When I was 8 years old I met the most amazing man while I was going door to door trying to sell things out of a catalog for my school fund-raiser. His name was Richard and he befriended me quickly. Looking back on this now I know how special this was in so many ways. I wish I had the words to describe my relationship with Richard. I struggle now trying to find a way to explain the unexplainable. He was a surrogate grandfather but he always treated me as his equal. He treated me the same when I was 8 years old as he did when I was 18. He was my mentor, teaching me things in such a way that I never realized I was learning. He was my best friend, he knew all my secrets and never judged me. I can only hope every child grows up with a “Richard” in their lives.
I saw an actor tonight in a rerun of one of my favorite shows that could have been his twin. I had to pause it and just stare. Richard did so much for me that I could never repay him for and he never expected anything in return. The day before my 21st birthday Richard passed away due to complications of cancer. He was a fighter through and through. He was so stubborn he insisted on keeping his independence and living alone as he had for as long as I knew him even while undergoing treatment. There was a time when I wished he would have had someone with him, but I have long since made my peace with that. I now believe that Richard left this world on his own terms, just as he led his life.
To my most precious friend., thank you for all you continue to mean to me and the impressions you left when you thought no one noticed. I love you and I miss you everyday.