wholly, by climbing to the top of the tallest emotional mountain and jumping off with no parachute and no plan. Believe in your person by seeing that person clearly and saying, “Yes, I love you and all the messy stuff that comes with you.” Expect the terrible heartbreak that comes with loving anyone, ever. And do it anyway. Be there for every friend more devotedly than they can ever begin to return the favor. Carry them, drunken and sober, crying or laughing, peed-upon or dry, and you might find Den. Parent a child you constantly assure of your love, no matter how much resistance you meet. Persevere. Be confident in your own love that is so powerful, it has a life force of its own. It meets heartache head on. It takes down coat racks and unseen enemies. It lights the way during the darkest nights of the soul. 🍸

Den and Kim

Protect your loved ones from whatever is real or imagined, have no expiration date on friendship, no matter the circumstances. Champion the underdog, the losers, and the winners. You’ll find Den in all the races and with the biggest megaphone for those attempting to achieve something. But most of all, love others. Make their journey part of yours. Always, always be about others. 🍸

Tell the best story anyone’s ever heard because you are a born storyteller and tell it straight or slant, but always from your beating heart. Humor has its own heartbeat in you. Wit is your rhythm. Because you are Big Love.  Be the party. To say he was the life of the party was missing the mark. Den was the party, with a capital DP: Den Party.  He was the guy who always bought the round, not because he had more money but because he had more heart. He gave a bonafide damn about people and he never stopped wanting to help them or share stories with them. He always learned a person’s history and he took every one to heart and each one helped to shape his own journey.  Connection with compassion was his way of navigating every step. His rudder was caring. His compass was pointed in any direction that meant he had a purpose.

Run, jump, kick, catch, swing a club, bat, and tackle so gracefully from baseball to football to basketball to soccer to golf that you wow your coaches as a gifted athlete, but more because you have won the respect and love of every teammate because you are always a team player, and you make sure the success story is never about you.

with his buddies (Florida)

Take up carving or painting or drawing or fishing or popping-styled dancing and become self-taught in no-time while also being your own toughest critic; teach yourself to cook with an artist’s eye and develop chef standards for your palette, then eat every meal ever served to you with such gusto and gratitude that just watching you eat is ridiculously gratifying; know that sharing food is always about sharing love and make it your business to share love at all costs in all circumstances and with sincere abandon; help someone cross a real or imagined border with no regard to your own safety because you preach that fences tear at the fabric of the soul; mix every cocktail and pour every drink with a heavy splash of your endearing caring self. Make your lucky recipient feel as if this is the most fun you’ve ever had, being in service to them in that moment. Make them laugh, then grin from ear to ear because they love your drink, your giving heart, your joy in the moment. Make everyone who knows you feel they have the status of a loved one, then envelop them in a bear hug.

Playful Den
Den's sketch of his friend Deanna's horse that she filled in after he passed.

Be extraordinary in all things. Be big love to all people. In a word, be gargantuan.

Offer Dennis’s standard goodbye: Peace Out. On your way out the door, with the peace V sign, which really is offering someone else the peace and light of Christ (oh, and to really do it justice, say it while forgetting your socks, shoes, keys, wallet, phone et al. 😘) 🍸

Another Itty Bitty Disclaimer: One can never do another person enough justice by attempting to write about that person, so it should be noted that this is an amateur attempt at best, at capturing the powerful essence of what friends and family saw in Dennis, and about the extraordinary impact he had on our lives. It’s not the whole story, not even close, as that beautiful, complicated loving tale is Dennis’s alone. We hope and pray that our Den is OK (on the other side) with what has been documented here, but we also know that if we fu#563 it up, he will 100% forgive us.  #Motherfu@!2#&Pass)

Prayer for Dennis

Whether you are a believer or not, his family kindly requests that you keep this beautiful human in your prayers. We’d be especially appreciative if you recite this petition when you think of him:  Please God, have mercy on Dennis’s soul so he may walk with You forever in Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

If you pray the rosary, we also kindly request that you petition the Mother of God to pray for our Dennis.

