It is a shock to find out a friend has died. It is an even greater shock to find out on Twitter.
Scrolling through last night’s tweets, I discover my dear friend Rick Madore had an apparent heart attack at the YMCA yesterday morning. I’m sure he was there for a swim meet. He was probably a timer or helping out in some other manner. It wasn’t in Rick to just passively watch. When he saw a situation that could use an extra hand, Rick was there to give it. Whether it was a swim meet, or a graduation, or a school board, or a community who needed a calming voice, Rick was there to step in and help find a solution. A beautifully kind man, with beautifully silly jokes, and a beautiful chuckle and accepting attitude. A man with a beautiful, loving wife, and beautiful, loving kids. The kind that will impress you with their morals, their respect, and their willingness to help others and be part of the change. Because he couldn’t help but pass that on.
I’ve known Rick and his family for years and years. It’s what happens when you have kids the same age: your circles will always overlap. Our families have celebrated birthdays and graduations together. I am sure we will celebrate Rick’s life together too. That is, when we can stop crying long enough, when we can assimilate this shock, when the pain isn’t some steel beam that has slammed into our chest, piercing our hearts and filling our souls with loss. I will miss many things about this lovely, beautiful man whose heart was bigger than most. The man was 51. This is not fair, this surreal turn of events.
He was but a leaf on the wind.