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Valentine's Day  / Dana (sister)  Read >>
Valentine's Day  / Dana (sister)
Hey Richie

Yet another "holiday" without you here.  I still remember, like it was yesterday, your "last" Valentine's Day -- you told me you were going to send a "special" picture to mom with a rose in your mouth - but you couldn't get anyone to take the picture. 

I wish we had gotten a chance to have just one more conversation - just one more "i love you" or "dana, can you take care of my phone bill" - I would give anything just for one more "talk".  I know that is completely unrealistic - the fact is, if I had gotten that "one more" talk or phone call, I would be sitting here pleading for another.  Like we said at your funeral, (that is still so weird to say - your funeral!), you were just "addicting" - we just couldn't get enough of you.

On Valentine's Day today, I am thankful.  I am thankful that I was able to know a love this strong.  I am thankful that I was blessed to have you in my life for the short time I did.  I thank god that you showed me a love so powerful that not only does it sustain time and distance, it only grows and becomes more powerful.

I love you so much richie and miss you always. Happy Valentine's Day. Close
In Our Hearts
(Author Unknown)

We thought of you with love today.
But that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday.
And days before that too.
We think of you in silence.
We often speak your name.
Now all we have is memories.
And your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake.

My Dear Richie

I am writing to you tonight as I dont think I can do it tomorrow.  You know how I feel about Valentines Day!

Oh Richie from the first moment I saw you, you stole my heart.  From that day on you were my only Valentine.

How you used to kid me each Valentines Day - it was a day which we both tried to "top" one another with our silliness.  How I waited for your crazy phone calls from somewhere in the country you were staioned at that time.  You always asked if "I liked my gift" as you painstakingly picked it out (thank God for Dana right) - lol.  What I would do for one more phone call.

I know what a broken heart feels like - it will never heal.  But in order for me to have this broken heart, I have wonderful memories of how you filled my heart with so much love, joy and pride.

I look outside the window tonight and hear the snow/ice coming down from heaven - that is how my heart feels tonite, so cold and icy.  

Dana too is reeling from life without you.  I thank God that we both have one another to sit and reminisce, laugh and cry.  She and I know just how special you were/are.

Tomorrow as always, my thoughts will be with you on yet another Valentine's Day - thank you for filling my heart with so much love.  The pain I am feeling will not leave, I know, until I see you again.

I will "get squared away" as you Marines say and take tomorrow to sit and laugh at all our Valentines Days past - you are forever my Valentine.

Love always

Mom Close
bday wishes for tom  / Hm Cousin (cousin)  Read >>
bday wishes for tom  / Hm Cousin (cousin)
hey rich,
I miss you alot..going through some stuff as you know but I know everyone knows u had three cousins me tom and rachel obv lol.but tom turns 25 and I just wanted u to send him birthday wishs I know you will be with us saturday night as we party it up but rich please help me keep strong its really tuff without u here my protector stay by your mom and sisters side and...we cant wait for the new baby so anxious to meet her............I love you so much rich send tom some toms lol..he is my best friend and a great brother to sorry this pic of you and tom and nan is small but cant enlarge it I know u and tom were like brothers did a lot together...but..I love you!!!!!!!!!and miss we always had you and dana blow out some of our bday u rich we all miss you terribly Close
m,issing you  / Dana (sister)  Read >>
m,issing you  / Dana (sister)
Dear Richie

Just sitting here, as usual, thinking about you. Maybe its the "pregnancy hormones" but I find myself unusually emotional over the past week or so.  Maybe its the thought of this all happening without you here.  I mean, I am so excited about Riley's arrival, yet, I am filled with such saddness knowing that you won't be there with me, knowing that you won't get to hold her, but most of all, what saddenes me the most is that I will never be able to to truly tell her just how amazing a person you are.  She will never know, as we know, how lucky she is to have and uncle like you. 
I know that you can't be here, but that you will be watching over all of us, and that does give me comfort, but I guess I am selfish.  I know I have to settle with you being our "special angel", but at times it just seems like that isn't enough.  I love you Richie. Close
thinking of you  / Dana (sister)  Read >>
thinking of you  / Dana (sister)
I just checked my email and there it was, another message on your phone (usually from a telemarketer).  I haven't been able to shut your phone off.  For me, that will make it real, and even now, 1 1/2 years later, I still can't believe it.  I haven't actually called your phone since that day, but I just need to know its there. 

Richie, I miss you so much. I know I always say that, but I really do.  I has been really hitting me the past few weeks how long an "eternity" will be without you and how much I need you here.  Everyone keeps saying that you are around me (and mom and dad), but I guess I'm selfish, that itsn't enough for me. What I wouldn't give to see you again, or talk to you to tell you how much I love you. What I wouldn't give to see you hold Riley when she gets here.  For me this whole thing has been very bittersweet.  I am thrilled and blessed that the baby is doing well and that in just about 3 months, she will be here, but at the same time, I can't figure out how I am going to do this without you here. 

