February 20, 2005

Anthony DeLucia - Remembering Ray Indeed

I have many awesome memories of Ray, all tremendous.

But as I sit here nearly a year after his death, I still can’t come to terms with the senselessness of his demise.

I worry that Rose won’t grow up to know her Daddy, to have him there to teach her, to adore her, to love her.

Even though Ray’s passing has brought many of his friends together, I still feel that his death outweighs the positives, although they are substantial.

Margaret and I have renewed friendships that had laid dormant for way too long and for that we are grateful.

But Ray’s tragedy was far too high a price to pay to receive those blessings.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Ray, or miss a phone call or email.

I’ve been transferring our VHS home videos to DVD to preserve our family history. Our memories of Ray and Sophie and all our friends appear so full of life and promise.

Somehow life has erased part of that promise, and it’s a fact we’ll all have to bear for the remainder of our days.

I’m certain that Ray wouldn’t want us to dwell on his leaving us in the physical sense. We know in our hearts and minds that he’ll always be with us, we all have constant daily reminders of his influence on our lives.

My life and my attitude toward life and family have changed drastically since Ray’s death. Not in the sense that I had different goals and ideals, only that I chose to pursue them with greater zest.

I treasure my moments with my children and my wife, subconsciously knowing that Ray no longer has that luxury. Every day is a gift. Enjoy and appreciate it. I constantly have to remind myself of this.

I have not come to terms with Ray’s passing and frankly I probably never will. What I try to do is think of what Ray would want me to do. Feel bad, feel sad, feel sorry – I think NOT ! Go on and make the most of your life and love your family, and friends as much as possible – I think DEFINITELY !

Make no mistake, Ray is up with the Lord, looking down on us and in some way guiding and looking after our lives and families. As Dean de Freitas mentioned “ He’s keeping a barstool warm for us in heaven”.

I can’t believe its been over a year since I spoke to Ray. It’s still hard to imagine that the phone isn’t going to ring and and the familiar voice on the other end saying “ Hey Anth, what’s up?”

Frank Hahn came down this summer and we all got in my my wife’s Landcruiser to head out to a day at a cottage. My son Drew, is in the back seat with Frank and my daughter Lexi, and he said “ Uncle Ray, ready to go to the cottage?”

As you can imagine, Margaret, Frank and I looked at each other, speechless, and pretty much mumbled nothing. We all choked back the emotions.

Drew and “Uncle Ray” used to speak on the phone and talk on Saturdays. Drew still is getting used to the fact that Uncle Ray is in Heaven. I can’t imagine the impact that this has on Rose Ellen.

I have been looking at these videos, Ray so alive and just being Ray. Him and I smoking cigars on my wedding day. Ray and Sophie and Margaret and I walking through the Atlantis Aquarium after Chet and Nicole’s wedding.

Ray taking Margaret and I on a guided tour of San Francisco in 1996 when we first met Sophie. Having dinner ( appetizers) in a Thai Restaurant , while waiting to be seated for our reservations in a New Orleans style Oyster Bar.

I have some amazing video of Ray holding Drew when he was about 1 year old on our deck before Ron and Tracy’s wedding . Drew is hitting the Doritos with Ray, and Ray is hitting a Heineken ) surprise! One of Ray’s comments is “ Life is good “.

The list goes on and on. Oddly enough, I feel great and uplifted watching these movies, not sad. A gift from Ray, I believe.

I miss Raymond, I feel blessed that he was such an influential part of my life. I feel cheated that he’s not here to see Rose grow up or meet my daughter Lexi.

But most of all I just miss him.