My friend Ricky was very special to me. We shared a lot of laughs together and talked about a lot of deep subjects. We shared our views on almost everything and agreed on everything. I miss him a lot. This is a little of our story.
I met Ricky’s niece on-line and became friends with her. Her uncle Ricky she told me was feeling down. I decided I’d mail him a card to cheer him up. I’m so glad that I did. It was one of the best things I could have ever done.
After that first card, the letters started flying back and forth and a quick friendship formed. Ricky loved all the same things that I did. Rainbows, sunsets, and walks in the rain were favorites of his. Ricky also loved the Lord Jesus. He had a very strong belief in all of our Lord’s teachings and was very peaceful in knowing where he would go.
Ricky was different from me and most of the rest of us by one thing. He lived his life on death row every day. Where most of us don’t know when we will die, Ricky did. The date was set for him. Not in the normal way where it is set by God and only He knows for sure, but Ricky’s was set by man. It is a very fearful thing to live each day being fully aware of the very minutes as they are counting down to your death. But Ricky was strong, strong in his faith.
The day got nearer and nearer. Way too close for comfort when you are dealing with a friend of yours. I couldn’t find it in myself to grieve. I couldn’t find it in myself to believe that a friend of mine would be killed by our own government. Ricky, on the other hand was okay. He had given his life to the Lord and therefore, accepted his fate. He was ready to go on home.
Ricky was the one on death row, he was the stronger one because of his faith. In the last 24 hours that he lived on this earth, he wrote me a letter, the last one he would ever write to me. In his letter he said that he wasn’t scared. He was looking forward to seeing our Savior. He also asked me not to worry about him, that he knew he was going home to be with the Lord and he’d be fine. He assured me that he’d check in on me whenever he got a chance.
My experiences with writing to death row inmates has not been an easy one. It has on the other hand been a strengthening one. I have discovered that Jesus puts us in the path of others for a reason. Through knowing Ricky, my belief in Heaven has grown much stronger. I have no doubt that I will see my dear friend again one day. We will dance and sing and celebrate Christ’s love together surrounded by all the angels.
Lesley T. Standish