Life has a way of challenging the way we see the next day.
I dedicate this month’s writing to my friend, Rodney, who recently died from COVID -19. Rodney’s smile always lit up his face. His generosity and eagerness to help others made him an endearing friend.
Battling COVID is not like a school sick day. Your vital signs (breathing and oxygen to the brain) battle for survival in a ventilator. Rodney did wear a mask, not as regularly as needed, and even flew to large family gatherings. With underlying conditions, such as diabetes, Rodney’s life mirrored a time bomb.
My tribute to my dear friend isn’t to criticize him but to say, “I miss you, Rodney. I miss your sense of humor. I miss your Cajun cooking. I miss the friendly, bantering when football season came around. I miss our political conversations that helped buffer the last four years of continual, nightmarish news broadcasts.”
Rodney “Rod” Gradnigo, 60 departed this life on Thursday, May 6, 2021, at 3:53 p.m. (Pacific Time) Rodney is preceded in death by his father, Joseph Gradnigo, Jr, step-father, Lawrence Allen, grandmothers, Syrella Walker and Ruby Gradnigo.
Let me walk.
Don’t carry me
for I have lived life on my own terms.
Weep not for me
for I have done my best
and carry my own mistakes.
Remember me as a good friend.
Sing my song with prayers of grace.
Laugh my smile with love of life.
Remember what I taught,
and not for what I failed.
Let me walk.
Don’t carry me,
for I have lived on my terms—and peace is within me.
~~~ C.L. Charlesworth
Cheryl, our condolences on the loss of your friend Rodney.. He was an interesting man and we are happy to have met him all those years ago. A great loss not only to you but his family.. Covid has taken so many people that we have know and also that we never knew and it has left the world a sadder place to the detriment of us all. The world will not be able to comprehend the loss of so many people and recovery for all of us will take a very long time.
Love and friendship
Mary, this is a strange time, one that will leave its mark for a long while. All we can do, is to spend as much time as possible, with those we care about.
Having lost a longtime friend to Covid-19 in its earliest days, I totally understand how bereft you must feel, Cheryl, over Rodney’s untimely death. The photo of your friend speaks volumes. Your words deepen the insult of this dreaded disease having stolen Rodney’s life away from you and all those who enjoyed his soul, his joy, his cooking, his sweet smile. May he be lifted up on angel’s wings, just as he lifted up you with his friendship and kindnesses. May your and Tom’s hearts be lifted again as you deal with his passing.
Donna, thank you for heartfelt words. I know we share thoughts of loss for family and friends, but memories will always keep them close.
This poem you wrote is very dear to me for the memories that I associate it with. Although I did not know Rodney personally, the tribute to him was very touching. With COVID-19 amongst us it has taught the world that life is so precious. His time span was short but Rodney appeared to have lived a good full life while here on earth. I send my condolences to you &Tom on the loss of your friend. GOD BLESS.
Rodney was a bright spirit who lived life on his own terms. I valued his friendship, as many who knew him, because he saw each day as a gift. The poem I wrote seemed so fitting to honor him.