Posted by patrickklepek (4588 posts) -

I cannot think of today without remembering two people. Though I never would have guessed it, and I’m not sure they ever actually met, I’ll always think of Ryan Davis and my father in the same breath.

When moving long distance, companies calculate by weight, as more weight means more fuel. I’d only paid $250 for my Neo Geo cabinet. Though it pained me to do so, I couldn’t justify spending twice as much to bring it to Chicago. So I gave it the only home that truly made sense.

Handing over my mechanical pride and joy was the last time I saw Ryan. He was giddy. After the machine was loaded up, I gave him a hug. Then, he was gone. I was heartbroken about the whole thing, and not just because of the arcade cabinet. Ryan was getting married, and I had to miss the event because I’d made a commitment to move before the first anniversary of my father’s passing.

I don’t regret the decision—how could I have known?—but you always regret not having one more goodbye, one more beer. The curse of those asked to keep going, knowing what could have been.

The drive was California to Wisconsin, to our family lake house. Our family and close friends were gathering to mourn the first anniversary of my father’s passing. A whole god damn year. Now, a whole god damn two years. Despite our best efforts, time marches on.

On the evening of July 3, 2013, I was exhausted. Emotionally drained and tipsy, we were waiting for my brother to show up. He wanted to be around earlier, but he was attending night classes. Finishing school was terribly important to my father, so the best tribute my brother could have given to him was to attend that class. Hanging on our porch, beer bottles everywhere, I received a text message.

I could not fathom why Vinny would be texting me, especially to ask if he could call me. Maybe everyone had gotten together, had too many beers, and wanted to say hi? I’d only left a week or so before, so while the timing was odd, the sentiment seemed touching. But I told him I wasn’t available—it was a bad day. He insisted, though, so I found the only spot with decent cell coverage, and called Vinny back. When he told me Ryan had passed, all I could do was laugh at him.

This had to be a joke. The same day as my dad? Are you fucking kidding me, cosmos? In some ways, I consider it Ryan’s last prank. This way, there’s no way I can ever forget him.

People tell you the hardest moments after a close one passes are the milestones. Birthdays, holidays, things like that. I’ve never had a problem with those. Those come and go. It’s the little stuff that knocks the wind out of you, and reminds you how much has been lost. It’s walking past the last restaurant in San Francisco where I had dinner with my father. It’s accidentally scrolling to Ryan’s cell phone number in my phone. it’s talking about having children, and knowing my father will never meet them. It’s booking a crazy guest for E3, and not having Ryan to high-five at the desk next to me. It’s wearing my father’s wedding ring, knowing he’s not.

People also tell you it gets better with time, and they’re right. I don’t like the reason why, though.

We forget them.

It’s natural. We don’t see them anymore. We don’t make new memories, we mine old ones. But I don’t like knowing it’s getting easier because there’s less of them. The burden of memories weighs heavy.

Ryan loved life, and so did my dad. There was a four-hour line out of the funeral home when we held my dad’s wake. It might as well have been that long on Twitter. I can only hope to live a life that touches as many people as those two did. If I do a fraction of what they did, I’ll be happy.

Staff
#1 Edited by adam1808 (1496 posts) -

Thanks Patrick. It's clear that you needed to say this.

#2 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11003 posts) -

Brought a tear to my eye. Seriously.

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#3 Posted by conmulligan (484 posts) -

Oh, man. I hope today isn't too rough for you, Patrick.

#4 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

:((((((((...

I never met Ryan but I felt close to him somehow. He made me laugh so many times in my life. Thanks for everything, Ryan.

#5 Posted by Crono11 (1648 posts) -

Great post Patrick.

I want to add more but can't really put it to words

#6 Posted by Giantstalker (1648 posts) -

Well said. My friend, our vehicle driver - a fellow soldier - from my tour of duty committed suicide only a few years ago and I echo this sentiment entirely.

Nobody wants to forget. Some of the things which happened over there are unforgettable, sure, but many aren't. It's a natural part of going on after tragedy, and I'm glad you posted this Patrick.

#7 Posted by jiggajoe14 (685 posts) -

That was beautiful Patrick. I must admit I have a few tears in my eyes. I can never imagine going through what you have gone through these past 2 years, but I just wanted to say that what you have done here is brought joy to myself and many other users and I wanted to thank you for the positive impact you've had on my life even if we have never met. Wish you the best through what must be a tough day and in the future.

