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My Dear Friend

i lost a sweet, dear friend (former beau) to lung cancer.  no, he did not smoke.  the really sad part was that he was an opera singer at one point and loved to sing.  i didn't know him then.  i only got to know him really when we started talking about 6 mos into his first round of treatments.  radiation melted his vocal chords and he was unable to produce saliva so it made eating really hard for him.  i think there were very few food items he could really enjoy.

granted, i didn't know him that well.  he was very private about some things, and the cancer was something he rather would not speak of.  he posted his progress on myspace.

we'd drifted apart roughly 6 months before his passing in january of this year.  he found the love of his life then and he drifted in her direction.  i don't think badly of him but i did wonder why for awhile.

i miss him.  i don't think i ever met anyone so unique and educated on just about everything.  he was one of those people who, when they walked in the room, you knew it. 

i miss him - and i hate cancer.

dreamraider dreamraider 36-40, F 2 Responses Jul 11, 2008

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i am also blessed to have survived, although i don't think mine was any struggle compared to many others i witnessed at the radiation center. they found mine AFTER a hysterectomy and my radiation was more a precaution. i still have issues as a result of radiation though...<br />
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my friend always said that he never had an issue w/ chemo - but the radiation almost killed him! <br />
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he visits every now and again ;) <br />
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it just proves that living is hard ; dying is easy. i heard that quote somewhere but it's so something he would have said.<br />
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we had a memorial on his b-day in june. there was someone there taking pictures and we saw quite a few with orbs and just beautiful colored swirls throughout the picture, like he was dancing around us. it was beautiful.<br />
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here's the blog i posted bout him:<br />
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What do you say when you hear a wonderful friend has passed on? While I can't exactly say it was unexpected, I did think if anyone could "beat the rap" it was Rick. I never saw someone with so much courage and for the most part, you never heard complaints - and if you really did hear any, he always made them in such good humor! <br />
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Although my time was brief with Rick, let me tell you what I remember and loved most about him:<br />
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I will miss Rick's quiet nobility, the deep thoughtfulness, the unrecognized expertise, the untold experiences, all the stories I didn't get to hear - and the festive apparel. :) <br />
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http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t204/5_hole/reduced_cropped_DSCF0224.jpg<br />
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One would never realize Rick's expertise and untold lifetimes by a simple glance at him - you had to ask a question of him to really appreciate it all. I remember one time I asked one question about tuning my guitar in a particular tuning, and I received a five-page email expounding on same. Endless knowledge... <br />
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Rick had two characteristics I love in a man - 1) know how to make an entrance, and 2) show me you have the ability to take care of me if I need you to. Rick showed me that although he was battling cancer, he did both of these things extremely well (better than a lot of men I've met who are healthy, mind you) and beyond the call of duty, as it were. There was a sparkle in his eye every time I saw him and I was always glad to see him - and I knew he was glad to see me. <br />
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Anyone who knew him knew his favorite outfits - and the long black leather duster! It certainly made a statement. Rick knew better than anyone I know, how to make an entrance. I really dug that about him!<br />
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Case in point:<br />
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I met Rick last February or March in _____ - he'd written me about a guitar he was designing and I thought his description sounded very cool! I ended up signing it - he let me sign it at the top. That's the kind of guy Rick was. <br />
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From then on, I looked forward to seeing him at my gigs - and he'd always be there, trying to be understated but of course, how could he be in that ominous duster? lol What a great source of encouragement and strength he was. When it seemed like nobody else cared, Rick did. He told me at one point that he'd seen me play five years or so earlier at ______ and never forgot me. That floored me. I told him, "I didn't think anyone was really listening." Rick was.<br />
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Let me tell you what Rick did for me that nobody else would have ever done. This man, battling cancer as he was, not only made arrangements to see my gig in Detroit ( a 4 hour drive or so) but sent me an email the day before I was to leave and he told me he couldn't in good conscience let me go to Detroit by myself and offered to not only accompany me there, but bought a hotel room for our stay at the Marriott on the river front (about a block or two from the gig - NOT cheap, thank you). Most guys would have expected something in return - but not Rick. He was ALWAYS a complete gentleman. ALWAYS. If you read his blogs, you'd see that bothered him a bit that he was raised so well. lol The next morning, he took me to breakfast in the hotel restaurant - also not cheap! I told him that I'd have been just as happy at McDonald's and I didn't like him spending all that money on me - I'd rather him save it for himself. He wouldn't hear of it. <br />
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When the Detroit gig went sour, I came home a day early. I'd been unable to reach him via phone to tell him not to come back to see the gig (he was in Indy at the time.) Unfortunately, he showed back up in Detroit the next day and I was long gone (left the day prior). Rick went out of his way to drive by my house to see if I was safe - 40 minutes out of his way, after a five hour drive home, while battling cancer, thank you. He said he just wanted to see if I was ok. I have always felt badly as I felt like he set me up to be victorious at this gig, and (due to circumstances beyond my control) I (feel like I ) failed him.<br />
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The night before we left, it was Rick who stayed up all night burning CDs for my gig. He came back with a big smile on his face and 100 CDs in hand. We assembled them in Detroit the night before the gig. <br />
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There aren't many people who'd do stuff like that. Rick Spencer was one of a kind. I'll not be able to listen to Steely Dan - or Shrug - without thinking of him. I think he was a really neat person. I'm glad he will not have to endure what he had been dealing with anymore. Rick was always traveling and I suppose he still is, even if we cannot see him. <br />
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Thank you, God, for your gift of Rick to us. I will miss you dearly, Rick, and you know that I love you. God's speed, my friend.

I am so sorry for your loss. I don't really think that there are many people that aren't affected by cancer in one way or another. I am blessed to have survived. My thoughts and prayers and constantly with the families and friends that weren't so blessed. Take care, CMR