Friends come and go as lives transition from one stage to another, and others show up unexpectedly and become family. Such has been the case with my friends Rick and Laura. We met about ten years ago when Tessa and their daughter Eva began Kindergarten. Rick used to go into the classroom and entertain all of the kids, putting them at ease while Laura was seemingly the calm and quiet one of the two. They also had a younger daughter who would later start school with Tori, and over the years the two of them in particular have become inseparable.
As we have gotten to know each other, I’ve learned that Laura has a sense of humor to rival Rick’s and that like most people, she is not always so calm. This has come as a great relief to someone who can rarely pull off calm. What she and Rick share is a kindness that is unparalleled to anyone I have ever known. Over the years, they have helped us in countless ways and taken my kids into their hearts as if they were their own.
They also possess an endless supply of talent. Rick is by trade an actor, while Laura is a musician, but they are both phenomenal writers. Rick wrote and stars in “A Slice of Pie” a short film that has won numerous awards, and of course Laura has co-written a brilliant musical (with yours truly) “Room to Grow”. In the last couple of years, Laura has joined forces with another friend to form The Sweet Potatoes and Rick has learned to play bass to help fill out their sound.
We all tease Rick about being Captain Friendly because, well, he’s just so friendly. He’ll walk up and introduce himself to just about anyone and he’ll also stop to help anyone in trouble. If you are ever stuck on a dark road some place, he is definitely the guy you want to have show up.
Today is Rick’s birthday, and it feels only right to wish him all the best in this coming year; after all, he’s earned it! So Happy Birthday to one of the nicest people I have ever met. I hope this is a year filled with creativity and joy.