Coffee made, bird feeders filled. The sound of Mourning Doves cooing fills the air. Steel grey skies obscure the sun, the flowers of my bougainvillea flutter in the soft breeze. This morning, I am spending time sitting outside quietly reflecting and remembering my friend, Rick.
Rick, his wife Jessie, and their two daughters, Chelsi and Marissa, have been friends of our family for many years. He and my husband, Mike, go back as far as ages 10 and 12. We are family. These are the people we spent vacations with. We drank in the sunshine, (and plenty of Mai Tai’s) on Maui, snow skied in winter and water skied in summer. My fondest memory is of our many weekends camping at Lake Don Pedro, watching Rick and Mike banter while standing over the grill cooking breakfast or flipping burgers for everyone in camp.
Rick spent hours towing the kids around the lake and helped teach them to ski. He brought people together and was the one who called when too much time had passed. He never met a stranger. I can’t begin to imagine how many lives he touched. We were blessed to have had Rick in our lives.
Last week, I spent several days in the Sacramento area with Jessie. In between our remembrances, phone calls from friends offering their condolences, rummaging through papers, and making necessary arrangements we took time to do some light retail therapy and wander through the quaint town of Sutter Creek. Ethel, Marissa’s mother-in-law, joined us. At the Clothes Mine, we tried on a cheery assortment of post-royal wedding and fancy horseracing hats. I can imagine Rick and Mike, along with Ethel’s husband, sitting on a bench outside while we played dress up.
Loss of a loved one is part of life and in time, we will embrace our new normal. Our family gatherings will look very different in the future, but Rick will always be with us in spirit, as I am sure someone will say, “Remember when Rick…” for years to come.
Vaya con Dios, Rick, you will truly be missed.
Smiles are contagious; let’s start an epidemic -Laura Smith-