Monday, January 7, 2013

More than a Man

Let me tell you a story.
A story of a man that lived life on his own terms.
He never quite fit in to common life.
After suffering a small brain injury as a child,
he never recovered fully and thus lived his life a little different than most.

He never finished school.
There was no way to even get him to stay in the building.
He was always looking for a way to get out of doing 
"what he was supposed to do"
and choosing to  take the more adventurous route.

He took to his little brother right away.
Despite the ten years that separated them,
he always found ways to include him in the fun.

Here's a shining example.
Despite his brother's fear of horses as   a child,
he helped him to overcome his fears and concur this beast of a pony.
Note, the brother is holding on to him, not the pony.

That little brother is my husband, Edward. This man that I'm telling you about, is his brother. 
Eric, or Rick as we knew him, hitched a ride on the frieght train to heaven on Wednesday, January 2, 2013. 
Just 25 days shy of his 60th birthday.

I took this shot of him last summer. It captures so much of his loving personality. He possessed a great love for nature, animals, music and, all things trains.

He could play a piano or guitar by ear after hearing a song only once. Always by his side was one of his trusty canine side-kicks and many friends.

He would make friends anywhere he went, with the most unlikely of people.
One might see him as a bit odd at first, but once you let yourself know him, you would love him.
He belonged to that elite group of Port Huron's eccentrics and everyone seemed to know who he was.

 He chose a life a bit different than most.
At a young age, he ran away from home
To be found living in a shack roughly constructed of waste material at
the train yard.
It wasn't until his father bought a house across from the switching station, that Rick decided to move "home".
Home as he knew it, started with a tent in the wooded acreage
behind the house. Eventually moving into an old milk truck and then a discarded camper. Time would reveal to him an old mobile home or two and then more campers. As each residence filled with things that made him happy, he'd move on to something else.

A few years ago, he had a health scare and I volunteered to clean his place up to help make his life a little easier and nicer. The doctors told us then that he would not live more than a month or so. So, we wanted it to be nice. A few months later, he'd totally trashed what I had done and made it more comfortable in his eyes. His home was open to anyone and anything that happened into it. On any given day, you could find mice or even rats sharing in the dogs food. He would feed the birds of all kinds. And it was nothing for him to lay down in the woods and fall asleep.

 It must have been what he needed because he managed to squeeze 6 more years out of life.

Each time that doctors told him to do something, he'd do just the opposite. He'd rather live one month his way than years, their way.

While I could never live the way he chose, I've learned so much from this man. I've grown to respect him and his ways. With that, I've grown to accept and respect everyone that I meet. We are all doing the best we can with what we have to work with. And who are we to tell someone how to live their life?

If there was ever a shining example of Godliness, it was Rick Borowski.
I hope that I can implement into my life, the lessons that I've learned from this incredible man.
He will truly be missed.


That corgi :) said...

I am so sorry for Edward's and your loss, Stew. Eric (Rick) sounded like a very interesting, loving man. I know he will be missed and thought about often in the days ahead. I like how he didn't do what the doctors said; that's my kind of guy!

again, I am so sorry


Captain Shagrat said...

Great story about this unaffected man (Eric) glad your here to tell it... The most interesting stories are usually sadly lost

MorningAJ said...

What an amazing guy. And what a loss to the world. I'm glad you valued him while he was here. (But that's who you are, so it's no surprise.)

Love and hugs to you both.

Jim said...

Stew and Ed, I am sorry for your loss. Rick lived 'his' life and that's the way he wanted and was able to live. He was listening to his own 'drum' and how fortunate he was to be able to appreciate nature and everything around him on his own terms! We could all learn from this man's life.
A wonderful and accepting tribute Stew. Thanks for sharing.

Penny said...

That was another awesome read!! I could not of said it better!!

Stew said...

I wish my words above could capture just how incredible, yet simple of a man he was.

Thank you all for your kind words in reply.

Coop said...

Rick seemed like a unique man... a good one. We can learn a lot from people who see life differently.
My thoughts are with you guys

laura.forestdreams:) said...

as i sit here...teary-eyed and with goose-bumps...i'm so sorry for yours & ed's loss...

we have something to learn from each person who crosses our path...if we just take the time to listen...

what a beautiful & touching tribute!!!

Anonymous said...

Nicely said Stew, he definitely a very kind heart and will be missed.(((hugs))) to you and Ed both.

LOVE the third photo, did you take it?