Hijacked Again


“1988, that was the year I was born!”  Eight little words, a short sentence spoken with no malice and my heart and emotions were immediately hijacked.  Fighting back tears, I told the technician who came to fix a leak under my sink about my David who also was born in 1988.  I’m sure the young man was a little startled by my emotion.

The conversation started by him asking about the blue Yankee stadium chairs he saw as he entered our lanai.  David was a true Yankee fan.  Before he died one of our dear friends blessed us with a trip to New York to see the Yankees play.  They gave us tickets, a limo, a hotel, tickets to see The Lion King, and money to tip everyone generously.  It was a memory maker for the Pfohl family.  David died in 2009, the year the Yankees won the World Series.  One night after David’s funeral I was watching the Yankees play the Philadelphia Phillies, both teams battling for the championship, and the door bell rang.  The family who blessed us with our “Make a Wish” Yankee trip were standing there with two blue Yankee stadium chairs from the old stadium.  They said, “We are not staying, but we wanted you to have this as a way to remember David.”  We hugged, cried, and they left.  On each chair there is a brass plaque.  The first one says,


“The day God gave you David – November 2, 1988, The day God gave David eternity – October 22, 2009   Love, The Kunz Family”

As I read David’s birth date to the technician, he said, “1988, that was the year I was born!”  Standing before me was a young man who was the age of my son if he had lived.  He was married, had a child with one on the way, loved his family, was a great technician, and openly shared about his love for God.  I told Brenda later that I wanted to call him up and tell him I wanted to adopt him and his family.  My mind was running a million miles an hour wondering what David would have looked like, what he would have been doing, would he be married, would we have more grandchildren, where he would be living, and how he was changing the world.  I missed him.  I longed to hold him.  Once again I felt ripped off, a little angry.

Later that day I went to look at the Yankee chairs and reread the second plaque that says,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7”

This was the verse my friend and pastor, Doug Bullock preached from at David’s funeral.  David lived his short life well with its many challenges.  David lived every day God had ordained for him.  Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  His faith, child-like yet deep, motivated us to keep trusting and believing in a good God when we struggled to do so.  I still miss him!  I still feel a little ripped off.  But I am thankful that David’s life and influence lives on.  

If you ever come to visit us in Florida, I hope you take a few minutes to sit in our blue Yankee stadium chairs and listen to a few stories about my son David who was born in 1988!


10 comment on “Hijacked Again

  1. Dave and Karen Richardson

    Poignant (as always), and genuine. Thankful mourning is good, and bears good fruit … a different variety of olive (Ps, 128:3). Thanks David, thanks Warren, thanks Brenda.

  2. Gerry

    Interestingly as I started my day in prayer I told God that I believe with every struggle I face he sends me a kind and strong person to support me. As on Friday I will be meeting with many people at the OPWDD who clearly do not understand the complexity of my daughter’s life, I again asked God to send me one of his special angels to support me in this most difficult time. I felt so very alone until I read your blog.
    Your faith sustains me. Thank you

  3. Susan Rerecich

    I will be in the Jacksonville area in Kily and would love to hear about David. I will be there with my boyfriend whose name is also Warren.

  4. Warren Pfohl

    Hi Susan, we love talking about David and the many lessons we have learned. We are spending the summer in Wisconsin so will not be in Florida. I hope you enjoy your time in Jacksonville. Say Hi to Warren. 🙂

  5. Warren Pfohl

    Brenda and I will be praying for your meeting. Here is a great verse and a great reminder for you today: Lamentations 3:21-23

    21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
    22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
    23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

  6. Warren Pfohl

    Thank you my dear friend!

  7. Ann Scherff

    I never thought of being hijacked – I like the term instead of triggers. For I have been hijacked many times as I have advocated for my three sons with disabilities. It is so unexpected at times. Even with there are the bad times, there comes so often from God blessings that carries me across those rough times. I just happen to be in Albany today for a Statewide Family Support Services meeting. I also have a son at home who has challenging needs that are exceeding my capacity and OPWDD has no solution for supporting him in a way to meet his needs. I understand where Gerry is at. It Gerry wants to reach out to me, please share my contact information.

  8. Kirsten Panachyda

    Warren, thank you for being honest about the anger and grief over the things that might have been if not for disease. I feel guilty sometimes- my son is still here, and wonderful, and I’m so grateful for him. But I still get so angry about the things that have been taken, and things which might never be possible.

  9. Helen Bugaj

    You told this story in a beautiful and encouraging way! David couldn’t have been loved more and that’s a wonderful testimony for your family and friends. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Gerard McCrohan

    Thanks for your honesty and faith. It’s amazing how David’s faith continues to inspire and give hope. I imagine him sitting in the best stadium chair, front row seat, next to Jesus watching a great game in heaven, cheering and laughing. . Then he goes into the game and pitches some 100 mph fastballs!

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