The saying that the good die young held true this weekend with the sudden death of Richard Rodger. Richard was one of the first people I met when we moved up here. He gave my hubby his first Yukon job as a guide for Bonnet Plume Outfitters. He quickly became a treasured friend.
You couldn't help but like Richard. He was happy, outgoing and just an all round nice guy. He had a special ability to make whoever he was talking to feel like they were the only person in the room and that he truly cared about you were saying--even when you were so drunk you weren't making any damn sense! His positive attitude was contagious. No matter what life threw at him, Richard never showed any anger or bitterness. He just kept going with his silly little smile and that goofy giggle.
What I'd give to hear that giggle on my voice mail one more time demanding I bake him more cookies. The man loved his cookies and I enjoyed baking them for him. I even bought a special cookbook of nothing but cookie recipes just so Richard would have more options than plain ol' chocolate chip. I may never bake cookies without tears again.
At some point there will be comfort in the fact that Richard died doing what he loved best, flying, and where he loved to be. Right now there is only a deep sense of loss and pain. I'm glad I got to know you, Richard. I'm sorry there aren't going to be many more years of silly stories, cookies and late night bonfires. Godspeed, my friend. You'll be missed.