A tribute to a gentle soul…

I never had a brother… but I had the next best thing. My brother-in-law, Richard Heron.

Richard in Arkansas, September, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012 is a date that has changed our lives forever. That’s the day we found out Richard had departed this world (way too soon).

Before I continue, I want to share something most of us feel pretty comfortable about. It’s that unthinkably bad things happen to other families–not our own.

I used to think that. I was wrong.

Several years ago we met a man who was just coming out of a tragic family situation. His brother suffered from undiagnosed bi-polar disorder and one day, he tried to kill his two sons. One died, the other one recovered. His brother is now serving time.

Our friendship grew because we listened to his pain and we  helped him through a very rough time in his life. Sometimes you don’t know why certain people enter your life, they just do. We like to think there are angels working all around us…

Now we know why this man came into our lives as we find ourselves in a similar situation. You see, my Bob’s brother Richard, was murdered by his own 32-year-old son, Richard Jr., on November 18th.

Las Vegas Review-Journal article

KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas Richard Heron video and report

The cold-hearted brutality of this act was so unthinkable, that the story was on the front pages of Las Vegas newspapers and was the top story on the news broadcasts yesterday. I’m not going to go into detail here, you can click on the links above for that.

It is so sad when good, decent people are struck down needlessly. Richard was a gentle, quiet man. He always treated me like his sister. I never saw him raise his voice or his hand to anyone.

He was enjoying being a “grandpa” to his 8-year-old grandson, Evan. I know he enjoyed playing out in the yard with him when he came over to visit.

Richard was Bob’s younger brother by three years. They sort of drifted apart over the years as families sometimes do. That is until 1997. Bob took a trip to Las Vegas that year (just a week before we met) to see his brother and get re-acquainted. And from then on, their relationship was rekindled. They became very good friends.

Over the years we have gone out to visit with him many times and he has flown down to Texas to see us. In September he met us in Arkansas for the memorial service we were having for Ruth, their 98-year-old mother who died on July 4th of this year. We were so glad to spend time with him. Our two Chihuahuas, Jack and Jesse, were permanent fixtures on his lap. You know what they say about animals and children… they can tell who the good people are!

Richard was a gentle and kind soul.

You’ll be missed little brother. Say hello to Mom for us. We’re sure you are enjoying a Manhattan with her now for happy hour 🙂

As I write this we are on the road in our RV (home on wheels) and on our way to Las Vegas. We have a lot to do to get Richard’s affairs settled. We left the oil patches of South Texas yesterday to begin this journey.

We will be spending Christmas with our daughter Julia and her family. They also live in Las Vegas.

Right now we are taking everything one day at a time. If feels so unreal. Loss leaves a deep hole that only time can fill.

Till next time,

Vicky