In January, 2003, I met Ricardo through a common volunteer work for the Mountaineering Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FEMERJ). We ended up climbing a mountain in Teresopolis, RJ, and some short time after that, dating. In just a month, he proposed and said that he wanted to be with me ‘a long time’. ‘Around ten years’, he added.
Why ten years? I have no idea! I asked him and joked that ten years was not that much, but he never gave me an answer. Fast-forward ten years and there you go! That’s exactly how much time we had together as a couple, friends and parents of our very special boy.
29 months ago, when he was diagnosed with cancer, I joked again and said that he was almost right about the ten years together… but not just quite. Yes, it is incredible to think that all our effort was enough to get him going for two more years and reach the prophetical mark of ten years.
I am not innocent to think that everything was perfect between us. It was not. We had a lot of difficulties throughout this time but what I have now is a very good memory of a relationship that grew with the time we spent together – and it was a lot of time for a good chunk of it we were not just living together but also working together.
Almost five years ago, we had 14 months of couple’s counseling where we learned a few skills lacking in our relationship. We couldn’t save the marriage, but we certainly let a beautiful friendship blossom from all the adversities and daily complicated tasks we had in hand – not easy to raise a strong-willed, intelligent boy!
I miss my friend. I miss the jokes we used to do together. I miss the constant presence in my life. I wanted to ask him a question the other day and mentioned it to Ian, who suggested: ‘Why don’t you ask Nick?’ In this case, it was impossible as the question was related to Ricardo and Nick wouldn’t know the answer…