Saying Goodbye To A Friend
I don't usually blog about my private life but sometimes you need to tell the world about someone who touched your life in a significant way.
Sometime during the night on May 28, 2008 my dear friend Ray passed away in his sleep. Ray had been through a full course of chemotherapy and radiation for cancer and was over 3 weeks past the end of the treatment. He was starting to feel better and was making plans to go back to work at Edwards on Shuttle Support. His passing has been a tremendous shock and I still expect him to walk through the door with a smile on his face saying, "Wassuuuup???".
I first met Ray at a party in Seattle at the home of some friends. We all belonged to an absinthe appreciation group and he had driven up from Lancaster for a New Years Eve event. When I decided to move to L.A., I contacted Ray and we e-mailed a bit and talked a bit on the phone.
Last July at another absinthe party in Burbank, Ray and I met up again. We talked and laughed a lot and I enjoyed his company. We started going to concerts, movies, the beach, etc. Sometimes just hanging out and watching DVDs or the Sci-Fi channel. In November we went to Vegas for his birthday weekend.
Ray was diagnosed with cancer right before Thanksgiving. He started his treatment in Lancaster in early January and it did not go well. I brought him down to Sherman Oaks where he spent a week in the hospital. While in the hospital, he was visited by an oncologist in Van Nuys. He decided to switch is treatment to her practice. After he was released from the hospital, we moved him in with me so he could continue his treatment in L.A.
Ray could be loving and generous and critical and silly and obtuse...all in the time span of a minute and a half. He loved science fiction and the Space Shuttle and absinthe and on-line gaming and driving his P.T. Cruiser and shrimp and clothes (my gawd the man had clothes!) and big dreams and life.
My life has been enriched for knowing him and being his companion during the last year of his life. I will never forget Ray. He will live in my heart forever.