For those of you who don’t follow me on any other forms of social media, you are probably completely unaware of the events that I have experienced the past few days, and that is totally okay. I apologize in advance, but I needed a spot to get my thoughts out, so I came here.
On Thursday afternoon, September 21, at around 5:20 pm, I boarded a train from New York Penn Station to Montclair State University. It was just another day working in the city. All I wanted was to get home, shove food in my mouth, and get to my next appointment, Mindset for Millennials, a new workshop hosted by a dear friend. After almost falling asleep on the train, I was bracing for the last 20 minutes of the ride when I received a call at exactly 6:01 pm. That three minute conversation left me devastated. Ricky Godoy, a friend, mentor, and basically an older brother, died. My world came crashing down around me. I am sorry if the rest of the post seems long, unnecessary, or even offensive, but I can’t keep bottling up my thoughts and feelings.
Although I love you now, you know I didn’t always. We first met in high school, and you were ON FIRE for God. You were extremely proud of your faith and very aggressive about your beliefs. Growing up in a Christian household that attended church religiously, I became very complacent in my walk. Thus, I hated how “in your face” you seemed.
In February 2011, my grandma passed away, and you attended her funeral. Shortly before I was about to give a eulogy, I escaped to the bathroom. You saw me in the hallway and pulled me aside. You walked with me and started to tell me about your life, and you refused to say what I had heard all day, “Sorry for your loss.” You always met me where I was, both physically and spiritually, and you would walk with me by your side, just like Jesus does. You were the only person who understood me that day. Somehow, you knew exactly what to say, and from that point forward, my opinions of you changed. We clicked, and you truly became a best friend, my mentor, and a big brother.
Since then, there are a million memories we have shared that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I know you would want details, so I will name a few…
Thank you for talking to my parents on my behalf and acting as a mediator on countless occasions. Thank you for taking me out to dinner in Morristown after that huge argument with my dad, despite all the things you were going through. I will never forget how you made me realize that although I was in trouble, I was old enough to respect the boundaries my parents put over me. Yes, I may have been grounded, but it was my decision to respect and honor those groundings. They couldn’t force me to do anything. I had to respect them enough to do what they wanted.
Thank you for that other crazy adventure in Morristown. You know exactly what I’m talking about. It was the night we went to that book reading in Madison for Tap. We went out to dinner with the Nader’s, and I had asked you about headshots for a competition I was in. In true Ricky fashion, you wanted to get them done immediately. I drove us to Morristown, and then we had a mini photoshoot on South Street. Instead of waiting until the morning to edit them, you insisted we headed to that store by Panera (LOL), and then we went straight to your office. You quickly did your thing, making sure the pictures were perfect despite my gross skin and sweaty face, and then we talked for a couple hours.
Thank you for answering my dinner-time calls about all my school projects. Thank you for dropping everything after countless events in NYC and all over New Jersey, just to get back to the office during rush-hour and stay till midnight in order to help me with my homework. Thank you for making sure I submitted everything flawlessly and on time. Thank you for teaching me things I never would have learned despite going to school for broadcasting.
Thank you for allowing me to help you with your taxes, well kind of. We both know I suck at math. Thank you for giving me ENDLESS opportunities to make money because you knew I was just another broke college student. You wanted to share your success with others, and for that, I am truly grateful. You had asked me if I would be willing to make a few extra bucks by making a list of your write-offs for your accountant, pretty much knowing I would say yes. When you asked me how much I was hoping to make, I told you I hated that question. I never knew what to say. Truthfully, I only expected maybe 40 or 50 bucks, but you started way higher. You asked me if I had any payments coming up. I told you about my car. You asked how much. I answered, and that was that. You cashed me some of it that day, and the next day when I finished, you cashed me the rest. You literally paid for my car that month. Thank you, Rick.
Thank you for dropping everything and coming into the city with Tyler and me on St. Patrick’s Day 2016 to feed the homeless and less fortunate, once again despite all the craziness going on in your own life. I will never forget that day. You imparted so much wisdom into me as we rode the Path back to Jersey City.
Thank you for constantly including me in all your new successes. Thank you for telling me about your Thumbtack interview and immediately sending me it when it was published. Whenever I go to California, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be heading to the headquarters just to see your beautiful face on the wall. Thank you for constantly sharing your blog posts with me. Thank you for asking MY advice on YOUR documentary. Thank you for allowing me to go to events with you. Thank you for trusting me with your car, equipment and your entire “new” office when you had to drive that woman home, but didn’t have enough room in the back seat for me. I’m still salty you forgot to give me your password to your laptop though. Honestly, I wanted so badly to take some coffee, champagne and candy, but I promise you, I didn’t.
Thank you for coming with me to get my eyebrows done just so we could talk. Thank you for helping my friends, whom you had never even met, with their own dreams and aspirations. Thank you for encouraging Ari to start her own Youtube and for promising to help her, simply because I had given you her number for work. Thank you for all the incredible moments that I promise I will never allow my brain to forget.
Thank you for the constant support, the constant advice, the constant biblical knowledge. Thank you for every single thing you ever did for or said to me. Thank you for being your raw, genuine, authentic self in a world filled with sheep. Thank you for never doubting your faith and for being a pillar of truth in my life. Thank you for understanding that the truth will set you free. Thank you for being an advocate for mental illness. Thank you for being you.
Ricky, I am so, so sorry I did not always defend and protect you the way I should have. I am sorry I would remain quiet in times to keep the peace. I am sorry, but I understand now. Right now, the only hope I have is knowing that you are wrapped tightly in the arms of Jesus. The demons that tormented you for way too long are gone. They have no place in heaven. You are at peace. Your brain is at peace. Your heart is comforted. And like Dom just told me, “Ricky is doing to Jesus what he’s always done to us, asking all his deep and involved questions, but this time, he is actually getting answers.”
I love you, Rick. I promise to keep your legacy alive until my very last breath.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
1 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.