This week had two special days for me when I remembered not only my son but also a close, irreplaceable friend. Saturday, September 25 marked one year and eight months since Cristian left me. It’s been a hard year and eight months for sure. I think about him every day-when I go to the office where he used to join me, restaurants we used to eat in together, places I took him and places I wanted to take him but never had the time. I miss Cristian very much and I can always feel him with me.
Today is also an important day because today a very special person was born. That person has influenced my life in a way that no one else ever has. That special person is Ralph Mercado. Ralph died just three weeks after Cristian and of the same disease. He would have been 69 today if he were still here, but I know Ralph is up in Heaven right now with Cristian, helping him produce some Thomas and Friends Shows. He’s looking down on us and saying, in that way only Ralph could, “That bossy son of yours, Cristian, had better listen to me if I am going to help him do The Thomas and Friends Show or I am going to kick his ass!!” Those shows will do better than Gilberto Santa Rosa Sin Friends! I want Ralph to know that so many people, including myself, all miss and love him very much every day, but especially today on his birthday.
While it’s important to take time and remember the ones we love and sadly have lost, I am also looking ahead to the next Cristian Rivera Foundation Gala. The preparation is going very well and we are getting a great response. Usually people wait until the last minute for things like this, but tickets went on sale today and already lots of tickets have been sold. That’s a sign that we’re going to have a great gala that will be an amazing tribute to Cristian’s life and legacy.
John “Gungie” Rivera
Forever Cristian’s Daddy and Forever Ralph’s Family