Only the good die young

It’s almost impossible for the 1st of the month to go unnoticed… especially when it’s the date of your Dad’s passing. Each new month will begin with thoughts of him.


One month ago today was his Homecoming…the day of his healing.

Since his passing, my feelings are completely different than before. I am so very relieved and at peace that he is no longer suffering. I can’t even explain how much lighter I feel now that I know he no longer has to suffer with pain, weakness, cancer treatments, hospitalizations, problems eating, and all the countless problems that stemmed from the cancer itself.


After his heart stopped beating on that bittersweet day, I was the one who shut off his morphine pump. It was such a strange, yet freeing feeling. He no longer had to rely on continuous narcotics, for God took away all of his pain. He no longer had to endure anything less than perfect.


Yet, I miss him here with us, as the healthy and strong man as I always knew him. I wouldn’t want him here suffering any longer than he had to… if he would’ve been healed on Earth, of course I’d want him with us for many, many years. But that was not the case.. so I’d rather him be healed in Heaven than suffering here on Earth.

It’s still not fair though, nor easy. This never should’ve happened, according to our plans. For some reason, far above our thoughts and understanding, God needed him.

Only the good die young.


In the fragrance

Of the early morn

At 9:00 on August 1, 2009

At just the moment when Marla called

To find out how her baby brother

Was doing

Ricky’s spirit

Has gone home

The Angel of Life

She has carried him off

Cradled in her arms

To the gates of heaven

With Rick holding the key

To the gate

That he made himself

Dancing to Frank Sinatra

“I Did It My Way”


That is the poem that my Aunt wrote and read right after my Dad’s passing. As she read it, my family members and I were gathered around his lifeless body that once held his spirit. I’d like to share the rest of the beautiful words my Aunt said during his Celebration of Life.

Welcome everyone. Your presence today is profoundly meaningful for all of us who loved Rick.

This celebration of life today is the story of Rick’s life – through music that he and Janice loved and through the words, spoken today from Rick’s family, friends and co-workers.

The story has a beginning and is without end.

The middle of the story is about a husband, father, son, brother, son-in-law, cousin, uncle, friend, co-worker.

Yet, in some ways, the story has just begun.

Because Rick has left something for each of us to carry on. To make us better human beings, to make a contribution to the world to make it a more humane place.

If we have to think about the trademarks that make up Rick’s life, they would be living out his passions for life; living life with conviction; Rick was a brilliant problem solver. Rick stood up for what he believes. What really stands out for Rick’s life, though, is Joy. Rick’s trademark for his life is Joy.

When I was on the place flying in on Friday, the Lord showed me the Angel of Life carrying Rick’s spirit – she was taking him to a great place of peace – a place that has been prepared for Rick’s homecoming.

And on Saturday these were the words I spoke as a prayer for Rick as the immediate family members gathered.

In the fragrance

Of the early morn

At 9:00 on August 1, 2009

At just the moment when Marla called

To find out how her baby brother

Was doing

Ricky’s spirit

Has gone home

The Angel of Life

She has carried him off

Cradled in her arms

To the gates of heaven

With Rick holding the key

To the gate

That he made himself

Dancing to Frank Sinatra

“I Did It My Way”

I saw my baby bro’s life as a prayer – with goodness. He didn’t need to talk about what he believed in.

That morning with a great peace in the house I heard these words from Isaiah 40: 29-31

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD 
will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


_____________________________________________________________

And these are the words I heard my baby bro say in my heart:

It was time for me to fly

When you hear a dove

sing its song of peace

It will be my song

A song of being released

To that place where my

Family who are gone

Wait for me

Where Nana Mac will reach out

Her hands to me

And where Marcia will be standing next to her

And though it is time for me to fly

I will always be close

Listen to your heart

For you will hear my laugh

My funny way of looking at life

And tell Mindy and Steven

Who are my heart

They will hear my guiding words

For their lives

They will feel the fierce love

I have for them

When it follows them in their

Adventures and in their

Big life decisions

And tell Janice

The love of my life

That my love will shelter her

Just as my arms held her

And remind her to live life with a joyful heart

And with the same zest for life

That we shared in our thousands of intimate moments

Comfort the family

Mom, Dad, Francine, Marla, Vinnie, Margaret,

My friends at Brewer, my buds

And let them know that the seed of joy

I leave with them

Tell them it will keep them going in the hard times

And sustain them in the good times

And tell them not to hesitate to stand up for what they believe in

To live out good conscience by living right

And tell them the seed of joy I have left with each one of them is

The unfolding story

for it is no longer just my story

But OUR STORY

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