Dave Paul Thibodaux
I recently published a book based on my doctoral dissertation research, A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant. It is the culmination of 7 years in graduate school while earning a Master of Public Administration and a Ph.D.
This is a commitment I made to sacrifice my time and energies in pursuit of something special to me; education. My friend and dear brother, Dave Paul “DP” Thibodaux also made a commitment, though informal, it was powerfully motivational.
He committed to ask, encourage, and remind. He is not my spouse, boss, relative or student loan officer. He is a friend, and for over 20 years he has been my friend. We all have them. They come and they go. He has always, and only been, my friend.
Through my personal triumphs and tragedies, he remains; available, honest, present, listening, unassuming, and reassuring. He is my friend.
He remained committed to encouraging me to read, write, edit, and write more. Only he knew the difficulties I faced during these times, and his steady compassionate friendship kept me focused, and struggles confidential.
Preparing the dedication section obviously included thanking my parents, family, faculty, and co-working cops. Then I began to cry as I recalled each phone call, every visit and all the optimism he encompasses. Over those 7 years most people forgot about the classes, the semesters, the hours of studying, reading, and writing. Never once did he fail to ask, encourage, and remind.
I penned my dedication and ended it with him. I did not tell him but gave a copy to his wife to read. I knew she would see it and share.
Unfortunately some who know both of us thought it appropriate to mock the dedication. Their small words stung my friend and it pierces my heart. They took away from the purest joy between two friends; a simple, sincere “thank you.”
So I begin this “Week of People I Love” with Dave Paul Thibodaux. Many people today lack the capacity for unconditional friendship. Their attachments for self-satisfaction and instant gratification taints the title of friend. DP is blessed with a depth of commitment overcoming small words from petty people.
I am blessed by his example of long-term loyalty and personal sacrifice. He influences me more than he may ever know, but in the moment it took for his wife to share those written words, I trust he understood the level of appreciation I have for him.
Exerpt from the Dedication section of A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant.
I dedicate this work to my family, friends and “brothers and sisters in blue.” I thank my dear parents, Jean and Joe Silverii, whose personal commitments to higher education showed the value of learning to me as a child. I pray that my sons will see the sacrifices made as noble and learn the value of persistence through adversity.
After more than twenty years of law enforcement, I continue to be blessed by the men and women with whom I serve. To those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who continue the good fight, I am eternally thankful for your service to our country and community.
To my friends who were often greeted with, “I can’t, I’m reading,” thank you for your patience while I pursued my dream. Finally, I dedicate this work to my friend, who more than anyone I have ever known, treasures the value of education. Dave Paul Thibodaux has been a constant encouragement by always asking about my progress, making sure I was home reading, and reminding me why I ever began this journey. I hope that everyone has a DP in his life.