I don't have much to say these days. And if I did, I don't think I could keep them straight or organize into anything interesting anyway. I've called my son Jimmy, "Tony" about six times now.
Everything I would usually rant and complain about seems so trivial right now. My hair. The Vineyard guy butt-dialing me every single day around 6:00 am. Traffic. The Speech Therapist. Things just don't seem that important.
One of the hardest things I've had to do was to sit down and write my brother's obituary last night. How do you put a positive spin on some one's life that was taken so early and had so much pain, physical and emotional?
I can't help but feel sad for what must have been a horrible way to live in constant pain from the hundreds of stones his kidney's harbored. Every couple of months he'd have to go in and have surgery. They would alter kidney's each time in order to try to give the other kidney time to heal. It's a brutal, debilitating disease. To read more about it click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cystinuria
Then, when he got the Gout; the medication you would normally take for that, he couldn't take because his one functioning kidney was in such bad shape.
I used to get so irritated with him because he was always taking pain pills. The pain pills altered his mood and demotivated him and I watched him decline and become more and more addicted to his medication and the more he took, the more he needed to take and the more he took the more he would sleep and the more he took the more he would not show up for family events. But how could I or anyone know what he was really feeling? Who knows what kind of pain he was really in and for how long. And then I think the pain pills were his only release and escape from the pain. And it was a vicious circle he had to manage and justify to people like me. It used to bother me how much he smoked too. But who am I to judge him? I just wanted him to be healthy and quit smoking. But smoking and pain pills were mostly all he had. And that's what is so sad to me. It was such a waste of a young, promising life and he never stood a chance.
So here is the Obituary I wrote for Tony. I'm glad that we will be doing a more formal memorial service for him. This way we can honor him and people can talk about what they loved about him. I wish it was happening a little sooner but maybe this is for the best.
Anthony Robert Richutti passed away on May 1, 2010 at just 32 years young at his home in Santa Rosa. He had been battling a rare kidney disease all of his adult life. Born Aug 24, 1977, beloved son to Robert Richutti and Susan Courteau of Santa Rosa. Lovingly survived by his son, Anthony Richutti of CO, his sister Angela Dallara, brother Andrew Richutti, stepmom Jackie Richutti and stepdad, Girard Courteau. Predeceased by all grand- parents: Frank Richutti, Rosemary Tosney, Cliff and Ruth DeBaca. He leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, two nephews and many friends. He graduated from Healdsburg High in 1995. Tony made everyone so proud when he received his Black Belt in Tang Soo Do under the guidance of his uncle, Master Jim DeBaca, owner of Fitness Fanatics Martial Arts Studio. Tony was a fighter and fought his illness to the bitter end. One of Tony’s proudest accomplishments was the day his son Anthony was born. Anthony was the bright light in his darkest moments. Tony was happiest enjoying the outdoors. He loved to boat, camp, fish and hunt. He was an avid Raider fan and spent many childhood summers helping out at their Training Camp in So. Cal with his uncle Don DeBaca. He also enjoyed movies and video games. Tony was a big guy with an even bigger heart and always willing to lend a hand. He was the go-to-guy and able to “fix anything”, a talent he learned from his father. Life became hard for Tony and he did the best he could with the unfortunate hand he was dealt. Tony’s time here with us was far too brief. He is dearly loved and will be deeply missed by many. Friends and family are invited to attend a Celebration of Tony’s life on Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 am at Daniels Chapel of the Roses, Santa Rosa.