Wednesday, February 23, 2022

A brother & a legend... Skate on our friend!

 We are once again reminded how precious life is, how quick it can be taken & how comforting memories can be.

Hubby has lost yet another close friend.

If you recall, he lost his childhood friend, Ernie, a little over 4 years ago.  That was so hard for him.... & now, he's lost his closest friend, Tony C.

When I actually first talked to Ricky those 30 years ago , he was standing right behind Tony C - I can remember that moment.  They have been just the best of friends for so many years.  

Ricky V & Tony C. ... friends by life, family by choice.

Ricky actually met Tony when he was a teenager working in the local roller skating rink & Tony Champa was running it - Champs Rollerdrome.  Anyone in our area knows what this place is & how much it meant.

The way Ricky tells it, he sort of stood his ground on some things as a young employee & Tony ended up really respecting him for it - & they became fast friends after that.

It's so funny because they were opposites in a lot of ways - but had similar core values mainly & that's what kept them together. Plus, they loved to gamble together. Man, did they love some betting.  On horse races, on games - heck, anything they could bet on, like, "how fast will our food get here" - they just has so much fun with it & they took so many trips to Vegas together to take their fun up a notch.  They loved to play hockey together.  They just knew how to have enjoy each other's company together.  Ricky even said in all the years they have been close, he doesnt remember one fight they ever had.  They would disagree about some things - but it always ended up with them laughing about it & moving on.

Tony was sort of a legend in our area of town because he did run the local roller rink so nearly every kid in the area was around Tony at some point.  & he was so good at what he did. Such an outgoing personality - you knew he was in a room.  

& a heart on that man. He just cared about people so well.  He would do whatever he could to try & help whoever needed it & never wanted any credit for it.

He really was just the most incredible person.

Tony was the best man in our wedding - as was Ricky the best man in Tony's wedding & he & his wife Tammy were just so close to us.  You may recall if you've been around - just 3 years ago, Tammy passed away totally unexpectedly.  She was my age & it was a total shock.

To think that Tony is gone now - BOTH of them gone - just blows my mind....

Tony had come down with COVID right around the same time Ricky did in January but he didnt handle it well. It turned into pneumonia for him & he ended up in the hospital for treatment.  He had some other underlying health conditions, so once his body wasn't' handling the effects of COVID, it kicked off a wave of other things that just left things going downhill fast.  Tony had to go on a ventilator to help with his breathing & while they tried to take him off of it a few times, he just wasn't able to bounce back.

Ricky was able to be there with Tony's kids & brother to give all the love & support to Tony as he left this world to go to his Heavenly homecoming.  I'm so glad Ricky was able to do that.  He was also able to spend time sitting with Tony while he was in the hospital & I know Ricky values just having those moments just being able to talk to Tony & remind him of all the memories they had together.

This week is the funeral & it still just feels so surreal.

Ricky said that even when he didnt get to go see Tony a lot, he just always knew his buddy was there & now, he's not.  Its such a strange realization to know a loved one is no longer there to get in touch with or visit or laugh with.  Especially someone who holds so many years of memories with you.  Its such a loss.

I have so many more pictures of us together through the years - but this is the day before digital & I cant find the boxes with all the pictures... DANG IT! 
Digital photography has its benefits!

if you dont mind, lift prayers for Tony's children.  They are young, in their 20's (still young to me) but to have lost both of their parents in such a short time span - my heart just aches for them so badly.

& pray for Ricky. He's just so heart broken that he has yet lost another friend who he saw as a brother... they both saw each other as a brother.  Ricky's world wont be the same.

Hug your loved ones... give a call to let them know you're thinking of them... time is precious. Take advantage of it.

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