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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

For my friend, Ralph Trask

Ralph was my friend. We met as partners in business, but quickly became partners in the more important business of friendship. Ralph often said that I was the female version of him. We had the same thought processes, believed in the same things...we often completed each other's sentences or had the same ideas at the same moment. He shared his work stories with his kids --instilling in them his own passion for excellence and the fun he had getting his job done. And, he told stories of Abby and Mitch at work, because they WERE his life. A prouder father does not exist. He talked about his parents, his siblings and he valued the closeness of his family.

Ralph and I talked about life, right and wrong, good and bad. We talked about the kind of people we wanted to be and the positive impact we wanted to have on others, in business and in our personal lives. He let me know that I was valued. What more can anyone want from a friend? When our business relationship ended we still communicated almost every day. He cared about my health and my personal worries and even amidst business chaos included me in his life and in his prayers. On Friday, he told me to buy a St Jospeph's statue, plant it in my yard and pray for success in selling our home. I am not even Catholic! But, because Ralph told me to do it, we did it right away. He sent me a note on Saturday saying "I have prayed for you every day and will continue to do so".

Ralph and I loved to play jokes on each other, laugh at absurdities and often laughed until we cried! We shared a passion for living a quality life to the fullest. He made some big tracks on this world and it feels like there is a big gaping hole in my heart. God must have needed someone to lead and motivate the angels.

Ralph offered to send me a piece of his birthday cake just a couple of weeks ago when he turned just 42. His mom made his favorite pineapple upside downcake and I had told him my mom used to make it for me, too. He took an interest in my art and checked my blog almost every day. I painted this Pineapple Upside Down Cake to celebrate Ralph Trask. I miss you, friend.

"You'll be on my mind forever"...

Lisa (Nora to you, Ralph)