"Ricky" was a stinker! You know the type. When Mama was disciplining she had to turn around to conceal her amusement. She wouldn't want him to not take her seriously!
Born in 1980, congenital heart disease (single ventricle sub-aortic and pulmonary stenosis) was detected early in Richard's life. Basically he was missing a bottom chamber of his heart and the two top chambers were weirdly connected to the Bottom. His Arteries were backwards also. Richard was born 5 lbs. 6 ounces. The doctors said they could not promise he would see his first birthday. By the time Ricky was 10 months old he only weighed 10 lbs. At that time he had open heart surgery at Sick Kids in Toronto. (Dr. Williams, Dr Freedom) They did a new procedure at the time called the Fontan procedure. The Dr's and Nurses fixed Ricky up as best they could with knowledge available at the time. They were amazing!
Well, praise God Ricky did see his first birthday. In fact, he saw 18 birthdays! Not without hardship mind you, like surgeries and weeks at a time at Sick Kids in Toronto or the hospital in London, Ontario.
His medications which were desperately needed for his heart were always at odds with the meds he needed for his lungs; a delicate balance was difficult to maintain as he grew.
Only limited by a finite amount of energy for any given day, he made the most of it. When in the hospital, Ricky often could be found sharing what little he had with children in the hospital who had less. He shared his wonderful sense of humour with anyone who would pay attention to him or who needed cheering up anytime. Hockey and road hockey proved a bit much for him so his team, his brothers and his friends would graciously let him cherry-pick or be the goalie.
Ricky also loved golfing with his Dad, oh and making music with his band of friends, calling themselves the Microwaveable Tree Frogs. ( Ew ) They had some fun times together.
He found during times of necessary quiet he could put his sense of humour on paper. Oodles of doodles decorated his school notebooks. Loose papers, art class assignments, and cards were adorned. Richard was prolific and funny.
Our Ricky was always underweight and under height for his age and family funds were limited. Over the years he did have a recurring character he was working on. He named his character, "Big Ricky", and Big Ricky was limitless!
"Big Ricky" could do anything! He could go anywhere. The last year of Ricky's life he was so excited to have completed a series of "Big Ricky's", he called "Big Ricky's World Tour". He had worked on the project for ages! It was his idea of the fun Big Ricky would have at particular spots around the world. There was also one "Big Ricky" special for me. That special Big Ricky had a baker hat on.
We chose that one to be our logo for the business.
Over the years, Blenheim Golfers blessed our family with a trip to Disneyland Park. The Sunshine Foundation blessed Rick with a trip to Florida where Sailors escorted him and some very lucky other kids around the Walt Disney World Resort. Ricky was also asked to be the "Rubber Ducky Prince" here in Chatham for the Rubber Ducky Race on the Thames. He was about 13 I think. He wasn't so thrilled about the title, but he absolutely loved doing a little spot on the radio! Blessed with family and friends who loved him dearly, he stayed and entertained us and generously shared his love and humour for almost 19 years.
We are so proud to offer some excerpts from "Big Ricky's World Tour" for display at the shoppe. We hope to develop a few products in the future to share a little more of Ricky with you.
He would be so proud of our little shoppe, (he loved cookies) and I expect proud of this online venture as well. (Rick was a bit "techy" ).
We hope you feel like family when you visit us, and even when we interact online. Feel free to touch base with us anytime. We would love to hear from you and get to know you a little better!
We miss Ricky always and remember him with gratitude, love, and lots of smiles.
Michael, Ricky, and Stephen's mom
Wes and Jacqueline's stepmom
(All of them big fans of cookies!)
Owner/operator of Big Ricky's little bake shoppe
Here are a few photos of Ricky.
|Blenheim Golfers and these folks were so kind to our family! They sent us to Disneyland in California for 3 days and to See a L.A. Kings vs Edmonton Oilers Hockey game! The guys in the family got to go into the Kings locker room and meet Wayne Gretsky and others! Ricky and his brothers loved it! Thank you to everyone who helped to make this possible!
|The Big Ricky's Cartoon beginnings.
I think this is "Big Ricky's" very first picture. My son Richard drew and developed this character over the years until he was 18, and he passed away from heart disease.
Ricky was invited by Sunshine foundation to go to Disney World! He was very excited. When the kids all touched down, they were greeted by US marines and each child had a marine to themselves for the day :) Very impressive! They all had a wonderful time!
|Ricky MacDonald 1980 - 1998