God’s Grace
Whether you are a believer or not, when you are near your own death, or even right after, repent and ask for God’s mercy, and you will receive it. He will answer you.

Pointless Reader Reviews

⭐⭐☆ Reviewed by Dolly Parton, Last Celebrity Standing
Not the mom, the good news is that you will eventually get those requested prayers. Just might take a while. “You don't see too many atheists on the deathbed. They all start cramming then.”  
(" "Dolly Parton, Brainy Quote)

🍑☆🍑 Reviewed by Chandler, Peaches & Crème de Menthe
Am I the only left standing?! Is there like anyone here besides Mrs. Dolly?!! Hello?? #HasRedecoratedPanicRoom

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena‌‌
A little lower tone please. Yes, I think you’re the only upright one. Whispering would be good. I’m here, Chandler Peach mint, in the Guiness Book of Whacky Shack Obituaries from Hell with you. You are not alone, buddy, but you look three fries short of a happy meal. A comfort bottle of gin and I have been sheltering together under the coffee table for 3 hours. I’m not coming out until Aunt Nancy stops her drunken shooting spree in Aunty Leesa's Secret Garden.

🍑☆🍑 Reviewed by Chandler, Peaches & Crème de Menthe
I read it! Like the whole thing! Every page! Every word! Every comma, question mark, exclamation point !! that Aunty Nancy was drinking, semi-colon, dash, page break, em dash, paragraph indentation, italicized and bolded letter, title, sub-title, disclaimer, review, and disjointed subject matter. I thought there was gonna be like a test!!

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena‌‌
Oh, wow. I’m not sure I’m sober enough to wrap my pounding head around so many syllables at once. Can you give me a minute...or an hour…or...oh, yeah, no. Not processing. Are you saying you read something? Was it a lot of pages with words on them? Maybe 617?

🍑☆🍑 Reviewed by Chandler, Peaches & Crème de Menthe
Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m like stone cold sober! I only had Aunty Leesa’s Ruined Vodka and Soda! Then she poured me like seven cups of java from her Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Semi- Automatic 3 Group Espresso Coffee Machine. I like memorized the name in case it was gonna be on the quiz.

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena‌‌
Chandler, pump the word brakes, please. Slow is good. Stopping altogether even better. Still not comprehending. So, you are saying you are in need of some kind of a test?

🍑☆🍑 Reviewed by Chandler, Peaches & Crème de Menthe‌‌
"Yes! Yes, please! I’m like ready! Fire away!

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena
OK, I’m coming around. I think I can help both of us.

🍑☆🍑 Reviewed by Chandler, Peaches & Crème de Menthe‌‌
Yay!! Like, thank you! Hit me with your best shot!

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena‌‌
Here’s what I need you to do. Disguise yourself using attire from Uncle Joe’s capeless selection of Hero Costumes for Every Occasion. Go outside and repeat what you just said. Aunt Nancy will take it from there.

🗣🗣☆ Reviewed by Aunty Marcia, Don’t Make Me Use My HR Director Voice‌‌
Time Out, Chan. Pick a corner, any corner in Aunty Leesa’s Well Hidden but Welcoming Panic Room. I can’t believe you woke me up for this. I was in such a good place. There were pillows and some ravioli and people were waving flags. We were united in our purpose. I’m not sure what we were protesting or maybe celebrating but it was a beautiful moment of patriotism and peace. I heard Steven Tyler singing Dream On.

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by  The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena‌‌
Aunty Marcia, I can hear your voice, but I can’t see you.

🗣🗣☆ Reviewed by Aunty Marcia, Don’t Make Me Use My HR Director Voice‌‌
I’m on Aunty Leesa’s exquisitely designed granite island, which doubles as Uncle Joe’s 2 Star Bar. It was the only chalked body outline not taken when I started to get tired. That was around page 418, I think.

🍑☆🍑 Reviewed by Chandler, Peaches & Crème de Menthe‌‌
Mom! I want that test! I’m like ready. I know all of it! Quiz me! Quiz me! Please!!

