I had the others baptized at 6 weeks but for some reason Ralphie was six months, coming from mixed religions I was running out of Godparents so we took him to church, just his Dad and I. Well my father in law was fit to be tied and said I'll be his Godfather and he was. Even the day we left the hospital Ralph had not known what the baby was named, we were half way home when I told him.
We had baby pictures of the kids at 6 months, Ralphie was 10 months, things were always different. He was his Fathers son to a point but out of five children he favored my side in his looks and people often said where did this one come from. He was a beautiful little boy and my baby. What did I miss?
From a child on he liked to be alone but only within the house. He was voted most popular in Jr. and Sr. High. He was never without friends Played Football from pee wee to high school and before he graduated he joined the Navy. The first time I saw him in uniform my baby was not a baby anymore.
Life was difficult with Ralphie as he started to drink and it just got worse. We were always there for him but it was hard. We went through the yelling stage, the crying stage, the begging stage, the loving stage, and the tough love stage, but nothing worked and I believe it soon took him over. He moved out and came back and moved out and came back. But we loved him and he knew it I am sure.
Ralphie was a giver of love he loved everyone and was always willing to help. He gave of himself so much but sometimes fell way too short on the receiving end especially with love and it hurt him and us. He had a failed marriage and bought diamonds for four different girls who all just left him. The drink was a major problem and I can't hide that fact. My other children all married and settled and owning their own homes he would often say this house was his because he was the favorite, and of course I said I had no favorites. But this house is his. In his death Ralphie gave his father and mother the world we always wanted but not the way we wanted to get it. We would give it back in the blink of an eye for our baby.
When Ralphie died I was behind on his insurance and also been suicide I was not sure they would pay. Well they did, but a week after his sister called me to come up to where he worked. My five children worked at Warner Bros. Records. Well we were told that with Ralphie's insurance at work and his 40lK we were left $100,000 and then he was insured as a volunteer fireman. With all this and being a typical struggling family we were able to pay off our house and cars and bills with a lot to donate. WE WERE FREE BUT AT WHAT PRICE?? So I can say, "this is Ralphie's house and will forever be". My baby gave the ultimate and for what I will never know.
I LOVE YOU RALPHIE----- I WILL REMEMBER YOU
To the living, I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry, I was cheated.
But to the happy, I am at peace.
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot speak but I can listen.
I cannot be seen but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at the beautiful sea.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity,
REMEMBER ME in your hearts, your thoughts and your memories of the times we loved, the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed. For if you always think of me, I will never be gone.
MY RAPHAEL MY ANGEL MY HEALER MY BABY
With my undying love, Mom aka Fluffy
RALPH A. CAINES, JR
O4/12/66 – 09/30/96