Words from Richmond as conveyed from Ellen Tadd
Thank you Dick so much for sharing those thoughts. All of you here knew Dick. You knew him as husband, brother, friend, colleague. Brimmer, who is not here, but who provided endless enjoyment in Dick’s last years, also knew him as an important confidant. I knew him as father, and I thought I would share some stories from that perspective.
My first story relates to a game we used to play when Rich and I were very young. My father had a special place in his heart for the West, and we spent a couple of summers there when I was quite young. I remember back in NH he would put a mattress down on the floor and we could play bucking broncos. He would put a belt around his chest and kneel down on the mattress and Rick and I would take turns getting on his back grabbing the belt like were the cowboy and then he would try to buck us off. I would take a turn, Rick would take a turn, I would take a turn, back and forth, 2 rambunctious young boys. He would laugh, we would laugh. I think he enjoyed it as much as we did, if not more. As Rick read, “Having a family of my own and sharing their upbringing with Nancy has been my most satisfying adventure.” He enjoyed us, he shared his life with us, he loved us – that was his greatest gift to us and made the foundation of our life.
A second story I wanted to share was a day we spent on our travels to India. I remember spending a very long day at the airport, in a large but dingy waiting area. We were going through customs of some sort and it was taking a very long time. Asking why I learned it had something to do with the fact that we were declaring all the things we had to declare to customs. Somehow I came to understand we were not hiding anything, we were not bribing anyone, we were doing what we were supposed to be doing, even though those approaches were probably not the usual way of doing things, ways that would have gotten us through much quicker. It may have been a small thing, but I remember it as an example of Dick’s integrity. He was very honest – intrinsically so. That characterized his curiosity and investigations into life that he refers to in the statement I read, it characterized the way he behaved - always honest, always open, looking for the truth in a very open way.
The third story I wanted to share was when we were traveling back from India and spent three months in Japan. There we spent time in a Japanese Inn, not in Western Hotels, getting close to the people and culture of the country we were in. I remember it was his habit to always sample the local food, regardless of what was served. Now in Japan they ate things like octopus and raw squid and seaweed – not things that 10 year olds were interested in, but he would always make it a point to take a bite and see what it tasted like. To me it was an example of openness to something different, of willingness to listen and learn. That is what he was like with individuals, perhaps with many of you here, willing to listen to what you had to say in a very thoughtful way, making you feel listened to and understood. It makes me think of the beautiful words of the Chinese Sage Lao Tzu,
Dick shared with me an experience he had during a vision quest in the desert of the South West. He said at the end of the quest, after several days in the desert, it was not a vision but it was an experience where he experienced a very deep understanding that “death is part of life”. Death is not something apart from life, not something to be feared, but something that is part of life. It made me think of the saying of Eric Erikson
Let me turn it over to Ellen Tadd, to share her thoughts as Dick requested.
Finally my father has asked my sister Katrina to say whatever she wishes about me and my family. He asks her to do this because she has such beauty of mind, heart and spirit.