No More Noogies

Last night a family friend died. In fact Rick was more like a second dad to me. He, his wife, and my mom all belong(ed) to the same Sunday School class/group, and the long-time members often helped my mom with my sister and I.

From what I understand, Rick was at a Rangers game with his daughter and granddaughter and had seen the grand slam by Josh Hamilton. On the way out he stumbled, recovered, and then collapsed. This timeline strikes me because he was at a wonderful game with his only child and grandbaby (who is about seven months old). As Rick lived in Midland, going to the game was pretty significant, as was being with family. Therefore if nothing else, I’m glad he died surrounded by family and feeling happy.

Naturally, I wish that Rick didn’t die. He was a significant part of my life as a child. He regularly gave me noogies well into my adult years. I always wore my hair down when visiting him to ensure he could have maximum impact with his knuckles. It was our thing, and I have to say, I don’t have many things with people, which made it extra special to me.

I remember how devoted he was to his wife, as shown by his work on the house to allow her independence and maximize her mobility as well as putting up those 8 to 14 Christmas trees and other holiday celebrations. (I think when Kay died the number of trees was up to 14, but I’m not sure.) Also the house was filled with black-and-white cows, which everyone found for Rick’s wife.

Rick also regularly demonstrated his love of his family and friends. He helped his daughter remodel her house (he loved building things), which I always found impressive as I’m a bit of a klutz. When Mom and I returned to Midland from Hobbs, he let me stay at his house a few weeks early so that I could attend summer band. Funnily, someone in the school administration was smart enough to figure out my sister’s relationship to me, and since I was initially listed as having Rick’s address they called to report her absent to him. Fortunately for Glenda he didn’t tell my mom.

Rick also demonstrated a strong sense of community and service to others. He regularly helped with Christmas in Action (formerly called Christmas in April), where groups of people worked together to help fix up the houses of people in need. Mom’s Sunday School group regularly took on houses requiring more than a coat of paint, and Rick was instrumental in working on those houses each weekend until the group was done. He and Kay both had season tickets to the high school football games and went also to basketball games (for Midland, not Midland Lee), even when his daughter wasn’t somehow participating.

It’s hard to believe Rick’s gone. I know his soul is happy to be reunited with Kay, but he will be missed here on Earth.

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