It’s difficult to believe that one year ago from today, August 27th, my buddy the thousandth man, was still here. I remember the day specifically. It was his birthday & I left work early, I wanted to see him, & I went to his place. His mother let me in, he was lying on the couch, & we chatted a bit. He kept his eyes closed, & I asked him if he’d like me to read to him from the Silmarillion from J.R.R. Tolkien, about a part that had to deal with The Hobbit & eventually into LOTR. He said yes so I started to read. He kept his eyes closed, listening to me read, no doubt picturing himself in the world of Tolkien instead of the world he was currently in.
I’ve called Rich the Samwise Gamgee to my Frodo in many blogs. He would have been 39 today. 30 years of friendship is not something you take lightly. This is 30 years from grammar school, through high-school, college, then life where we were always together. We could not talk for 2 weeks then when one of us called the other it would be like we just spoke the day before. We were just like that. When you constantly have someone in your life like that & they die, it’s honestly like losing a part of yourself. He left us in January & to this day I still go to email him, I still have his phone # in my phone & go to call him, & when I see new things like the new preview for Disney’s soon to be new Star Wars cartoon REBELS or find a new show to enjoy like THE GOLDBERGS I think of him wanting to discuss it with him.
My wife is my best friend. But losing Rich, I feel like I lost my oldest friend, which I did, & part of me doesn’t really know how to go on. I honestly don’t know how to handle it. I miss my friend; I want him back to discuss stupid things, to hang out with, to see the final Hobbit movie with. I know he’s in a better place where there’re no more tumors, surgeries, needles, drains to take spinal fluid from his skull, pain from the medication he was on. Perhaps I’m just selfish & want him back for myself. I want to go to Chili’s with him & sit over chips & queso & some fountain coke sodas & talk about stupid stuff, I want to laugh at our jokes again like we used to so much that I cry from laughter instead of crying from missing him.
I know that Rich is watching me from Heaven & is in peace. I know he still remembers me, laughs when I do at something funny, & I know he doesn’t want me to be sad like this. It’s just tough & I guess always will be.
I have no idea what Heaven is like, only that it exists & that Rich is there right now. But, in the LOTR movies, in Return of the King, Gandalf says something I really liked to Pippin during the attack on Minas Tirith & I’d like to share that here & think that this is what Heaven is like & where Rich is:
“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path…One that we must all take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass…And then you see it…White shores…and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
Happy Birthday, thousandth man. I miss you.