Missing My Biking and Movie Buddy

May 5, 2014

Missing My Biking and Movie Buddy

Oh, how I miss my movie and biking buddy! It was three years ago today that my partner, Ralph, passed away. The date always creeps up on me and then he shows up in my dreams and I start seeing the signs. That’s when it dawns on me that the anniversary of his death is approaching.

I started having the dreams a couple of weeks ago. And then Saturday night I went to bed and silently asked for a sign that Ralph was around. I woke up Sunday morning to a roaring crowd outside my window.

Thousands of bikers. The NYC Five Boro Bike Tour starts right outside my window the first Sunday in May. Every year we would forget it was happening. Until we heard the cheers at 8:00 a.m. We would look at each other and laugh – jump up and wave at everyone from the fire escape.

NYC Five-Borough Bike Tour
NYC Five-Borough Bike Tour

I wrote about this last year. I saw it as a sign then, just as I did yesterday. You could say it’s just a coincidence that the race falls right around the anniversary of his death. But I know better. I asked for a sign and he delivered. 🙂

Ralph was my biking buddy. When we first started riding bikes together I was slightly terrified. Make that completely terrified! A lifelong New Yorker, he would weave through the city streets with abandon, and I was determined to keep up with him. We would bike from the foot of Manhattan up through Central Park and beyond. We would take our bikes on the ferry to Governor’s Island or Hoboken. We biked across the Brooklyn Bridge.

On hot summer days we would explore the city we both loved so much – discovering places we never knew existed.

But mostly we just biked along the Hudson River bike path, stopping for a picnic along the way. These are some of my happiest memories.

My other fondest memories are of our Friday movie dates. Every week we would walk to the theater to see a movie. Get there a little early to grab our favorite seats. Enjoy our homemade popcorn that we smuggled in.

Ralph loved movies more than anyone else I know. Especially old movies. I learned years into our relationship that his mom had watched old movies all the time when he was young. She died in her forties, too.

I don’t usually go to the movies on a Monday. But I think I will today.

I know so many people who have lost loved ones in the past two months. I pray that they will be able to navigate the waters of grief and emerge stronger and just as connected to the spirit of their loved one in death as they were in life.

I feel Ralph’s presence. It’s palpable. I’m not clinging to my past with him – but I take comfort in my belief that the soul never dies. I sense his presence supporting me, guiding me, cheering me on.

Ralph was my greatest cheerleader during the years we spent together. Whenever I’ve done something to be proud of, I often hear him whispering in my ear “Way to go, honey!”

I cried yesterday morning when I saw the bikers. Unexpected tears turned into heaving sobs. By now I know just how good it is to let those tears flow.

Maybe next year I’ll join the bikers in the Five Boro Bike Tour in honor of Ralph. Would anyone care to join me?

Much love,

  1. Dearest friend Barbara, Ralph is so missed, especially today! There is not a week that goes by that I see his resemblance just popping up in the city. Instantly it reminds me of our encounters anywhere in TriBeCa. A little chat to catch up about life and the kids. And ofcourse always accompanied with his hugs that were larger then life! Oh I miss those hugs, for a moment he made me feel safe and embraced. His warmth and kindness were a rare find and when I think of him he gives me just that so I can carry on. He joined an small army of my guides, each giving me what I need to be strong, genuin and determant! Sending you lots of love Barbara. XM

    • Dear Manon, Oh, those HUGS, right? Larger than life itself. Ralph adored you and Marlon and Gina. We couldn’t walk by a child in Tribeca (hard these days!) without him saying “Look how cute!” It was one of his favorite things about having the restaurant – seeing the kids. Thanks for your loving words, Manon. You were there for me, big time (and still are). Much love, Barbara xoxo

  2. beautiful Barbara. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

  3. Dearest Barbara,
    Thank you so much for sharing yourself so beautifully, with such heart. This brought tears to my eyes. I know Ralph must be saying, ‘Way to go, honey’, all the time!
    Much love xoxo

  4. Hi Barbara,
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your times with Ralph. I understand how the anniversary can creep up on you. It’s happened to me many times as well. My husband Bob died 9 years ago (April 26th). Your time spent with Ralph sounds glorious and it’s so wonderful that you have so many fond memories. Love and light to you.

  5. A big hug to you, Barbara, on this sunny Spring day, and to your so open heart. Thanks for your words, which may be healing you but are also healing everyone else who reads them, since we all have had losses in our lives. Yes, Ralph is still very proud of you. Thank you for sharing him with us! Much love to you, my friend.

  6. Dearest Barbara, Kindness and love emanated through Ralph’s smile and his soulful eyes, the photo with both of you is beautiful, thank you for sharing. I know you miss him very much but it is comforting to know through the heavenly signs that he surrounds and protects you every day. Thinking of you with love, Mary

  7. Barbara, Yes, I will join you next year on that bike ride! …in celebration of love and doing what you love and honoring Ralph. Such a heartwarming story of love and healing. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful man and your life with him, so grateful. Big Hugs…xoxo 🙂 Love, Beverly

  8. Beautiful blog post, Barbara. May your love for Ralph continue to be a blessing to you.

  9. Oh Barbara,

    I LOVE the picture of you and Ralph. I can feel your love and happiness you had for each other — simply beautiful!

    I love how you are celebrating your memories together. I too believe our loved ones are still with us, guiding us, loving us, and encouraging us when life makes us sad or we are just missing them horribly. Sending you much love!

  10. Barbara,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory. I lost my husband on April 28th, six years ago.. to this day it is very hard for me, specially on the day it happened.

  11. Thanks for your note, Barbara, and for your willingness to share your truth and vulnerability. I can’t believe it’s been three years. You were – and are – so lucky to have one another. May the memories of your time with Ralph be a source of love and strength.

  12. Thanks for sharing your heart and love. I grabbed my mom’s photo with us both in Las Vega Monday with tears flowing down my face as Mother’s Day approaches. She passed away in 1995. So something always triggers us. But she has come to me in dreams lately.
    Love, Rita

  13. I am taking the money love course with you. What a beautiful post and blog. I look forward to getting to know you in the coming weeks! 🙂

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