Rob put up your swords last night in his office.  They look really cool.  You would be so proud Richie.  I don't think any of us fully understood just how good you were at your job . 

I love you always Richie. Close
Days and Nights  / Mom   Read >>
Days and Nights  / Mom
My Dear Richie

Well here I am up and trying to get back into the swing of going to church in morning - I do like to go but since Thanksgiving I have been in a slump.  Most nights I am still on the computer at 3/4 a.m. then I must doze off and when 6:30 comes along, I just cant seem to get going.  Today I am forcing myself to get up and out - I have my "little group of friends" at the 7:30 mass who help me along.

Doesnt seem to be a difference between days and nights anymore - my mind is still thinking, reminiscing of you -  hougs, minutes, seconds, days are all the same - this just cant be true.

Mrs. Depascale and I have one another to talk with non-stop of you boys - people are wonderful but at some point, they dont want to hear it or dont know what to say.  She and I just know when we are having an exceptionally bad day - not that any are good but some are harder than others to get through.

I look at all the ads, hoopla for Valentines Day and I just get so sad - you know Richie how I said you were "my only Valentine" - you used to kid me that if I went out on a date - maybe that wouldnt be true - lol.  Well every mother knows, no one can still your heart like a child.  You and Dana have done that.

Well I better try and get going - just wanted you to know how much we miss you and how many people love you.

I am laughing as I remember our last Valentines day call when you told me that you were going to send me a pix of you laying on your bunk  in a playboy pose with a rose in your mouth - this would be your card to "all your Valentines" but none of your soldier friends would take the pix - thank God!!!!

I will get your Valentines card anyway and I know you will know - you are my Valentine now and forever.


Mom Close
So hard without you to share  / Mom   Read >>
So hard without you to share  / Mom
Dear Richie

I am sure you know how excited we all are waiting for Riley to make her appearance.

I went up to Dana's on Saturday to see the baby's furniture - everything is so beautiful and we laughed at all the clothes she has already - whats that Nan says...........if you want to feel good, you have to look good.

Dana, Rob and I went to dinner and we spent to the time remembering that terrible day when we lost you - we go over and over it and it still doesnt seem real.

We spoke of how you would have loved to be here when Riley is born; you were good with children Richie - always making them laugh.  I know you are around us all the time.

Please help us cope - this pain will never go away - we will just have to wait until we see you again.

Until then........................I love you with all my heart and miss you every second.


Mom Close
hey rich  / Cousin   Read >>
hey rich  / Cousin
hey rich its just one of those nights where my mind always wonders back to view of life changes questions unanswered...but what i learned from you no matter what your family is always there for you o how true that is all the wonderfull things your mom and brads parent do..and the love this town has for you not a day goes by at school where i dont talk or a teacher asks about our family..i know u gave me some extra strength the past few weeks im trying we alll are just watch over all of us...and strong she is...I just wanted to say i miss clearest memory of you is you walking down uncle richs steps and saying hi holl...and how you and tom always watched my back and bill..thank you im so excited about being an aunt..dana is a wonderfull sister..i hope you are doing well keep us warm this winter dont make it to cold lol we miss ya here.. Close
This is a Nightmare  / Mom   Read >>
This is a Nightmare  / Mom
Dear Richie

Well another night I spent with my mind wandering of you and fact that we will never see you again.  Sometimes when I get up as I cant sleep, I wander to the kitchen and look out at the Gazebo - thats where I am sure I will see you one day. But nothing yet - maybe I am just not ready but I know you are here.

How could you not be - even when you were thousands of miles away, you were here!  Always one for a party and be with our loving, crazy family.

Yes we try, we are trying so hard but nothing is the same anymore - one can here our laughter at times but a few seconds later, we stare off - each of us into our own memory of you.

The next few months will be filled with anticipation waiting for Riley.  I know you are prepping her for what to expect - as you, she will be loved and treasured.  Teach her well Richie and watch over her.

I love you more than life - one day we will be together again and doing our crazy acts together - I never realized how alike we were.

