The two people closest to Satch Young were taken from him by COVID-19. Both of his best friends, Darlene “DeeDee” Saulter and Moe Kirby, died less than a month apart. “I’ve called their phones just to hear their voice messages,” said Young. “I can wake up at any moment and just think about [them] because there are so many reminders in your house.”
SATCH YOUNG: Greetings. My name is Satch Young, and I've lost two of the closest people in my life, my best friend, Maurice "Moe" Kirby who passed on April 15, 2020, and my best friend in the world, Darlene "DeeDee" Saulter, who passed on May 11, 2020. These were the two closest people in my world besides my children. You know, we have people in our lives that we know we talk to them every day multiple times a day. Sometimes your days are not complete if you don't talk to them.
For me it's like I've lost my right hand and my left hand, and my right leg and my left leg, if you really want to push it to that. They both were the leaders of their families at this stage of the game. Moe took care of not just his family, but him and I were activists in Bed-Stuy, or really in all of Brooklyn. You know, we had basketball tournaments that we would give. He gave parties for all sectors of partying, from hip hop all the way to R&B.
But Darlene, she was a-- you know, just like a rock. We grew up together from the ages of-- I guess I was 12 when she was eight. We grew up as family. I grew up in her house.
And so right now, there's the hole in my life. There's a gap in my life. They lived their lives. They live their lives to the fullest.
You know, we learn how life is short. We never know what tomorrow brings. And they were two great people, two great people. I am so blessed to have had them to be my best, my confidants, my laughter sharers, my world.
For Maurice, or Moe, I'd be driving down the road, and all of a sudden, my phone would ring. And he'd be blasting some club music in his car and say, Brother Young, Brother Young, what you know about this song? Or you know, I'd be sitting up at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning with the TV on, and Darlene would call me. What you watching?
And I'd say, oh, I'm watching "Chicago PD." Oh, you're a traitor. You know, "CSI Miami's" on, because we would watch those things late at night, you know.
At this stage now, you just look for your phone to ring, and you know it's not going to. You know, you wake up in the morning, and you just want to make a call, and you know that phone number's not going to be answered anymore. I know I would still have these feelings even without a pandemic, but with a pandemic, the natural order of trying to move towards closure-- but I've also lost many others in different worlds that I've been blessed to live in.
In the nursing world, I've lost staff. People have called me and told me another one. I think I've lost five people who worked under me before I retired. I mean, in the basketball world, I've lost two or three people. In my referee world, I've lost two to three, four refs.
And you know, but as I say, these two are the closest to me, because they are daily. There's so many people walking around with petty things that keep them from their loved ones. They need to overcome that. You're not always going to have a second chance to say, I'm sorry, or to hear, I'm sorry.
Just to hear their voice again, you know, I try to imagine. I mean, I've called their phones just to hear their voice messages. I continue to cry various times each-- you know, I could wake up at any moment and just think about it, because there are so many reminders in your house. I don't think there's ever just one word to say except I love you, and I miss you.