Lisa Porter was one of the supervisors at Autumnwood, the nursing facility where Ricky was living the last four years of his life. She was on medical leave when she received the news on March 4 that Ricky had passed away. The following was a letter that she was going to read at the memorial service that had been scheduled last Saturday, March 8. We had to postpone the memorial because of the blizzard that crippled the area last Saturday.
Ricky was my friend and buddy. My bestest buddy at Autumnwood. He was special. He considered me his confidant and guardian angel.
We both loved the Cleveland Indians and many evenings I would fins myself after I clocked out sitting on the edge of his bed rooting for our beloved Indians to take the win.
We had many conversations about his life, present and past. His memory simply amazed me. He remembered his complete family down to nieces and nephews birthdates and years they were born. Sometimes even the day.He remembered when he got sick and the exact time he was no longer able to walk.
Rick was compassionate and caring. He looked out for his roommate. Back in September, on Rick's birthdate, I handed him a menu. I told him, "you pick out anything you want for dinner,'my treat'." He chose the biggest burger on the menu, large fries and a large chocolate malt. Bless his heart. He said to me, "Lisa please take some of this malt and give it to my roommate."
Ricky always kept to himself to avoid any confrontations. And if there was to be a confrontation, and he screamed and yelled, the nurses and aides would come to me, for he trusted me and I could understand him and calm him. I often became defensive towards the person who upset him and would address that too.
I loved Rick, I enjoyed him. As I said he was very very special to me. Unfortunately I was and am still on L.O.A. and when I return to work I will miss him horribly. I will miss the daily (everyday) 4:15 visits to my office after he got off work. I will miss our conversations and I will miss Opening Day when all of our fun and enjoyment usually started for the Tribe season.
I know he is in a better place, but it will take me time to accept that. Call me selfish but I will miss him for a very long time.
I(Cliff) can attest to the fact that Lisa looked out for Ricky. Our family will be eternally grateful for the care she made sure Ricky got.