Happy Birthday Randy!

It’s hard to believe that this time last year Randy was surfing in the ocean. How does one move on when the person loved so much is gone? Before now I have been very fortunate not to have lost anyone really close. It’s ironic that the first person to leave was my husband, a man I have known for over twenty-two years. Although Randy is gone, his spirit is alive. He has been sending us so many signs that it makes each day special. It is those signs that make it possible for me to move on! Randy has had such a profound effect on so many people. It’s a common question to ask: why did God have to take him so soon? But, as the weeks go by, I have come to realize how his leaving us has strengthened the faith of so many people. Could this be the reason? I will know one day, but if this is, I know Randy would have been okay with knowing that he changed the lives of many. That was the kind of person Randy was.
October 14th is a special day. Randy would have been forty-seven today. He loved the month of October. He would always take off this week from work just to enjoy the beauty of fall approaching. He would use this time to plant trees. His love of trees was amazing. I think losing so many trees at the family camp in Big Branch affected Randy more than losing our home during Katrina. He had an inner touch with nature that is indescribable. Several people have offered to plant a tree this month in honor of Randy. What a perfect idea! Please send me your photos so I can add to the scrapbook I am making for the kids.
The kids have been amazing. They had to grow up fast. The past six months were very hard for them. Right before their eyes they watched the strongest man they knew become the weakest man. All three of them were just as part of the caregiver role as I was. This experience will only shape their character and make them that much of a better person.
Stephen has become very responsible with his school work. He receives his own special signs that he loves to come and tell me. Randy’s personal possessions have become very important to him. He is much like Randy in so many ways. I am hoping he will get back involved in sports, but for now he has taken on the “Head of the Household” role.
Ashley is enjoying asking Dad for favors and seeing them come true. For example, asking her dad to help her find her IPod and four seconds later it appears; asking her dad to help her win school treasurer and she does; asking her dad to let it rain so she doesn’t have to go to soccer practice, and it not only rains but storms. Of course, no rain was in the forecast.
Ryleigh still cries for her Daddy when she gets tired or falls. She sleeps with a picture of Randy and her. This helps her get through those times. However, taking medicine became much easier. As she finishes taking her medicine she looks up and says, “I did it, Daddy!”
As for me, being 40 and a widow with three children, is frightening. However, I am blessed with an unbelievable support system that I can call on at anytime. I have three part-time jobs that keep me busy. Teaching Web Master at Hannan High has been a great experience. I look forward to each class and I have great students. My second part-time job is working with AgriSafe. Changing over the website and updating their Facebook(like us) are a few of my responsibilities. And, my latest is getting my travel license reinstated. Working as a travel agent was something I enjoyed for years when the kids were little. And Randy would be proud: I also changed my first toilet seat yesterday.
Please know the phone calls, the dinners, the cards, the emails, etc. are what truly helps this family keep going. Your support and prayers will never be forgotten. Please share stories of Randy with each other and keep his spirit alive. For now, feel special because now you have a personal angel watching over you and your family.
With much appreciation,


3 responses to “Happy Birthday Randy!

  1. Debbie,
    I know Randy must be proud of you & the kids! You are such an inspiration to so many. Stay strong. You’re doing a great job!

  2. Debbie,   What a beautiful way to mark Randy’s birthday!!!   We want you and the kids to know that we love you very much and are here whenever  you need us.  We need to start planning more get togethers.  We want to spend more time with you.  It does not have to be anything formal, just being together is important.  If ever on the weekends you are free, let us know.  You all are welcome to our house anytime or we will come to the NorthShore.  Our friendship bond is such an important part of our lives.  We make such wonderful memories when we are together!   Hope you are doing well, We love you, Janel, Ralph and Riess


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