Ronnie has been a part of my entire adult life. He married my mother over 17 years ago, when I was in college. From the very beginning, Ronnie welcomed us with open arms and treated us as one of his own children. I don’t even like to call him “step” father, but “bonus” father, as God blessed me with 2.
There are too many memories to share in so few words. We’ve had plenty of laughs over the years. Especially after that time he missed getting back on our train in Birmingham coming home from New York. He spent almost $300 on a cab ride to beat us to our next stop. We also loved to tease him about taking our stuff to work and giving it away when things went missing, because that did happen sometimes.
I treasure all the great times together—so many trips, holidays, and birthdays. I loved going out to eat with Ronnie; it was always an adventure. I credit him for introducing me to my now favorite food—sushi.
I am also so grateful for his support during the harder times in life. He was a rock you could always count on, no matter what. He was a vessel of God’s peace, comfort, and love. You can see Jesus in his eyes and smile. He was a man of character. Tender-hearted. Kind. Caring. Strong, yet sensitive. Generous. Self-less.
The trait about Ronnie that stands out the most was his loving nature. Especially in how much he loved my mother. Even after 17 years, his face would light up when she walked in a room. I learned early on I could never settle for less than a man who loved me like that. God did bless me with that man—hey Ricky 🙂
Ronnie was a living example of how to treat people, and his legacy will live on through all the people whose lives he touched. The word that comes to mind when I think of Ronnie is “light.” He certainly reflected the light of God in a dark world. Now, when I see light shining in a dark place, I will think of Ronnie.
As some of you may know, my family of 2 grew to 4 overnight just a few months ago. Ronnie was such a advocate for these boys, and helped us tremendously during this transition. One day when he was dropping the boys off at our house after caring for them, he shared this book he had been reading called “All Things New.” It’s about our eternal future as Christ followers, and he couldn’t even talk about it without getting choked up with emotion. He is living this eternity now, and it’s such a reminder of what is truly important.
The morning after he passed, I read this verse: “Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.—PSALM 21: 6” What a reminder to keep eternity on our minds. This life here is temporary, but in God, we have hope. I love you Ronnie. I will miss you terribly. I look forward to the day I can dance, sing, and rejoice with you in God’s presence again.
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