This morning around 9 AM, I received some terrible news. My good blogging friend FireTag (known to his family as Darryl Holliday) passed away Wednesday night following an illness due to diabetes related complications. I first became acquainted with him over at Mormon Matters where I learned he was a member of the Community of Christ (aka RLDS Church.) We both enjoyed talking about Book of Mormon geography theories. He had a different sense of humor, and I remember that our first encounter was a little awkward. However, we soon became friends and blogging buddies.
I helped him start his blog, The Fire Still Burning, and helped him setup his Facebook account. As time went on, I invited him to blog with us at Mormon Matters. After the kerfuffle at Mormon Matters, he joined us as one of the original bloggers at Wheat and Tares. I was pleased to meet him and his wife Charlotte a few years ago. It was a meeting that I treasured.
I really enjoyed learning more about our LDS cousins: the Community of Christ, (formerly known as the RLDS Church.) He, along with John Hamer, helped me write one of my favorite posts: Interview with the Community of Christ. I always looked forward to his insights into the new revelations added to the RLDS version of the D&C, such as the one talking about accepting baptism from other Christian churches, or the revelation to allow countries to choose whether to accept same sex marriage.
Darryl was a great scientist. We often enjoyed talking about Book of Mormon geography theories, though I disagreed with his explanation on directions in the Book of Mormon. He talked circles around me when he discussed global warming. One of the things I admired so much was that even though many scientists seem to discount God, Darryl had a testimony of the Holy Spirit, and knew God was directing him. I enjoyed hearing his perspectives on the multi-verse (though I freely admit I don’t understand parallel universes or string theory at all.)
His wife Charlotte sent us an email that I would like to share.
Thank you for a most memorable writing experience for Darryl. He was very honored to be part of your writing team at Wheat and Tares. He would want me to extend his gratitude for the opportunity to reach so many people with his research and thoughts. Please send this message to all with our family’s appreciation for all that you do to make the world a better place. He left so quickly, before any of us were ready. But I am grateful that he does not suffer. He was my knight, my prince, and the pebble in my shoe.
His last post was in June, Lust or Gluttony – the Persistence of the Puritans. He let us know that he was having some health challenges, but we had no idea that would be his last post. We were sure he would pull through his latest challenge. As Charlotte said, we weren’t ready for Darryl to leave. When my brother passed away 7 years ago in a terrible car crash, one of his colleagues paid tribute to him by saying the following, and I think it applies to Darryl as well.
And finally, the thing about goodbyes is that they are rarely for keeps. We never really know when we are saying goodbye for the last time. We said goodbye to Ryan in January when he left [his employer] to pursue other endeavors… It didn’t feel like goodbye, not until last night. Sometimes goodbyes we mean to say just come too late.
The writers at Wheat and Tares are preparing a tribute post. When it is published, this link will work. I encourage you to check it out. A memorial service for Mr. Holliday will be held at Covenant Methodist Church in Montgomery Village, Maryland on Saturday, September 14 at 2 p.m. There will be a reception following the service. If you live in that area, Charlotte told me that all are invited.
Do you have any thoughts you would like to share? What are your favorite posts?