This week I tragically lost a dear friend. He was only 49.
He peacefully left this life while sleeping. In his favorite spot on the couch, TV on, remote still in his hand.
Although it comforts me that he went like this, my heart is heavy and my sadness envelops me.
Memories surround us when we lose someone we love. I have so many of my Ronnie.
Our fathers were buddies in high school so there is some deeper connection.
When I was in elementary school, my family moved into his neighborhood. Beginning of a lifetime friendship. In 5th grade, I developed my first crush. Ronnie was my target. My friends, Jeanette Ramey and Janice Munchell, loaded our purses with rocks, knocked Ronnie down with them, sat on him so I could steal kisses. Poor Ronnie. it's amazing we didn't scar him for life. During the summer, Ronnie would hold Chemistry Exhibits in his basement and charge us kids to watch him do his experiments. My friend Tammy Bayliff and I paid to come watch. It was exciting and we thought he would blow up the basement (never happened). In these early years Ronnie & I had more of a love hate relationship. Although we were the same grade, I ran more with his little brother Richie (go HERE to read a post about Richie) and sister Kim. One summer, Kim picked me to go with them on a family vacation to a lake house. Ronnie still teases me about that trip. 1st~ I threw up in his Dad's new car. Not good. 2nd~ The movie Jaws was out that year and I was TERRIFIED. Ronnie & Bobby Hughbanks convinced naive me that sharks were in this lake... I know not too bright. Ronnie got in trouble for continuing to scare the shit out of me.
When we got to high school, Ronnie and I got closer. Especially our senior year. As I dated one of his best friends, and he dated one of mine. We were now spending just about every day together. The memories and laughs we share are unbelievable.
By time we all started heading to college, Ronnie helped me decide on Vincennes University. After not getting accepted at my first choice, and having huge reservations about going out of state to a very strict religious college I got accepted to, Ronnie had the good sense to tell me to come along with him to VU for a year. So, one Saturday morning, our parents packed us both up and dropped us off three hours south of Indianapolis to a little redneck town. We had the time of our lives... Ronnie was a clever guy as well as a fun guy. He always had adventures and "situations" to get us into. With the help of fellow Indy / Vincennes buddies, particularly Maurice Musser, we made quite a time of the college experience. We trusted each other completely. He was after all the closest thing to a brother I had. We were always trying to figure ways to make money to get us to Bloomington Indiana for the weekends. For a skinny little girl, I could hold my liquor well. Ronnie would make bets I could
Our College year together bonded us even more. He was there for me holding me together when breaking up with my first sweetheart. And I was there holding him together when his break up happened. We took care of each other. We loved each other. We were a part of each other and who we were becoming.
Into adulthood, as friends come and go, I could always count on Ronnie. He could always count on me.
Ronnie was there with me the night I met my husband, Sergio. I made him come with me on our first date. Hell, I had both his siblings there too. We had a cookout, and Sergio invited them all as he knew how unsure I was about "dating" at that time.
Ronnie lived with us for a short period when he was between places. I loved that period and enjoyed our time immensely.
Ronnie and Richie were both with me when I went into labor with my first child. We were at a Saturday evening Mass dedicated to his Grandma Love. Completely made me think Grandma Love was involved as well in a part of Emily's grand entrance to the world. Ronnie & Richie came home with me, stayed with me, timed my contractions, and while Richie was hoping to deliver her with his pre-vet skills... Ronnie was freaking out trying to get a hold of Sergio to come home from work and get me to the hospital. We made it in times, and Ronnie was one of her first visitors.
Throughout the next twenty years, as I got busy with mothering, Ronnie continued to be a strong part of our lives. His friendship with my husband and I was always much more than friendship. We were family. I will always feel the Seats as my family. Sergio was very much a big brother to Ronnie. He guided him and loved him as deeply as I.
Ronnie was hilarious. Always. He was the go to guy to make you laugh. He was the King of Limericks and of the dirtiest of all jokes. Ronnie had a magical laugh. It was contagious. No matter how foul your mood, Ronnie could make you laugh.
Ronnie is one of the culprits that is responsible for my Lynryd Skynyrd, Molly Hachett, ZZ Top, and RUSH love. I watched many a battles of air gutiar, Lynryd Skynyrd blaring with Ronnie almost always winning. I can't listen to this music without smiling.
Ronnie was crucial for me during some rough spots. When many friends didn't step out of the comfort zones and help me, Ronnie would. He understood my depression. Ronnie helped me. We would talk about some deep stuff. Ronnie shared things with me he couldn't with others as well. We had each other on this.
Ronnie knew how to make me feel appreciated and loved. He could set things in perspective for me when he couldn't always see that for himself. He said I was guilty of that too for him.
Ronnie was too young to die. He had much still to accomplish. He was so incredible proud of his son, Nick. He was such a great father and taught his son well. He pushed him and was so proud of his accomplishments. He was looking forward to his son's graduation and final college decision. He was extremely proud of both his brother and sister. He loved his nephews so. His parents as well. How hard it must be to bury your son. How unfair it must seem.
Letting go of this one is difficult.