Dear Rickey,

From Facebook:

You wrote on Rick Rye's timeline.

“For those who may not know, RICKEY ROGER RYE entered in to HEAVEN's GLORY around 11:00 this morning. The kids and I are struggling to make sense of this loss, but also KNOW that GOD is fully in control of each day of each of our lives and that GOD called Rick HOME today. One day, we are all fully assured that we will see him again in GLORY.”
That was posted by me at  8:44 p.m. on one of the worst days of my life, but in reality, it was the BEST day of Rickey’s life because at 10:55 a.m. that morning 2 years ago, he found himself face-to-face with the GREATEST love of his life, Jesus.  We still struggle to make sense of this loss, but our faith in KNOWING that GOD is fully in control of each day of each of our lives has not wavered.  Until God calls US home, we won’t fully understand why God chose November 5,  2011 to call Rickey home, but we will continue to rest in the assurance that we WILL see him again someday in Glory.

Dear Rickey,

2 years ago this morning, you quietly got out of bed, got ready for work and came around my side of the bed and lightly kissed my right cheek . . . and then you were gone.

Little did I know how precious that kiss would become to me as it was the last one I was ever blessed to receive from you.

You were going over to Clayton's to finish up the roof - so it would be done before hunting season (in 10 days) and you went early enough so you'd be done so we could go up to Dad's camp for the party they'd been planning for months.

I remember so vividly all the events of that morning, bringing Kajsa to meet up with Sarah to go to Appleton, the craft show in Stephenson with Taya, playing on the computer waiting for you to come home . . . it all seems like yesterday . . . it all seems like forever ago.

As I look back, I'm also continuously amazed at GOD's hand in that day.  As I waited for you, I downloaded a couple of books for my Kindle, one entitled "When God Weeps ... Why our Suffering Matters to the Almighty".  Little did I know when I downloaded that book how much I would need the wisdom it contained.  As I sat by the computer, somehow, God blocked my ears to the many sirens that had to have gone past on the highway.  We  ALWAYS hear the sirens here, especially when sitting in the dining room next to the sliding door.  That day I didn't hear any of them.  When you didn't get home, and Taya and I decided to head out and let you drive up later, God did not allow my phone to ring, or my text alert to sound.  I later found that I had missed a text message and a phone call from Mike Borski.   Because of this, when we turned around because "something just didn't feel right", I was able to hear the news from our dear friend and State Trooper, Mike in person, not over the phone.  God allowed Pastor and Bobbi to be immediately available, and Tessa to not have left for work yet.  He allowed Cody and Marlo to be available to meet up with Kajsa's group and bring her back home to us.  He blessed us with the sweetest nurse ever in Erin.  I just know that as terrible as that day was, God put Erin there, at that time to be a blessing to us.  There is so much more, so many little details of how God held us in His precious hands, too many to list each of them.

I've heard many people say that they don't remember the details of tragic events.  I do.  I remember nearly every.single.moment. of that entire day, vividly.  I remember the drive to the hospital making frantic phone calls.  I remember walking into the E.R. and the faces of Pete and Tom who had been the first responders from Mid County Rescue, and I remember the walk to that empty room.  I remember hearing the news from Dr. Stein, Erin's calming presence, family and friends arriving in shock, talking to the transplant co-ordinator, coming home to the empty house full of people.  I remember.  I remember shaking uncontrollably and wondering "what now"?  I remember writing an obituary and planning a funeral that I NEVER wanted to plan.  I remember picking out a place to bury you, and the cold, blustery, snowy day that it happened (the kind of day you LOVED to be hunting in!).

Ah, Rickey, in earthly terms, and in earthly time, you left us WAY TOO SOON.  You lived well and you loved well.  You had no enemies, and you loved God and then the rest of us with your whole  being.  We didn't then, and we don't now understand.  It does not make sense.  You should not have had to leave us so soon.  There is so much you will miss, here on earth.  But, then, I repeat that last part of that last sentence to myself, "here on earth".  For I know without a doubt, that YOU are in Heaven, in Paradise, with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  And no matter how much you loved us, and we loved you, if given the opportunity to return to "here on earth", you wouldn't want to.  For the glories that you are experiencing surpass anything that we could imagine.  So, the questions "why" and the sadness of "what ifs", the longing for "just one more day" are ours as humans living "here on earth".  Until we meet you again in glory, we will not, cannot know what you are experiencing.  So, we will continue to grieve.  We will continue to miss you.  We will continue to wish you were here, for the day-to-day and especially on "special days".  But our grief is for ourselves, not for you, for we know that you are happier, and freer than you had ever been, "here on earth".

Besides me, you left behind so many people who loved you dearly.  Your precious Dad and Mom – no parents should have to bury their child.  Your brothers and sisters and their families, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, hunting buddies and card playing partners, all still feel your absence keenly.  And then there are the kids and grandkids.  Oh, Rickey, they love you so much.  They do things to make you proud every single day.  They love me and take care of me, and so much more importantly, they LOVE JESUS.  They are following in your footsteps and serving HIM with all of their lives.  I hate to see them hurting.  I wish this was a pain I could have taken from them, but I cannot.  I can only love, and pray, and be so thankful to you for them.

So today, 2 years after that last good-bye kiss, I just want you to know that not a day goes by that you are not missed.  You will be forever loved.  You were my best friend and my Bud and I know that I will see you again one day.  Until then, I will continue to live life, for I did not die with you that day (though it sure felt like it would have been easier to).  I will laugh, and love again, but you, my dear Rickey will always have a place in my heart, a Rickey shaped hole that only you ever filled.  And someday, we SHALL meet again.

Love you Bud ♥

Forever & Always ♥

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