|Posted by mandy mcmahan on August 20, 2010 at 1:50 PM|
I briefly mentioned Ronnie in my first blog, but didn't go into detail because he deserves his own post. I met Ronnie in one of my math classes in high school. We instantly became best friends. I blame him for my poor math skills because all we did was pass notes back and forth the entire class period. We began doing everything together. Ronnie drove me home everyday from school and we would just lay in my parents hamock and talk for hours. I had never met anybody like him before. Ronnie was the kind of person who made me feel like I wanted to be a better person. He was never mean to anyone and had a warm welcoming demeanor about him. He could light up a room with even the smallest smile. We soon began dating and became even closer. I told him things that I still to this day haven't told anyone else. Like all high school relationships there were outside factors that complicated things. We decided to just be friends again considering we were so close. The only time we ever fought with each other was when we were worried about the other persons well being. I enjoyed every minuite we spent together and wouldn't trade a second of it for anything.
Once I went to college we saw each other alot less. We both were dating other people who didn't understand the relationship we had with each other. I would still swing by Tippy's where he worked when I came into town or grabbed a beer with him after he was done. It was always great to see him and catch up. Even though we didn't see each other as much anymore we still talked on the phone quite frequently. I knew if I ever needed somebody to talk to he would be there. Towards the end we would call and vent about our relationships to each other. Ronnie would always joke about how we should just get out, start dating again, and get married. We always just laughed it off but it secretly made me feel very good. I was so proud of all of his accomplishments. He ran his dad's business with him, he was buying a house, and had really straightened his life out. He was an inspiration to alot of people. Ronnie had convinced me that us and our friend kim were going to go on a cruise the next summer which I thought was really exciting considering I had never been. Unfortunatly he didn't make it to the following summer.
I had gone to Atlantic City a few days before heading home to Warrenton for Thanksgiving. Ronnie was supposed to come over to hang out with my family and I who absolutly loved him as much as I did.While on the way to Warrenton I recieved a call from Kim which I thought was a call like any other. I excitedly invited her to come over and hang out with all of us and she quickly realized nobody had told me the news. After she insisted on me pulling over she proceeded to tell me that our sweet Ronnie had passed away. I don't think I have ever felt such a painful and devastating feeling before. All I could do was cry and scream at god for taking such a wonderful person from us so soon. My friends picked me up off of highway 81 and drove me home that night. I don't know how long I had sat there, but it felt like an eternity. I just didn't understand why he wasn't sitting at the countertop in my parents kitchen eating chips and salsa and telling jokes. Even after attending the memorial I still don't feel like it is real. I called his phone over and over just to listen to his voicemail in hopes that one time it would ring and he would answer. I know everybody grieves in different ways, but I think I can't accept it, because I don't want to let go. I felt like Ronnie was the person I could always turn to when I needed comfort and love. I know I can still talk to him, but its not the same. I visit him every year on his birthday and around Thanksgiving. Sometimes Kim and I drive out and cheers a shot of tequila with him in case heaven ran out. Its hard knowing I can't just pop into Tippy's and see him at the counter smiling. He meant the world to his family and friends. I moved back to Warrenton shortly after and it's just not the same. I have a feeling that anybody who had the opportunity of meeting Ronnie feels the same way. I can't help but smile everytime I think of him. The way I look at is now is that Ronnie was just an angel that was sent down to be with us for a short time. He touched a lot of peoples lives in a lot of different ways. I feel blessed to have known such a special person, and know I will see him again one day.