I suppose, in some ways, I have moved on.
As tragic as it was to lose Daniel Clive Wheldon one year ago, it’s safe to say that our Lionheart would not want us to forever shed tears for him. He’d want us to keep enjoying the sport, and he’d want us to enjoy life to the fullest, preferably with a smile on our faces.
After all, that’s what he did. So that’s what I’ve tried to do as well.
Even with all the accomplishments he achieved on the track — including the two Indy 500 victories, the 2005 IndyCar Series title, and the Dallara DW12 that he helped develop in the final months of his life — I remember Wheldon for that happy, indomitable spirit and for being able to pass that along to the fans whenever he met them.
Here was a guy that could’ve thought he was “too cool for school” so to speak, and he’d have good reasons for adopting that mentality; after all, two Indianapolis 500 wins does automatically make you rather cool, indeed! But he absolutely loved the fans every bit as they loved him. He made them all feel like they were his pals. The relationship between him and them was very much a genuine one.
That’s how I’ll always think of him.
I wish I had more to say, but my mind is now flooding with thoughts, so I’ll end it with this. We would give anything to have Dan Wheldon back with us, but we are also grateful for the time we were able to have with him. I’m sure I’ve written this before, but I’ll write it again: We don’t have an infinite amount of time on this world, and thus, our goal is to make sure we have lived out our lives here with as many good memories as possible.
Dan did that. And so should we.
May God comfort his family and his friends, today and always.