Saturday, February 10, 2007

Making Sense of the Impossible
The Phillies fan online community lost a dear friend and great leader today. Dave "mvpsoft" Snyder, founder and proprietor of, died in a one-car crash near his home in Michigan. He was 50 years old.

I wrote a tribute to Dave on The Good Phight. In part I did this because this was a man for whom I had real fondness and great respect, but also because writing is my way of trying to concretize and explain things, even--mostly--to myself. And it just isn't working.

The guy was 50 fucking years old. He had a great family with whom he was very close, a successful business, friends, a wide range of intellectual and community interests. And it all disappeared in the space of seconds.

This isn't a "why do bad things happen to good people" lament. Dave was a spiritual man, a Christian in the best sense of that term, similar in that way to my old friend Eric who sometimes comments here: their commitment is to living their values, and to a faith of the mind as well as the heart. Intellectually, I see no connection between this tragedy and my own ongoing questions about faith and spirituality and the nature of the divine; I guess I simply don't believe in a personal God. It seems presumptuous, frankly; I can accept that there's a spark of the divine within humans, but not that there's an essential human element in the divine.

But this is my hangup, not Dave Snyder's. If he had enough time between when the car went out of control and when he suffered his fatal injury to consider what was about to happen, I'd like to think he was okay with it. Dave did believe; I'm of the view that he accepted the judgment of his God and whatever disposition of his soul.

I have known, in "real life" or through virtual communities, way too many people who have died before their time. My dear childhood friend Jeremy, at age 25, in 1999; another friend, Murray, around the same age a year or two earlier; a co-worker, Susan, of whom I was very fond, age 36, in 2004; the brilliant satirical Phillies blogger "Tacony Lou" this past autumn, age 41. Jeff Lamana, the founder of, passed away from cancer earlier in 2006; he was my age. My brother is a cancer survivor, a gift for which, despite my unbelief in a personal God, I give thanks.

Another virtual Phillies friend sent me a message earlier tonight that every day is a gift. I would phrase it that nothing is guaranteed, and that every moment should be made to count, to mean something.

I will miss Dave. I'm glad that I knew him.

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