Last week, I lost one of the best people I ever knew. For 21 years, I had the privilege of spending time with him and his family, who not only made my childhood so much fun, but also shaped me into the person I am today. Ricky gave me so many memories I will never forget.
Just a few things I remember about him and our time together:
Walking two houses over to jump on Ricky's bed and play video games, board games, watch movies and even play with his puppet Lamb-Chops
Tea parties on my kitchen floor and the "potions" we would make together
POW POW POWER Wheels... when he'd come over in his or I'd pick him up in mine
Trips to Turtle Park
The time the fire happened at his La Cuesta house. We were terrified at first, but then we couldn't stop laughing about it for days
My cool, older friend who let me help him pass out stickers and flyers when he ran for VP of Valencia Elementary
His ramp and straps in his many vans that made our car rides eventful
The time we held onto each other oh so tight in the van when Sharon taught Stephanie, Carrie, Cassie and Shalaine how to drive in the church parking lot. After Stephanie rolled over the curb, Ricky and I prayed for safety the rest of the time... especially when Shalaine ran into the light post!
How much he loved anything and everything that was red and yellow
Going to the movies... Oh I couldn't tell you how many movies we saw together
He taught me how to play pool with our hands instead of pool sticks. Every time I would be close to winning, he would purposely hit my fingers with the ball he was using, just to remind me that he should really be the one to win.
How he always said, "COOL" and "YEAH" so enthusiastically
How we played Battle Toads, Mario Party, Power Rangers, and Mario Kart all of the time... he always kicked my trash too!
His grumbly little laugh
Our Power Ranger obsession and his awesome birthday party
Watching I Love Lucy till we could hardly keep our eyes open
His favorite church song, "Angels We Have Heard on High" and how he would belt out the "GLORIA" part with all his might
His stern hand shakes and high fives
The scar I have on my knee from his wheel chair
The way he always managed to run over my toes every time I saw him
My mischievous partner in crime that used to help me stuff and lock
his nurse, Arnold, into his closet
Going to Patty's ( his nurse's) house and laughing about her stinky smelly bull dog together
Spending time with his favorite nurse Kim.
He loved listening to his nurse Janet play the harp in his bedroom
Eating at Ruby's on the pier together
How he used to let me ride on the back of his wheel chair with him, until Clyde bit my butt. We kind of stopped that tradition after that accident
Balboa Island Weekends and Trips... Times in the arcade and strolls around the neighborhood with him and Doug and their whoopie cushion pranks
His silly jokes that made him laugh more than anyone else
Selling Lemonade on the street corner in Nellie Gail and making bank! haha
His red wheel chair zooming around the corner at church
Feeling so cool that we got to go in the church elevator together
The times he used to fling his wadded-up napkins full of spit and Pringles at people and laugh about it
How much he loved going to Chucky Cheeses... because of the video games and the cheese pizza of course
How excited he would get every time he got to tell me he'd be the uncle of another niece or nephew
The way he talked about his mom
He loved anything and everything with cheese
(especially cheese and ketchup, probably because they are yellow and red)
The time we put a plastic rat in the fridge to scare Stephanie when she opened it. Man did she scream and man did we laugh about that forever
How frustrated he would get with Bonnie and Clyde and then Smokey and Clyde... and all the silly tricks he would play on them and then laugh about 'em.
The face he would make whenever he was trying to win at arm wrestling or trying to open something.
Eating at Fat Burger every time he came to visit
Going to the zoo together
The times he played the role of my "protector, advisor and father-figure"
The time he pee-d on me and everyone in the world heard about it and would never let me live it down. That story will be passed on for generations I'm sure
The cute little text messages he used to send me
His tight bear hugs
How much he loved the Beatles
How bright and intelligent he was
How determined he was to make a difference
The best prom date I could have ever imagined
Going to the movies after prom and talking about how hot it was at 2 in the morning in Palm Springs
Our late-night Spa trips in Palm Springs. We'd look up and try and count the stars while sitting in the hot tub with his mom and Doug
When he'd let me sit on his lap and spin me around at dances for the slow songs
He was one heck of a bowler
How he was there for anyone who ever needed him
My cruising buddy that used to sing N*sync songs with me in the car
How good of an example he was to everyone he came in contact with
How much he spiced up life
His courageous spirit and "winner" attitude
Someone I always looked up to
His BIG Heart and BIG Smile
NOBODY means to me what RICKY means to me...
Even though its hard to imagine life without him, I'm so glad that he can walk and run and jump and be with his mom, who he loved more than anyone on earth, and with his Heavenly Father. I hope he can eat as much cheese pizza and as many Pringles as he wants too! I know that he feels NO MORE PAIN, only happiness and joy and that is all I could ask for Ricky.
He was my Rickster, my Ricky, my Richard ( even though he hated when I called him that), my Ree-hendro, my Ree-man, my Rick, my Ricker, and my best friend and will always be. I LOVE YOU RICKY!
This is not good-bye; rather I'll see ya later!!! :)