My grandmother just adored him on Family Feud and planned her days around making sure that she didn't miss the show. She got so tickled at how he kissed all of the ladies and called him "The Kissing Man". "The Kissing Man is on!" she'd chirp and ask me to turn the volume up on her floor model Curtis Mathis TV. Year after year, she'd watch him and I'll always associate him with her and remember how we'd yell out answers to the survey questions, stopping from time to time to congratulate each other on how smart we were.
I often like to picture Heaven like a great big party where everyone is having a fantastic time in a swank pad on a hill overlooking the most beautiful setting that we can imagine. Glasses clinking and the whole place just bubbling over with genuine laughter. Every now and then, a new guest will arrive at the party and someone will say, "Well look who's here! It's..." and introduce the rest of the party guests to the most recent invite. Everyone then welcomes them with handshakes and cheerful slaps to the back before someone hands them a drink and a plate of tiny sandwiches and the best seat in the house - which is every seat, well...because it's Heaven.
Today, I'm picturing Richard smiling and waving as he comes through the door and my grandmother finally getting a kiss on the cheek from him. She greets him with a shuffle and a swish in her party dress and the house shoes that she always brings with her for the end of the evening's wind-down. Maybe she has her beloved black and white cat, Porkchop on her shoulder. It's a good scene. They're both grinning widely like old friends. Somewhere in the background, the needle drops on a record that they both remember and they bob their heads with the beat.
I was mulling over which video to share of Richard today. There were so many hilarious ones of him, cracking jokes and full of laughter and wit - but when I found this one, I knew. This is from his very last show and never made it to TV. The message is clear and timeless and I can't think of a better legacy for him to have left with us here as we prepare for our own party invite one day.
Until next time,
x's and o's,