ďCheckmateĒ I could hear him saying as he put my king in check. It was one of the last things I remember talking to with my brother. He taught me how to play chess and how chess equates to life.
Thatís over now; heís been gone out of my life for over 16 years now as of March 2009, 16 long years not to have your best friend with you. Itís not because I wanted him to be, but because he deemed it worthy that his own life wasnít important enough to keep. He took his own life by over dosing on a pain medication, 17 of them in fact.
Richard taught me that like chess you have to plan and strategize your life, but was it his strategy to leave his family in the end? Was it a strategy to leave behind 2 children fatherless? Was it his strategy to forever traumatize his at the time girlfriend to waking up finding his cold corpse there? Was it his strategy to have his mother left with the feeling of losing a child? Or was it all one big scheme to go out with a big bang to get attention!
Growing up, Richard had always told me he didnít want me to be with my parents. He didnít want their influence to taint me like it did him and Mechele. He wanted me to have a chance to avoid the drug and alcohol abuse that was going on rampantly in the house. Either it be from the siblings or my parents, he didnít want me to see it or be apart of it. Because of this my eldest sister, not Mechele, had gone though the process to try and adopt me from my parents. They obviously said no.
He left behind 2 children as I said, 2 children Iím very proud to have as my niece and nephew. His oldest named after Randy Lee Rhodes has adopted this persona and has a CD release party coming up sometime this month. He followed in his fatherís foot steps with out realizing it. Richard was in a band called Evil Creed when he was growing up, never learned how to read or write music but he could play anything he put his hands on. He played lead guitar, back up guitar, drums and bass.
Melissa his youngest just got accepted to a college at the age of 17 and will be moving to attend her university this fall. Both bright children but will never know their old man. In some ways it is good, in others itís bad.
I got to watch them both grow up, well more Randy then Melissa. Her mother thought it necessary to take her from where we lived and move states. Randyís mother how ever stayed in the city so we could visit with him. I just wish his father was here to see how proud we are of him.
I had just turned 15 when he passed on; I was the strength that kept the family together when he passed on. Imagine a 15 year old calling up family members and saying ďRichard is dead.Ē Everyone thought it was a joke at first. I was the one who kept a smile on my face.
When I was growing up I didnít have a hero to look up to like Superman or Batman, just a wild mannered guitarist named Ryk. I didnít get to say goodbye even though I had seen him the night before he died. I would have stopped him, anyone would of, but he didnít give us the chance.
Iím here to finally say ďFUCK YOU! You pussed out when I needed you most! When everyone needed you most! You didnít stop to think about how we all felt before you shoved those pills down your throat! Nice strategy Dick McLeod!Ē