In January 2017, I wrote a blog post honoring the wedding of my friends Carol Estes and David Levin who met, fell in love and got married in Oaxaca. You can find it HERE.
Carol called me this morning to tell me that David died on Saturday evening, September 28, 2019. We cried together and reminisced. We cried together and our voices trembled in unison. We cried together and talked about what the future might bring. Carol is packing up her life in Toronto and return for a while to Dallas, Texas, near family.
For our moments together, we talked about David’s will to live, his spirit of adventure, his desire to travel and enjoy life after being diagnosed with cancer almost three years ago. We focused on David as Carol’s soulmate and how Oaxaca changed their lives.
David was one of those passionate people who loved taking friends and visitors to Abastos Market, where he could mingle with the real people of Oaxaca. He chose a local neighborhood to live in that was close to Oaxaca’s soul. I remember the gatherings he and Carol hosted for large groups of friends. We would squeeze into the patio to share food, wine and mezcal, rub shoulders and laugh. He brought us together.
He hosted a cooking class to teach us all how to make mamelas. Our instructor was a Oaxaqueña woman who filled us up with her stories and good food, giving us recipes to take with us on our journey back to where we came from — Oaxaca Centro or Teotitlan del Valle or Vancouver, B.C. David made life happen for many of us; he guided us, showed us the way.
Here is what Carol wrote to friends about David’s passing:
I’m writing to let you know that David died last evening, September 28. He’d been in hospital since Monday, and had been increasingly ill for about two weeks. Up until then, he remained the energetic, focused man you’ve known these many years.
David found it impossible to believe that he would have to give in to cancer. He continued to plan “what’s next” up to the end. I had to cancel a trip to Mexico in early November and one for February to Bangkok! Last week he was sure he’d live at least another six months. It has been exactly three years this month since his first treatment. During that time we had a wonderful trip to Sri Lanka and India, Las Vegas, Montreal, and New Mexico. David spent last December in Melbourne with his family. He was truly a traveling man.
I’ve attached a recent photo of David with his newest grandson, Benjamin. David was happy to see both his daughters marry in the last three years, and each presented us with a grandson. Mia has Nathan who is 18 months old, and Anna has Benjamin who is six months old now.
Thank you for all the joy you brought into our lives… for rejoicing with us at our wedding, and for your friendship during our Oaxaca days. I will move back to Texas to be with my children on October 22, and I have no doubt that I will return to Oaxaca at some point. I look forward to seeing each of you again. This is far from a complete list of the people in Oaxaca who knew and liked David. Please feel free to share his passing.
Let’s together raise a toast to the life of David Levin. I have lit copal incense and a Yahrzeit candle that will burn for 24-hours in David’s memory. When we keep memory alive, the person we care about and love will never be far from us.