I grew up knowing this man as my parents' friend, but as I became an adult, he became my friend, too. Ronnie was short in stature but larger than life, a fire cracker. He was forever in a good mood, to my recollection. He was truly a dynamo in personality, always over-the-top excited to see you. He asked you questions that made you feel he cared, that what was happening in your life mattered to him, and to the world. No matter what you said, he was impressed by it. He made you feel special and important and smart. That was his way. You were a big deal to him, and when you walked into the room, he was bound and determined to make a big fuss, making sure everyone in the tri-county area new you had arrived onto the scene. He made you feel he was proud to know you. He fed our egos with his humbleness, displayed in an exuberant sort-of-way.
He reminds me to treat others the same way, especially kids. You never know when you may be planting a seed of confidence in a child. I know I'll never do it with the same gusto, but I can make another feel just as special and important, just like Ronnie did for others.
Thanks, Ronnie, for making this little girl feel like she matters to the world. Rest in Peace. I'm proud to have known you and I'm shouting it around the world, just for you.