Written word has always been the easiest way for me to communicate. And right now, there really isn't anything else I can, or want to, do except write. Last week, 10-13-11 to be exact, the world lost a truly incredible human being, Mr. Richard O'Donnell. I can't believe I'm writing this, it was only 7 short years ago that I was graduating from Chopticon High School and hugging him goodbye. I never would have thought that a more permanent goodbye would be in store such a short time later. After hearing through the grapevine how sick he was, I was literally getting ready to write him a letter to check in on him when I heard the news that he had passed. Since I didn't get a chance to see him and write the letter, I thought I would write to him here, on my blog, just in case he's "following" me from up above.
Dear Mr. O'Donnell,
You gruff, sarcastic man. Without a doubt, you will be missed far more than you will ever know. You were like a staple at Chopticon High School, everyone and I mean EVERYONE knew who you were. Some knew you as the basketball coach, some knew you as a history teach, and some knew you as the schools Athletic Director. I, however, knew you as a friend. High school is such a difficult time in any young persons life, and having known you honestly made my experience much better than I ever thought it would be.
I cannot thank you enough for the support system you provided me over the years. You were my sounding-board to vent to when I wasn't happy with a few certain coaches, you were my encouragement when I didn't think I was good enough at basketball or field hockey or there was 'trouble in paradise', you were my hall pass when I was late for class, you made me smile with your crazy antics and silly jokes when I was having a bad day, you grounded me, never letting my head get too big and you never forgot about me, even when I went off to college... (I will never forgot the thoughtful care packages you sent us)
Without you in my life, I would not be where I am today. I am sorry we lost touch the past couple of years, and that I didn't make it to see you before you passed. I will forever treasure the love and compassion that you showed me. You are in a better place now, and I cannot think of a more fitting guardian angel to watch over me, and all of the others that you've touched in your lifetime, than the one who was always looking out for me while you were still here.
I love you and will miss you always,
ps- i hope you are enjoying a diet coke, cosmic brownie, fast break bar, and rice krispie treat right now, all while listening to Sheryl Crow's greatest hits and watching some basketball film. :) Save me a seat, I can't wait to see you again!