#8 Posted by xantar (25 posts) -

Great Post Patrick

#9 Posted by xSweetJPx (3 posts) -

Thank you, Patrick, for everything you do.

#10 Posted by GValo (236 posts) -

Goddammit Scoops. If I bump into in the city somehow next weekend, I'm going to high five you, call you an asshole for making me misty-eyed at work, then I'll buy you a drink.

#11 Posted by BulletproofMonk (2720 posts) -

Lovely post, Patrick. All the best to you guys.

#12 Posted by zEyePawdz (46 posts) -

Thanks, Patrick.

#13 Posted by MAJID (212 posts) -

RIP Mr. Klepek Senior and RTD

#14 Posted by Skrams (272 posts) -

The wedding ring bit is the part that broke me. Thank you for writing this Patrick.

#15 Posted by Rincewind (253 posts) -

Very touching. Thanks Patrick.

#16 Posted by KaiUnderneath (119 posts) -

There's a live comedy DVD special edition thing on my shelf. It's one of the last random nice things my dad bought for me not long before he drastically deteriorated and then was just...gone. I remember him bringing it in to me all excited and just telling me he "couldn't resist it". I miss the little moments with him like that. I keep it there where I can see it even though every time I see it my heart physically hurts.

It really is the little things.

#17 Posted by AZ123 (158 posts) -

Thank you for writing this, Patrick. Your father and Ryan are in a better place and are proud of you.

#18 Posted by Ethereal (103 posts) -

Appreciate that you felt comfortable enough to share this.

#19 Posted by BaconGames (3413 posts) -

That was beautiful Patrick. Thank you so much for writing that.

#20 Posted by johncallahan (563 posts) -

Way to get the waterworks rolling here Patrick. I love you so much man.

#21 Posted by alcololic (1 posts) -

Beautiful. Thank you.

#22 Posted by TheJohn (553 posts) -

Thanks Patrick

#23 Posted by hmoney001 (79 posts) -

Beautifully written. I feel and understand the sentiment. My mom passed 2 years ago in June.

We have to take the time out and mourn and remember the good memories of our loved one.

*free hugs

#24 Edited by Mezmero (1899 posts) -

Damn it Patrick that is freaking sad as hell. And here I thought I was the only one who needed to blog about this topic today just to maintain my sanity. Of course your testimony is a lot more meaningful considering you actually worked with the man. And losing your father?! Geez man I never had much of a relationship with my dad and his passing was rather unceremonious for me so I can't even imagine having lost such a crucial support figure in your life the way you did. Thank you for this duder. You've become a hell of a staff member on this site and I can only hope that Ryan had something to do with getting you hired. I know he'd love the things you've put together since moving back to Chicago.

#25 Posted by Sergotron (487 posts) -

Well written sir.

#26 Edited by DorkyMohr (172 posts) -

Such a deeply personal passage I just read. Thanks for writing it, Patrick, and for sharing it with us.

#27 Edited by beastdrowski (1 posts) -

Thanks for writing this, Patrick.

#28 Posted by KarlPilkington (2728 posts) -

<3

#29 Posted by Kiruvi (11 posts) -

Thanks, Patrick. I'm bad at platitudes, but... hang in there. We're behind you, for what it's worth.

#30 Edited by Itwongo (1198 posts) -

Great, now I'm crying on a bus. Thanks, Patrick. I barely knew the guy, but I feel the same nonetheless.

Edit: god dammit now there are Ryan videos on the front page. I'm liyerally7 crying now. I need to find a place where I can have a minute.

#31 Posted by drowsap (681 posts) -

Great post dudder now Im all teary eyed but thats because I remember all the great things Ryan did for us all. Heres to remembering our Loved ones every year

#32 Posted by pinner458 (778 posts) -

"People also tell you it gets better with time, and they’re right. I don’t like the reason why, though.

We forget them.

It’s natural. We don’t see then anymore. We don’t make new memories, we mine old ones. But I don’t like knowing it’s getting easier because there’s less of them. The burden of memories weighs heavy."

That is absolutely beautiful Patrick, and damn poetic. This and imagining Vinny's phonecall both brought me to tears, not the first time today either.

If I attempted to write something like this it would just end up looking something dumb like this :

Death sucks, time sucks, memory sucks.

#33 Posted by JammyJesus (770 posts) -

Thank you Patrick. You've probably been told about this but writing is a great way to express and work out your feelings. I truly hope things get better for you over time.

