Obit (an acceptable word in Words With Friends)

August 8, 2016. Urbana, Illinois. I died. Presumably from respiratory failure. An obituary is generally a short account of someone’s life but if you have read the blog you know my story so I’m not going to repeat it here. But it occurred to me that someone newly diagnosed with ALS may stumble across my little corner of the interweb looking for advice. The only advice I would offer that person would be the same advice I’d offer anyone. It may sound simplistic but it can change your life if you live by it. And that is if there is something that is important to you to do or say, do it. Do it now.

That’s all. It’s been a hell of a ride.


Peace, love and midwives

Ray

Oh and one last thing. If you’re inclined to make a charitable donation, the following two organizations are close to my heart.

Follow this link for the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation

and this link for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

55 thoughts on “Obit (an acceptable word in Words With Friends)

  1. So sorry to hear of Rays passing. He was a great person. We will always be thankful for his advice during my pregnancies with all three boys. Matt,Darcie,Simon,Miles and Walt Lunsford

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  2. Truly the end of an era, you will be remembered by so many. Love to you Rae, Lisa Manu, Sophia and the rest of the family. It was my great honor to know Ray and I am sending my thoughts your way.

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  3. Thoughts and hugs to you all. What remarkable people you are – thank you for sharing your love and courage with us.
    May you find peace and comfort in each other and in knowing that you are supported by a community built from Ray’s life and words.

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  4. RIP Ray. I am so very blessed to have had the pleasure to cross paths with you in this life. God puts people in your life for a reason, you have taught me a lot through your words of wisdom. I have a much better outlook on life because of you! I’m glad I not only had the pleasure to work with you but also to have had you share in the joy of my miracle boy’s King and JPrince. I’ll never forget you! Prayers to Rae and Kid’s and family!

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  5. Rae, So glad we got to see Ray several times at the pool and have a chance to interact with you both. His spirit was so ever present even though he couldn’t speak. Such wonderful lessons in life that you both shared with so many! Big hugs to the whole family.

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  6. RIP dear Ray. In sharing, you gave all who knew you a rare gift. You showed us how to live with honesty, courage and meaning. To Rae, Lisa, Manu, Sophia, Tauby, the rest of the family, all my love.

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  7. We will miss you dear friend.

    Rise up singing,
    Spread your wings and take to the sky.

    תהיה זכרך ברוך
    Robin

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  8. Dear Ray’s family,

    I didn’t know Ray or any of you but learned about his ride through a yoga list serve. I donated miles to his ride and was an avid reader of his blog. I will miss his spirit and send you my sincerest condolences. Ray was an example to all of us for his love of life and all it brings us.

    Namaste,

    Kathy

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  9. Rae, I am heartbroken to read this. Somehow, in my mind, this wouldn’t happen. Grieve now, in whatever way you want to. When you’re ready, read Rays simple words “do it now”. It’s been a pleasure getting to know him and the rest of his family and friends. I will miss you all. Sue

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  10. Ride like the wind, dear Ray! We thank you for enriching our lives more than you will every know. Our hearts go with you. Peace, love & comfort to Rae and all the family.

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  11. Dear Rae and family,

    Words seem so inadequate to honor Raymond and the entire family for
    the manner in which you chose to tackle ALS. Never the “why me” seemed
    to be expressed. Just the can do!!!

    It is not often in life you have the opportunity to meet people, that
    you are aware by knowing them, your life is better. We had the
    pleasure of spending a few evenings with you both at Jon and Kathryn’s
    home. Instantly, something clicked with us–good people!!

    At the time, we had no idea how great, how giving and selfless a
    couple could be, especially in the most difficult of times.

    For Ray, we are thankful he is at rest and peace. For the remaining
    loved ones and remarkable friends, we are all feeling the sense of
    loss and sadness with you. We pray Ray is on his bike and riding the
    world, no pain, no restrictions, just love and happiness.

    Thanks for sharing Raymond with all, so that we too, might be better
    people. We now know “Remember to say it and do it NOW”.

    With love,
    Marty Weisbaum Brunner and Tom Brunner

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  12. Sending love and deep condolences to the whole family. Though taken too soon, Ray, your wonderful husband/father/friend will, in fact, live on. May that knowledge bring peace to your hearts.

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  13. RIP Ray, We are are thinking of you at this difficult time. Ray helped me so much through all of my pregnancies,he was a kind soul. He will be greatly missed. The Lunsfords

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  14. Thank you for helping Ray share his vision. Thank you for sagging him cross country so we could encounter you on the side of the road somewhere in the middle of nowhere Florida. Thank you for showing us what unconditional love looks like when it’s really hard to give.

