Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ralph.

Working in a neighborhood restaurant/bar means that I wait on my fair share of regulars. Since I started there, I grew to be particularly fond of a certain regular named Ralph.

This 80 something year old man came in a few times a week and ordered the exact same thing every time: a burger, medium rare, no bun, swiss cheese, and chips on the side instead of fries. Ralph would order a glass of red wine first and say "put my order in when I have a sip of wine left". I began to look forward to his warm smile and the way he said "Hi, honey!" he said it more like 'hawney' and he always left a big tip. He looked like he could have been Robin Williams' dad, he had the same big grin. We got to talking one day and discovered that we were actually neighbors. I'd see him out and about when I was walking to the store or sitting in the park and we'd talk about our days and how the weather was.

A man that I'd never met came into the restaurant 2 nights ago and told us that Ralph had passed away. I was pretty torn up at first, I never like hearing that people have died and this man...was so nice and so pleasant...it was hard to imagine that being snuffed out. The man who lives in the same building where Ralph did said that he heard him playing the piano on the night that he died and that they found him looking restful in his bed. As if he'd just fallen asleep.

The more I think about it, the more beautiful the whole thing seems. I barely know anything about Ralph, other than his favorite places in the neighborhood and what he liked to eat when he came in but...it's nice to know that even though there is violence and brutality and evil in the world, this man left the earth in the quiet safety of his own bed, after playing his piano one last time.

Thanks, Ralph, for being so nice to me. I wish I could have known you better.

He was kind and charming and genuinely friendly. I don't think I'll ever forget him.

12 comments:

  1. Wow, this just gave me goosebumps, this is so sweet. I am glad he was able to pass peacefully, he wasn't in pain, and that he got one last glass of wine in before he passed ;)

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  2. <3
    I have been popping in here from time to time but haven't been commenting, I had to on this one though. I don't know if you remember but right before I shut down my blog, I wen't back to Belgium to see my grandparents since my grandpa wasn't doing too well, well my grandpa was euthanized this past week. Even though it's been really really rough, I'm just so happy that I was able to have had him in my life, and to know that he went peacefully. Your Ralph sounds a lot like him too :)

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    1. Hello, lovely.
      I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa :( Thank goodness you have the comfort of knowing that he was peaceful. I hope you're doing well!
      <3

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  3. What a sweet tribute to a sweet stranger. Sounds like he had a good last night, and he had you to brighten his days. Thank you for sharing such a bittersweet story.

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  4. aw what a story <3 sorry about his death but I am glad you got to meet him. I am sure he liked you too girl

    Katrina Sophia Blog

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  5. It sounds like he was content with where he was in his life, it's nice you got to know him just for a little while. So sorry but this was a lovely tribute.

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  6. This brought a tear to my eye. So beautiful and sad... It's funny how regulars in jobs like that really can make such a big impression. What a sweet tribute to Ralph xx

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    1. They become so "normal". I'll miss him :/
      Thank you.
      <3

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