rick at the track
Rick's Story

AUGUST 16, 2008
August 16, 2002  3:27 PM Eastern
"Mom, I've decided.  I'm coming home.  I'm coming home, Mom.  I love you."
When I listened to that message, it didn't feel right.  So I tried to call him.  Of course, there was no answer.  We have a code of honour in our family, one my boys were proud of, one that is documented over centuries.    Our word is our bond.   If a member of the xxxxxxx deLuna (ESPECIALLY the xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx) family tells you they are going to do something, then it is done.  Period.  But the witch in me told me he wasn't coming home.  I wanted to disbelieve that part of me.  I still do.  I want to believe I'm wrong. 

I've talked to friends
I've talked to myself
I've talked to {Mr.}God
I prayed liked hell but I still miss you>>

After 8 days of intense searching, by hundreds of people, in inhospitable terrain,  we found him.   I remember the spider bites, the snake bites, the heat exhaustion, the tears..... but I try not to remember what we finally found..... 8 days in the 100+ heat, 90% humidity,  predators of every sort in abundance, but..... we found him.  His chain was around his neck.  It is now around my wrist, and will remain there until I join him.

I tried sober I tried drinking
I've been strong and I've been weak
and I still miss you

I have learned much in these past six years.  I'd rather not know most of it.  Doesn't matter what I do.  Drink, don't drink, makes no difference.  The reality is still the same.  I thought I'd learned it all after Jason's death.  (Isn't that typically me, to think I already know it all?) I Did.  Not.  Think.  that there could be a more intense pain.  It came as a very unwelcome surprise to find out that there was more to learn.  You find out who your friends are.  It's a trite line from a country song, but it's true.  In adversity, you find out who your friends are.  The really sad thing is that you find that people you considered FAMILY just disappear from your life when it is no longer convenient, when you are no longer of use to them.  Your FAMILY disappears from your life when the going gets tough.  You are left to do it on your own.  But I have learned that you do it.  You.... just do it.    And you keep on doing it.  And it's okay.  The phone stops ringing.  The effort to see you goes away.  The, "just calling to say hi" calls stop.  I have learned that, even when the personal contact stops, you have made an impact on a life.  It is up to you to have made the most positive impact possible. 

I've learned that it takes a lot more energy to get upset about small stuff than I have to spare, so small stuff no longer upsets me.  I learned that part when J died.  Know what I learned when Rick died?  Every bit of it is small stuff, especially the stuff that I thought was really important.  Money and status and power and on and on and on..... it doesn't matter.  I learned that the only difference between my life and theirs is that they don't have to worry about how to pay the mortgage, and I do.  I also learned that they'd lots rather have the one they love still here, and worry about the mortgage. 

I've learned to be kind, kinder than I have to be.  The sad thing is, I've learned that people take advantage of that kindness.  But you know what?  It's okay.   Because, at the end of the day, when I look in the mirror, I know that I was the best ME I could be that day.  It is an amazing feeling, and it is one of the gifts that the deaths of my children has given me. 

I have learned that it is okay to be ME.  I am not now, and will never be, ashamed of my sons.  I have two children.  I will NEVER deny that fact.  Do I have, "My sons died by suicide" tattooed on my forehead?  No, but it's a thought..... It is time that suicide comes out of the darkness.  I know of 3 suicides in the past week.  Maybe, just maybe, if we were more honest and open about mental illness and suicide, we could save a life.  I have the honor of knowing that, because I wasn't silent, someone didn't die.  Is there a greater blessing than that?  Some people, with the best of intentions, tell me I should forget.  How do I forget the reason that I breathe?  How do I forget the best thing that ever happened to me?

I don't know how to let you go 
you are so deep down in my soul
I feel helpless so hopeless
its a door that never closes
no I don't know how to do this

I've learned that I don't have to let Jason and Rick go.  I've learned that they are the very best part of me.  They are the ones who make me who I am now.  Do I feel helpless?  Yep, most of the time.  But they said I was strong.  They said I was brave.  Do I feel hopeless?  Yep, most of the time.  But they said I was beautiful.  They said I had grace.  They said I had wisdom.  To NOT do everything that I can be, to be who they believed I am, is to dishonor them.  That will never, ever happen.

Life is for the living.  We are here to wring every single ounce of JOY that there is in life out of it.  I'm going to ask of you what I always ask of you.  Ride that go-cart with your child.  Take them to Disney.  Take them to the beach.  Ignore the handprints on the TV.... don't you REMEMBER thinking people were really in there?  Eat ice cream.  For breakfast.  My sons frequently ate dessert first.  I didn't care, as long as the veggies were eaten before they left the table (one bite if it's a new veggie, until you figure out you like it.).  Play football in the street.  Ride your bikes together.  Hold fingers when you're on a trip and they won't behave (you had to be there.  "He's touching me!"  "Jason, don't touch your brother."  "He's ttoouuuuuccccchhhhhiiiiinnnnggggg mmmmeeeee!".  "Fingers, please."  So you hold two forefingers for what seems like forever until they decide to get along again.)

My beloved Rick, my little Roo, there is a picture of you by my bed, one I look at daily.  In that picture, YOU shine through.  All of you.  Your healing.  Your strength.  Your honor.  Your courage.  Your stubbornness.  Your quick-to-anger, equally quick to forgive nature.  Your humor.  Your love.

I never knew til you were gone
how many pages you were on
it never ends I keep turning
and line after line and you are there again

You will forever be engraved on the pages of my life.  I love you, I miss you, and I really really wish you were here. 

You Little Mother 

Maximum respect,