#34 Posted by Lab392 (261 posts) -

Thanks, Patrick. You touch a lot of lives with the work you do. I'm sure both your father and Ryan would be proud.

#35 Posted by BoZZ0 (57 posts) -

Thanks Patrick <3 for sharing.. Hope today is not too hard on you.

#36 Posted by lil_cheeks (118 posts) -

My heart goes out to you @patrickklepek, great post. The crazy thing to me is how touching it is to read something like this without meeting @patrickklepek or Ryan Davis. I honestly feel like we were/are best friends yet I will never meet Ryan and may never meet Patrick. Strange world we live in now, but I like it.

#37 Posted by Jeverage (21 posts) -

I don't tear up easily, but today's a tough day, and doubly so for you. Thanks Patrick, we're all with you guys today.

I keep going back to what Ben Kuchera posted at the PA Report back when we found out about Ryan last year, "You may not have been his friend, but he was yours." I don't know how to sum it up any better, how it still hurts to lose someone you've technically never met. I see a lot of fans talking about how they feel strange or creepy for mourning Ryan, because they didn't know him personally. But whatever; we all knew him. We all let him into our lives on a (probably) daily basis, we all laughed at dumb shit with him, we all forgot about our problems when he told us it was Tuesday.

So don't feel weird, folks. We all miss our friend Ryan. I hope you're out there somewhere buddy, in a ridiculous afterlife full of dumb shit. You'd love it.

#38 Posted by Milkman (16782 posts) -

Grief is a strange thing. It's true that it gets easier in time but it never truly goes away. It's like a creaky floorboard or leaky pipe. You go through your day to day life not really thinking about it but every once a while, when you lay down to go to sleep, you'll hear the drip and you'll be reminded all over again. The reminders can hurt sometimes but you're right that the alternative is much scarier. I'm never going to forget Ryan and I'm glad.

#39 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3364 posts) -

Beautifully written dude, have a happy holidays.

#40 Posted by BonOrbitz (2193 posts) -

I'm speechless after reading that, but it's cathartic to hear someone else's words reflect feelings that I have yet to articulate. It's sad that it's easy to take life, and others' lives, for granted day-by-day, only to be left with woulda/should/coulda after major life changing events take them away from us. I think learning to not take life for granted is difficult, but the memories of those who passed before can help make that easier. In a way, they continue to influence us and help make our lives more meaningful and impactful to others.

My thoughts are with you (and the other Giant Bombers) today. Stay strong, Patrick, and keep up the good work you do.

#41 Posted by atheistsanta (1 posts) -

Very moving. Thank you Patrick.

#42 Posted by CairnsyTheBeard (122 posts) -

Heavy shit, this made me very sad! Thanks Patrick :(

#43 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

Took me awhile to figure out why these old videos were on the front page today. I thought the site was glitching out. Then when I remembered what each one was I made the connection and started crying like a baby again. Classy way to remember him guys. I love your style.

#44 Posted by Demoskinos (14824 posts) -

Love ya patrick. Thanks for writing this.

#45 Edited by Newfangled (36 posts) -

I can't begin to imagine how heavy the emotional weight resting on your shoulders is, and how dense the haze massed in your mind must be today, Patrick. Celebrate each sunrise and sunset; engage with the world around you and appreciate every horizon you gaze upon, because, with a frank nod to existentialism, our lives are so refreshingly fleeting and meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Melancholy as it is, accepting mortality, the briefness of our respective existences, our fragility, and our freedom is sublimely beautiful in itself. We're privileged to be able to live in such an extraordinary world amongst unquantifiable natural wonders (and, depending on how you regard the trajectory modern civilisation has taken, artificial ones, too), and to be able to recall those we've engaged with in such vivid detail, despite how excruciatingly deeply those spears of memory may plunge into us at times--especially for you today, Patrick. Stay afloat, and remember all those vivid shards of life that Mr Davis and your father granted you with. They will only strengthen you further.

#46 Edited by KILLER_CATT (65 posts) -

That was damn beautiful, Patrick!

Best wishes!

Keep up the good work, I'm sure Your dad and Ryan would be proud!

#47 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

Thanks for sharing Patrick.

#48 Posted by jrl5k (37 posts) -

thank you for sharing

#49 Posted by Nightriff (5079 posts) -

Very touching Patrick, miss you Ryan.

#50 Posted by attofox (1 posts) -

Thanks for that Patrick.