In 2007 I had the opportunity to work with him in the same department. He was so excited that I was coming and he always made me feel special. I never understood what he saw in me since we didn't work side-by-side on a daily basis, but whatever it was, he was never afraid to let me know how talented and smart he thought I was. Now you see, I'm not naturally a "me, me, me" kind of person, but Rick somehow made it okay for me to appreciate my own strengths without feeling like I was boasting or being arrogant. It allowed me to recognize that I had things I could offer in life. Thank you for that Rick! Thank you!
As I was coming on board with the new position, Rick was returning as well from his leave of absence. He had been battling cancer and was on his way back to being healthy. His frame was small and frail, but his attitude and determination were large and full. I couldn't believe he was already back at work. We would talk about his recovery and when I shared my own health issues, he was very adamant about me seeing a doctor and getting on the proper meds for my esophagus. He had throat cancer and knew very well where my issues would lead me. So I heard him loud and clear and did as he had requested....plus each day he would ask if I had scheduled an appointment yet (haha-persistent guy). I'm so glad I did. It saved me from allowing my own health to get away from me. Thank you for that Rick! Thank you!
Over the next two years we would work on various things together and we would share frustrations, laughs, family stories, coaching tales and whatever topic there was in that moment. He would either ask for help or show me a different way of doing a task. I loved sharing with him and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge as well. I was one of the first to see a "final cut" on a project and give input. He always wanted my input because he knew I wouldn't hold back..haha...plus I was nosey. He trusted me with that feedback. Thank you for that Rick! Thank you!
When there were times he or Tony (his partner in commercial crime) needed a voice over they would call me to the sound booth and we would do 100 takes. He was always patient. The laughter never ceased. I remember there was an occasion where he or Tony asked that I slow down my speed and I did so. It came out pretty seductive and he was like "Woooohhhh, now that's a voice...what kind of voice over are ya'll doing?".....WE LAUGHED SO HARD and he promised to help me become a 1-900 telephone operator since I told him it was one of my fantasy jobs...lol. Oh my gosh...that memory alone makes me smile to think of how much we couldn't get back on track that day. Our boss had no idea how much fun was going on in that sound proof room. Haha. I loved the laughs and for once again making me feel more than I felt for myself. Thank you for that Rick! Thank you!
I hated telling all of them bye when I left to a different company. I hated the sincere pain it left in my heart, but situations had changed with the company and there wasn't anything that any of us could do about it. I noticed that Rick was losing his zest for the company and how it was affecting him...but his treatment of me never changed. Thank you for that Rick! Thank you!
Awhile back I was informed that Rick's health had taken on another battle. That story is not up to me to share, but I will say I was afraid for him and scared that I wouldn't get a chance to share with him once again. I prayed (as many of us did) and he seemed to be healing. As time went on and as my own life took it's own course, I forgot about my buddy Rick and his struggles. It's not that I didn't think of him (because I did often), it's just that we get consumed in our own lives that we forget many times about the lives of others.
When I read Liz's post and as the tears came flowing down, I was so upset with myself for not keeping in contact. I beat myself up a little over this guilt and thought (as most of us do in situations like this)...I should have visited or called or SOMETHING! Now my opportunity is forever unfulfilled.....
But as I'm thinking this, my throat immediately starts burning and I KNEW....I knew it was Rick! In that moment I remembered all the things I mentioned in this post and then my heart began to heal those recent wounds of perceived loss. I realized that I didn't lose ANYTHING! In all the moments and in all the time that we shared...I had gained a forever friend. A friend with whom I shared some of the most silliest, respectful, uplifting, encouraging and unimportant memories....that have proven to be immeasurable in wealth. I realized that (after many other lessons in life have failed to completely teach me) that when we are given those moments with others....we shall serve ourselves and the other person to just be "in that moment" with them. Nothing further is EVER PROMISED...nothing further should EVER BE EXPECTED. Just that moment! It's all we have. Just that moment. So never let it pass you by...never let your own circumstances in life or attitude affect what could possibly be great in that moment. Thank you for that Rick! Thank you!
I love you my forever friend. Thank you for being a "good" part of my life and leaving a forever stamp of love on my soul!