A LAST LETTER TO MY DEAREST FRIEND RICK BARBER

A Letter For Everyone Who Has A Close Friend They Love

My Dearest Ricky,

You’ve been in my thoughts everyday for the past two weeks.  I was so hurt and angry with you about the birthday thing it was taking some time for me to let it go.  But it has been cleared up that Fran didn’t invite several of your closest friends or your son!  But I was getting there.  I thought I had time…

How can I forgive myself for not forgiving you sooner and now you’re gone?  There’s a hard lesson in this…one of many that you’ve taught me over the years.  DON’T STAY MAD you never know when you will lose your chance to make up.  I was getting there but now it’s too late.

In speaking with your caretakers from Emeritus,  I know that you went exactly how and when you wanted to and that the stress created by Fran and Rae was contributing to your loss of energy and willpower.  They said you had your last cigarette and they had taken you back to your room.  That you asked for a Hospice nurse and by the time they came back you had peacefully passed.  I know you, you didn’t want to go through what ALS had in store or put anyone else through that.  So you did it your way.  The best part of it for you is that you will see your mother again.  Also that you won’t have to endure what ALS would have in-store.   And maybe my other best friend, Dante (Zarlengo), will do me the favor of taking your hand and showing you the ropes.  He’s gone 10 years this year and you and I were on the phone talking about going to the ClearChannel Christmas Party the day he died.  You both went so much faster than the doctors’ prognosis.  Good for you both so you didn’t have lengthy suffering, but so hard for all of us who loved you!

Because we had such a close friendship there were stipulations you put in place to work around certain other relationships.  Because I loved you so much my friend I was willing to work with you, even when I thought you were being unfair and dishonest at times.  You were always the best friend to me and I did all that I could for you but especially when you became ill.  Thank goodness you were in a safe place being well taken care of the past couple of months.  I have the peace of mind of knowing that was all my doing and it was exactly what you needed.  That’s what we did for each other.  You took care of me when I needed it and I took care of you when everyone else was too busy to notice or in denial as to how bad your situation really was.  You made the decision you needed assisted living, it was not forced on you, and you were a champ when it came to giving up your free wheeling way of life.  You faced life straight on, you were one of the most forgiving and brave human beings I’ve ever known.

I will always remember the New Year’s Eves we spent together, the trips to the mountains to do interviews both for my newspaper column and our radio show.  Doing your overnight show on KOA Radio for 3 years together.  Meeting for your beloved chocolate martinis.  All the lunches and all the dinners.  Going to the Denver Art Museum and the Rockies games.  Shopping for gifts for your friends and family for the holidays.  All of the lovely gifts we exchanged for holidays and birthdays.  I still have the bottle of wine I was saving for you.  I think I’ll keep it just so that every time I open the refrigerator and see it I’ll think of you.  You are all over my house my friend.  When I look at Joey who loved you, my new toilet seats, my lawn mower and many other pieces of you that will always be with me.

I cannot imagine this life without you.  I cannot imagine my life without you.  We were friends, not lovers, but the closest of friendly soul mates.  A New York guy hanging out with a Delaware girl.  We got each other and I can’t even express through the tears how much I’ll miss you and how sad I am that you’re gone…the world just doesn’t seem as interesting.

Sleep well sweet prince until we meet again.  I miss you every day!  You will live in my heart Ricky…with love always, Your Michey

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