|Rick's family in 2003|
Now Ricky and I go way back to the cradle almost. He's the same age as my little sister, Janet. Every time we were in country we always stopped at Uncle Ferdy's house before visiting my grandmother.
When we arrived in the States after the fiasco in Ceylon in 1971, that family was the first to welcome us home. We were shell shocked and exhausted both mentally and physically. I remember well how Uncle Ferdy's boys drew us out into some sort of normalcy instead of constantly looking over our shoulders for people trying to kill us. Yes, a lot of Escape from Second Eden is factual and really happened.
Between playing hoops, which now I'm not sure I won all those games against the boys fair and square, and exploring excavation sites, they drew us out and started the healing process. I'll be forever grateful to all of them for that. I lost my lucky elephant hair ring on one of those excursions. Ricky promised to keep looking for it even after we left. He never found it.
I was planning to go down to Jacksonville and play cheerleader for him this weekend. The first road trip for me alone since my stroke. Each day I am thankful to be alive and still able to hug my children and grandchildren since my stroke. I'm constantly reminded of those who are not able to do that. One third of the million plus a year who suffer strokes are not here anymore. I am, for all my griping and complaining, one of the lucky ones. I am a survivor who can relearn what I lost.
I went to the family website, since we are all stretch across this country and a few others, and read where he had died just after midnight. My heart is heavy for his wife, three daughters, and grandchildren today.
Please send a prayer of comfort for the family he left behind.