    Love from Colorado and Virginia to our fellow cross country travelers. May peace find you. May love hold you in its embrace.

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  15. You have truly touched me with your words and stories and their profound meaning. Thank you for existing and for gifting us your legacy. Sending love to Rae, Irene and the whole family. Hugs, Malii

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  16. Words aren’t adequate to express the mark you have left in my heart and the hearts of everyone at MDA. You and Rae speak, move and breath in love always. It was my honor to have met you, Ray. You are amazing.

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  17. To the family of Ray–I’m just a neighbor, one of the people you see over and over without really knowing, but those people become important in the landscape and your family has been in my landscape. I’ve appreciated the blog, the new knowledge, the grace of it all. You are in my thoughts.

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  18. There is no doubt, fine sir, that you are, and will continue to, move in a generally upward direction. Such remarkable attentiveness, particularly to things that matter. The world, and all the people you have deeply touched, are better for your visit. Thank you Ray(e).

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  19. You are a hero and a legacy. Thank you for bringing awareness to these dieases most know nothing about. You were brave and courageous in your battle. Love and hugs to your family. Please know that there is a village behind you if you are in need of anything. We love you.

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  20. Ray, my dad always had a saying “You can’t tell how good a man or a watermelon is ’til they get thumped.” Thank you for showing all of us what true character is by staying true to your values no matter what life threw at you. You will be missed, friend.

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  21. I only know you through your blog, yet I feel as if I know you. You have been an inspiration to me as you have been to many who truly knew you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your journey with us. I have no doubt that you are cycling again. In the meantime, I keep your family in my prayers as I know they will miss you. You have made a difference in our world. Thank you. Peace.

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  22. We have met only twice, but you touched our lives as few have…..Steve and I wish you, Rae and family peace. We drank a toast to you, our friend……

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  23. I have never met you, but have been so very moved by your journey and your writing. May your family feel your presence every day and the love all your readers have for you.
    May you ride with the wind at your back and your face in the sun.
    Thank you for sharing your life with me.

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  24. This was the first blog post of yours I read! Talk about “spoiling the ending”! I was so moved I just started at the beginning and read straight through! My favorite Uncle died from ALS, well to be fair, he was my only Uncle but I suspect he would have been my favorite regardless! Thank you for sharing your story with me and others. You made a difference you had an impact…go with peace!

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  25. On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 6:57 PM, Rays Little Ride wrote:

    > rayslittleride posted: “August 8, 2016. Urbana, Illinois. I died. > Presumably from respiratory failure. An obituary is generally a short > account of someone’s life but if you have read the blog you know my story > so I’m not going to repeat it here. But it occurred to me that someon” >

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  26. To Rav v’Ray and your Family,

    To your Time and Moments together.
    To All that you shared with each other.
    And everyone else through Ray’s Little Ride.
    To the Journey.
    To Life.
    To Ray’s ability to express himself so clearly and artfully through his writing and to and through his passions: his love for his family, bringing in so many lives into this world, and to his Ride.
    Ride on, Ray. This Ride’s for You.

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  27. Ray. As a fellow person with ALS I have followed your blog. You inspired me to buy a recumbent trike and I am still riding it. I only knew you via your blog and we exchanged a few messages about getting the right bike.

    I remember one conversation when We were discussing brakes. You said, why do you need brakes!?

    A big inspiration to the world! RIP Ray

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  28. Although I never had the opportunity to meet you (or your wife), I feel like I have through my good friends, Sara Stake, Wendy Denny and Irene Anderson. I am sorry that the end has come for you but am glad you completed everything on your bucket list and you are “free” to ride everywhere without pain!

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  29. Rest in Peace Ray.

    Your Ride is now ended but what a Ride!

    You have enriched the lives of so many people with your quiet caring words of wisdom over the years, and inspired many more of us with your blogs, you will be greatly missed.

    Our thoughts are with you, Rae, Lisa, Manu and Sophie, may God give you the strength to deal with the gap Ray’s passing has left in your lives.

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  30. Rest in Peace, Ray. My heart goes out to your family as they continue their life journeys. I would like to take this opportunity to share a little story:

    I lived two doors down from Rae and Ray in Urbana for seven years. When I remarried and husband Michael moved into our Oregon Street house, he didn’t understand the Urbana aesthetic of violet and clover filled lawns. The Spooners certainly did… One day we came home from a walk to see them doing a photo essay on our front lawn, laying down among the beautiful violets. Michael never complained about the violets again.

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