It's been years since you left me. I was still quite young back then, still in my dark teenage phase, so I never realized how much your departure meant to me.

Today I was sweeping the leaves off of the back porch when it hit me like a brick. You will never see me again. You won't see me grow up to make a name for myself. You'll never see me in my times of greatness, and you'll never be for me again in times of need.

And there are so many things about you I'll miss. Your criticism of contemporary television, your threats to "throw me off the caboose," your gruff laugh, the way you don't tolerate a job half-finished, how you never did anything out of selfishness. All I can do is remember.

As I swept off the rest of the leaves, a burden was lifted and another one put in its place.

This one was more of a legacy.

For Ray, a true role-model

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