Our fourth day on the road did not start as planned. I awoke and, as I usually do when I first wake up, I reached over to the table beside the bed and picked up my tablet to see what was new in the world. What I found was something that was both expected and yet unexpected at the same time. Our good friend Richard McBride (http://richardislivingwithals.blogspot.com/) had passed away.
Now, I had only come to know Richard over the last six years but he had developed into one of my most trusted friends. He was always ready to share a laugh, share a drink, and put you in your place when you needed it.
As I said, it was both expected (ALS is a death sentence), yet unexpected too. We had just seen Richard a few days before departing on our road trip and we had been already making tentative plans for getting together again when we got back. It just didn’t seem possible that this happened now, on this day, with us so far away from our group of friends we had come to know through Richard.
I may or may not write more about my thoughts later. We’ll see.
If you knew Richard at all, you know he loved road trips. He made several fantastic trips just in the time I knew him. Richard loved the road, even as his disease made being on the road more and more difficult.
The other thing about Richard was he always wanted people to enjoy themselves. As he once told me, “You never know what crappy hand life will deal you. Enjoy the journey as much as you can because it can be cut short at any moment.”
Richard would have loved this trip. I like to think he was enjoying following along on Facebook for those first few days we were gone. And, we knew the best way to honour Richard was to go out on the road, have fun and experience it in the best way we can. While Emily and I never talked about it out loud, I think we both know he was riding along with us in spirit every mile the rest of the way.
With that, enjoy our fourth day on Route 66 as we depart Cuba and set our sights on Springfield, Missouri.