Love forever

Mom Close
The Good Ol' Days  / Amy   Read >>
The Good Ol' Days  / Amy
I was thinking today about when you and I first became friends. I was in fourth grade, and you were in 6th. From the beginning, our friendship was one of laughs and love. In the 14 years we were friends, not even once did we ever fight... or get sick of each other, or anything. You know what I just realized...we always had a "cut through" where we would meet each other. When you lived on Keil, I would meet you in the back of the VFW....the year you were home and living on Bartholdi we would meet each other by the path by the old police that point we had cars....but we were usually drunk.hehe. When you started going to high school, and I was a mere 7th grader, the girls in your grade used to talk shit about me to you because I was hanging out with you and Bato and the boys.... but you didnt care. You would just stick up for me, and not even think twice about it. We would talk on the phone everynight... pretty much just doing whatever we would be doing at home, just on the phone together..... until one of us heard the other one snoring... and would have to hang up. hahaha. I miss you so much. Remember when we used to play manhunt EVERY night in the summer. You would go to Bato's then call me up. Everynight wound up with us jumping on my trampoline until we couldnt take it anymore. You invited me to my first "Keg Party" (which a girl never forgets) parents coulndt find me, and finally I called them and you had to walk me home and I got in trouble. Whenever you came over my house, you would hang out with my whole family. They loved you so much. I get so mad at you now knowing what a cool family you have, that you never brought me over to hang out. I remember cruising around in your moms car with the Betty Boop floor mats...listening to whatever cool CD she had in the player...I would always ask you to make a copy for me which you never did, but i didnt think you really would. We would get wasted and the sit up in my room and prank call people...well you would, and I would just laugh my ass off at the ridiculous things you would come up with. My favorite truck you had was BigFoot. That thing was awesome. I think it was your uncles...I can picture you outside of my house on Elm street picking me up all the time before i had a liscence. I can picture you walking through my front door. I can picture you watching the superbowl at my house in your JETS jersey. God, I wish I got to talk to you so many more times before you were gona leave. I was gona come visit you in Washington. I had made a bunch of corny craft things to send you, and just hadnt gotten the chance to...if i only knew.... now everything I had giving you is now given back to me and displayed in my room ( your shrine ). It creeps me out that on the flask I gave you for your last birthday here, I wrote "Where ever life takes us, you'll always be my best friend" was like a forshadow. It took me forever to figure out what I wanted to write too! I just wanted to write something special, so you knew how special you were to me (not that I had to, cuz I told you I loved you everytime we talked)... I will NEVER give anyone a flask every again!!! Ya know, I was scared to even get a new car for the longest time....because you had gotten a new car. You have changed my life so much Rich...from the day I met you. I dont know where I would be right now if it wasnt for you. I wonder....where would I be right now if you hadnt left so soon? Well...until we meet again, I'll just have to keep wondering. I love you so much Rich. People keep telling me that with time the pain should fade, and I should be able to move on, and not get so upset from losing my friend...but dont worry this may sound weird, I wont ever let that happen. What they mean is, you will forget and not think of that person as much...well I will continue to think about you everyday, and keep your spirit alive as much as I possibly could. I love you and I miss you terribly. You need to comfort your family with your loving spirit constantly, but when you get a spare moment, just let me know you're there Febs. XOXOXOXO p.s. (i miss the secret garden)
miss you  / Dana (sister)  Read >>
miss you  / Dana (sister)
As always, just had to tell you how much i missed you.  There has been so much going on that I wanted to share with you.  I started to feel the baby kick a lot lately and it made me think how much I am going to miss having you hear for this.  I wish this baby could know how wonderful you are and how lucky she is to have an uncle like you.  I keep thinking about the day she is born and what that will be like, but everything keeps leading me back to thinking about how you won't be here to share in this with us.  I know you are there in spirit, but I guess I'm just selfish.  I want you here.  I miss you so much richie.  Love you always. Close
keep an eye out tomorrow  / MOM   Read >>
keep an eye out tomorrow  / MOM


Keep a close eye on Nan tomorrow and make sure all turns out well.
I know you will be there along side her.

All will be here today and I know you know that and will also be here.

We will you terribly - life is so empty without you.


Mom Close
Another Year  / Jane McCarthy (Mom)  Read >>
Another Year  / Jane McCarthy (Mom)
My Dear Richie

It is so very difficult to say Happy New Year - how can we ever be happy without you here.   We are trying so very hard to understand and "go on" but each minute without you is so very painful.

Our only solace is that our family and friends are so very close that we all grieve together and are there to support one another.

Aunt Sue and Uncle Mike have stepped up to the plate as always and made sure we had Christmas together.  It was so very hard to sit around the table and know that you will never again be with us, laughing and reminiscing and doing the crazy things we did.

Uncle Steve and Lisa, Uncle Richie, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Craig are also behind us trying to help us cope along with their own grieve.  I am sure you saw the beautiful blanket Aunt Kathy made me of your clothes - last night I slept with it around me.

And of course Nan, she cries silently  - you were the apple of her eye - we are so glad you had that year here at 37 Bartholdi to unwind and reconnect to Butler.

Dana and Rob try so hard to make the holidays as best they can be - you have the best sister and more than a brother-in-law - a brother but I know you know that already.

And God Bless Amy - you are in her heart - my only regret is that I didnt get to know her before with you but she is such a big help to Dana and I with our knowing how much she cares for you.

Well I am making the "sauce" today and will have an impromtu get-together - the Richie stories will flow and there will be a point where we will all get silent and stare off for a bit - each remembering our own special memory of you.