📚🚵🏿‍⛺️☆ Reviewed by Uncle Bob, Mod Renaissance English Teacher Cycling Across Continents Sleeping in a Tent Taking Fine Arts Images & Reading Books Walking in Forests Like Stephen King & Buddhist Monks‌‌
Chandler de Peach, take a seat at the bar. I’m going to pass out the Final Test shortly.

🗣🗣☆ Reviewed by Aunty Marcia, Don’t Make Me Use My HR Director Voice
The bar is taken. Anyone who tries to shift me dies.

📚🚵🏿‍⛺️☆ Reviewed by Uncle Bob, Mod Renaissance English Teacher blahblahblah...
No problem, HR Huff and Puff. The coffee table’s free, Peach Mint. Meet you there.

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena‌‌
I’m under that! Uncle Bob, I’m pleading with you not to speak lots of words out loud in close proximity to me. If you do and I can get to a standing position, I swear on Madonna’s Fake British Accent, I’ll stand in front of Aunty Nancy’s firing squad.    #WonderingHowClosePanicRoomIs

📚🚵🏿‍⛺️☆ Reviewed by Uncle Bob, Mod Renaissance English Teacher blahblahblah...
Only Adult, are you trying, in overly dramatized fashion, to confess that you are unprepared, that you’ve failed to complete the homework assignment?

🍑☆🍑 Reviewed by Chandler, Peaches & Crème de Menthe‌‌
There was homework?!! I’ll be back in like an hour!!  #BackInPanicRoom

🗣🗣☆ Reviewed by Aunty Marcia, Don’t Make Me Use My HR Director Voice‌‌
I’m filled with gratitude and a lasting sense of peace. Chandler has left the room.

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by  The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena‌‌
Me too. I was almost shot to death while he was here.

🗣🗣☆ Reviewed by Aunty Marcia, Don’t Make Me Use My HR Director Voice‌‌
When standing before a firing squad, remember Ghandi’s parting words. Or Yoda’s. Because I can’t. Maybe Uncle Bob can review this with you. I’m going back to sleep now into the land of milk and money. But if Chandler makes another appearance, I give you permission to apply massive amounts of duct tape.

🙅🙅☆ Reviewed by  The Only Adult In The Room/a.k.a. Darlena‌‌
Listen to me! If Creamy Peaches--or whatever the minty fuck his name is--comes back, I can’t be held responsible for my actions. But, in case I lose consciousness, the duct tape is in the Stickier Than Average Tape bin in Aunty Leesa’s Things That Bind drawer.

🗣🗣☆ Reviewed by Aunty Marcia, Don’t Make Me Use My HR Director Voice
Sweetie, we can’t be held responsible for losing our minds when a Jedi meld battle technique has obviously been used to gain control of our questionable sensibilities. Just lie down in the street and wave a flag. Kumbaya.

☆☆☆ Not Reviewed by 💀 This Is The Spoken Version of the Written Invitation
Darlena, I’m only going to say this once. Come into the light. Refer to the bad poem where I’m beaming it all over the place. It’s safer here and no one ruins Vodka & Soda drinks. There are people on this side who have your back. If you stay under the coffee table in this crapality show of an Obituary from Hell, Dead Posse and I can’t guarantee we’ll have enough resources to shield you from all the dysfunctional people who are still living and claim to be related to you. For more information on that, visit 23andMe.

Because of the steep rise in Messed Up Families, there’s a serious shortage of angel wings right now.  I may have accidentally charmed most of them off. Refer to the same crappy poem. In any case, we can’t blame political figures for this unrelated issue because most of them can’t solve actual political concerns so have been voted back into office to repeat themselves. These repetitive life lessons are necessary and torturous to those who can’t find a well-planned Party to attend. This current right and left wing crisis, felt keenly by mindful Uncle George, has been kicked upstairs to figure out who takes the fall. Adam is shaking in his fig leaf and bare feet.  It’s 2021! Eve’s got the only seat at the table, as it should be. But I digress.

