Filed under: MiscErika at 04:30PM on April 09, 2012 printer friendly
I keep getting hit by little memories. I put Isaac on the bus for school this morning, and remembered that Rick always came for Isaac's birthday every year, and thus was here for the first day of school. When Isaac was 4, he was taking the bus to and from school for the first time - the year before we'd picked him up - and when the return bus was 10, then 15, then 20 minutes late, I started to fret.
And Rick went into full-on Mama Bear mode. "I'm going to get him." "What's the number for the bus company, I'm tracking him down." And he did...he got updated on the buses location and eta every couple of minutes until it safely pulled in to our driveway with Isaac asleep in his seat.
While the bus would've come eventually, it did feel like Rick was guiding it home.

I found one of his handkerchiefs while folding laundry. He always had a handkerchief, and there was a time when I never seemed to have one, and he'd hand his over, saying, "keep it." I have a set of 3 or 4 of his, with a monogrammed "R" in the corner.
By the last time we had this interchange, I was shamed enough to go home and order my own...but I still have his in the rotation as well.

There are several ancient Greek words for love, each with a distinct philosophy behind it. After I met Rick, and watched how he related to his family, his friends, to me, I thought "Philos". It's the love of loyalty, of obligation, of family. If someone comes to your house and is your Philoi, you let them in and welcome them with open arms, even if it's inconvenient and even if you didn't like them very much. They were stamped as yours, and you were going to be there for them.
Sometimes this trait of Rick's got him into situations that weren't the greatest. For example, I forgot my ID once when he took us out for dinner, and the waiter wouldn't serve me alcohol. Rick threw such a fuss that I was embarrassed - it was a scene, and I didn't need a drink badly enough for a scene - but darn it, I was his Philoi, and he was going to stand up for me. I was over 21, and ordered a Seven and Seven, and he was going to see that I got what I wanted.
After I got my drink (oh yes, I got my drink), he leaned over and said, "don't make me have to do that over a Seven and Seven again - order a real drink".

It's because of his strong Philos esthetic that I know he would have hated the position he's put us in, right now. Rick had been sick for a couple of years, but the end came much faster than anyone saw coming, including his doctors. I know he'd started estate planning - he'd been having conversations with us over the past year or so as to what he wanted and how he wanted things done, mentioning lawyers and trusts and all that good stuff...but we can't find anything. Luckily we have some e-mails where his wishes are in writing...but it's all pretty vague.
Andrew is currently in Nashville trying to work it all out. It looks like he's going to be there for longer than we planned, at least another week or so, and I know Rick would have hated, HATED, putting him through this - making Andrew fulfill the Philoi obligations Rick held so dear, taking Andrew away from me and the boys for so long.

It is what it is. But now, added to the list of life lessons I learned from Rick, I have
- carry a handkerchief
- order a real drink
- take care of your Oi Philoi
- and have your estate planning in an easy to find location, keep your loved ones aware of the details, make the time after your death easier for them rather than harder