I will make no resolutions - I will just try and face each day without you.  

Take care of our little angel and fill her in on how very special our family is and how loved she is.

Kathy and Joe came last night and we did the "Richie toast" - it has become somewhat of a tradition - helps us know you are always with us.  We will toast you again today - if you can, please let us know in your own way you are OK.

No Happy New Year Richie but I will say thank you for the Happy Memories.


Mom Close

Just wanted to let you know that I am having a difficult time today writing on your site - know that you are in my thoughts constantly.  My heart is forever broken - we tried very hard but this year was so very difficult - guess the reality of your never coming back has finally hit us all.

I will write you tomorrow - today is just too difficult.


Mom Close
2nd christmas in heaven  / Dana (sister)  Read >>
2nd christmas in heaven  / Dana (sister)
Hey Richie.  Well, thank god today is almost over.  I think we had all tried to convince ourselves that somehow this year would be easier, but it wasn't - i think it was actually harder, because I realized that you really werent coming home.  Christmas will never be the same Richie, actually, no day is ever the same.  it just seems to get harder and harder without you here. 

It sounds kinda corny, but we were watching its a wonderful life and the angel said that it was amazing how many lives one man could touch -- I was reminded so much of you.

I know you are watching over us.  I tried this year to do everything I was supposed to, I put up the tree and the "garlic" but to be honest, I want to rip it down (doesn't that sound awful), because you aren't here and it just sucks.  I wish I could get one more phone call from you telling me how many presents you were expecting! :)

I miss you so much richie.  I love always Close
Sorry / Matt Febbi (Dad)  Read >>
Sorry / Matt Febbi (Dad)
 I have sat here for over an hour now and no matter how hard I try. I just can not put into words what is in my heart.
 I'm sorry she hasn't put anything  here. All I can say is I am so sorry. Sometimes, actions speak volumes more then words.
 The protected will never understand to value of friendship.
I love you so much buddy. what I would give to hear you telling me the penguin story once more. Or to here you say those word you said in wash. " I love you to dad"
 Please help us all get through this
Dad Close

I would like to send a letter to heaven
and address it to the one I love.
My child has left this world,
to be with the Lord above.

I would tell him that I love him,
and that I miss his loving touch.
I would say we’re lost without him
and we miss him - - oh so much.

I would ask if he could visit,
if we promised not to cry.
Maybe one more time to see him
We didnt say "Good-bye."

We will try to control our emotions
we truly feel we could.
So please - - we need a visit.
We promise we'll be good.

It is so hard, we miss him.
Oh Lord, this feeling is the worst.
We know you gave him to us,
yes, we know you had him first.

But you called him prematurely,
I'm sorry I question your will.
I know you have your reasons
but Lord - - I miss him still.

If you'd only make an exception
please consider what we plea.
It is so hard accepting that our son
- - We will never see.

Oh Richie I write you this letter
with all the love there is to be had.
Because it's just not me who's hurting
there's your sister and your dad.

We need so much to see you,
then we'll try to let you rest.
But if not in this world, Richie,
then we'll see you in the next.

So I’m sending a letter to heaven,
and pray you hear my plea.
But if the answer is not what I’m asking --
Lord come and rescue me! 

Richie - I found this poem and adjusted words to fit you but the meaning is so fitting for our loss and heartache.  I am sure the letter will be delivered - please send us another sign that you are ok.  Love Mom Close

My Dear Richie

I have so much to learn - I was trying so very hard to see you and hear you that I almost didnt realize the sign.  Since you left us, we have been surrounded by penquinmania.  The world has been captured by these adorable black creatures just as the world and now the heavens have been captured by your spirit.

Thank you for the Christmas "gift".  Everyone who has heard the song knows it was our gift from you.

Our tears still flow and our hearts are so very broken but we know, we have to believe, that your are always with us, our very own "Personal Penquin".

I have asked Amy to try and put the song on your website at least through the holidays - she misses you terribly - I thank God I have gotten close to her - I know why you had a special place for her in your heart.

P.S. - I was with all your friends at Mrs. Denapoli's funeral yesterday - I told them I needed to sit with them as you would have.  I told Fran I am sure you are having Joanne make you pancakes and singing along with her.  Save me a pancake and a song.

Love you with all my heart and Merry Christmas - will look for your star Christmas Eve.


Thanks / Dana (sister)  Read >>
Thanks / Dana (sister)
This has been a really rough week.  Thanks for the dream.  I'm not sure how you did it, but thanks for the Davey Jones song!! I know you will be the baby's penguin and that YOUR wings will protect her!!

I love you and miss you always! Close
My Personal Penquin  / Mom   Read >>
My Personal Penquin  / Mom
Thanks for the song Richie!

Love you and miss you more and more every second.  Watch over us all this holiday.

Mom Close
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