Come into the light, Darlena. Stand up. Or crawl. But get to the backyard. Follow the soothing sounds of gunfire. Remember, you’re a Leo with a Brain and reddish hair and blue eyes like Dorothy. Pick up one of Lees’s freshly bathed Toto dogs and put it in the Basket Used for Fresh Flower Selections, tap a pair of her red heart Uggs together, and salsa like no one’s watching, all the way down the yellow brick territory that Lees’s Fake Guard dogs have marked. Find Aunt Nancy. She’s tall and armed and has black hair and red lipstick and she might be pulverizing prescription Ray Bans with her heel. She also may or may not be smoking a stogie. We’ll be right here, waiting for you.

☠️☠️️☠️️ Reviewed by Dead Posse
Take one for the team, little sister. Really, just one. Nancy’s got game. She won’t miss. Mad bullet spilling skills.
#SharpshootersMakePosseProud   #HandsomeMarinesMakeGreatTrophySpouses

🗣🗣☆ Reviewed by Aunty Marcia, Don’t Make Me Use My HR Director Voice‌‌
Boys, boys, and Posse bad boys. Love the speech. Whimsical and confusing like politics, desperate to spare the life of a girl with strawberry blonde hair and a creamy complexion by killing her off. Not to rain on your futile but amusing parade, but your sister is passed out. Probably happened when you addressed her by name. She’s been going by The Only Adult in the Room for hours, possibly days. I’ve been in a happy vodka coma, so not sure exactly how long. Thus, she probably didn’t realize you were speaking to her. But good try. Points for effort and all that good stuff.

📚🚵🏿‍⛺️☆ Reviewed by Uncle Bob, Mod Renaissance English Teacher blahblahblah...
Now, let’s not get carried away. We’re not not going to reward anything less than a passing grade.

🍑☆🍑 Reviewed by Chandler, Peaches & Crème de Menthe ‌‌
What’s the passing grade? I need like the scale for the points!

Extreme Doubtfire Volunteerism Rating Tallier with a Fake British Accent Like Madonna Boy in the panic room with the dessert moniker, please do piss off! There are no more bloody points left to assign! Extreme Volunteerism is not a joke. I can bloody well tell you that ice climbing and cave diving are like a house safety-proofed by a helicopter parent compared to this shite. I'm off to collect my volunteer points as I've clearly outdone myself and should be awarded volunteer of the decade for this marathon rating session. Cross everything, people! Fingers, toes, arms, legs, eyeballs! I've given no actual tallies, of course, but no one was sober enough to notice, so who cares? I'm off to check to see if my extreme service has qualified me for a NY Times write-up. 🍸

⭐⭐☆ Reviewed by Yoda, Similar to Not the Mom, Likes to be Heard : Frightened Peachlike child. Don’t be calm. Don’t carry on. Your confectionary name alone places you in imminent danger at all times. Haunting knowledge from this traumatic experience stays with you alone. Like, no one wants to tap into that. I see three paths. There could be more but Aunt Nancy chuck-norrised my contact lenses. Journey outside the panic room. Follow Dead Posse down the yellow bricks urinated upon by 2 small canines who have been raised as humans. Or using Uncle Bob’s climbing rope, follow him up to the roof and record HOA evidence of sniper Aunt Nancy taking out the neighbor’s lawn art. Or follow good samaritans Patrick and his Spirit twin Topher who are piling gurneys with loaded relatives for an Uber ride home. The choice is yours, my child. "Do, or do not. There is no try." But this Not an Obituary remains with you alone. Do not, under any circumstances including PTSD moments, share, like, subscribe, or comment. Especially do not comment.
(" "Yoda quote from Star Wars)

☆☆☆ Not Reviewed by 💀 This Is Called Having the Last Word(s): #567,234 and #567,235
Peace. Out.


In OTT loving memory of Dennis James Lord II (10-6-82 - 7-27-20)


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