Eddie Ramsaier gets a big kiss from his wife, Mary.
(Photo by Kathy Gloer)
You don't always have to know someone well to be affected by them. Eddie Ramsaier passed away and he may never have known how much he affected people.
I got to meet Eddie back over the summer when we sat down with him and his family for a story for the newspaper. He was the type of person that you feel like you've known for ages even if you'd only known him a few minutes. I was blown away by his ability to smile through what he was battling. His wife, Mary, and three daughters, Ali, Gaby, and Mary, were so welcoming as well. Their ability to laugh and share stories showed strength that I think very few of us could hope to muster.
When I found out Eddie had passed Thursday night, I immediately thought back to something he told me that day before I left. I was telling my wife about Eddie and his family and how much I was touched by them. "Don't take life for granted," he said. There aren't many truer words out there. You never know when it's your time. Make sure the people you love know that they're loved every chance you get.
Back on Feb. 19, Eddie went to the hospital thinking he had the flu. He slipped into a coma for nine days before waking up. There was of course relief that he had woken up, but they found out a little of the hard road ahead of them. Eddie had a double bacterial infection in his blood stream that moved to his spine. Several abscesses had left him paralyzed from the neck down.
"It's tough when you walk into a hospital and you don't walk out," said Eddie. "Could you imagine? You could walk out of here and all of a sudden you're not walking again. It's tough to swallow."
The community came out for Eddie. Whitewater High School was behind the family, especially the girls soccer team, including daughter Mary, wearing shirts in his honor. At a recent football game, the Wildcat fans wore blue in support of Eddie.
Eddie made an impact on so many people. It was hard not to be drawn in by his brash Brooklyn style whether he was talking about his battle or telling stories from growing up in New York City. It's easy to see why so many people were in his corner.
Eddie was a fighter. He gave it his all. It hit me to hear he was gone. I tried to keep up with his progress through his family's Facebook updates. His passing was unexpected. Just one more reminder of how fate can sneak up on you.
I wish you could have met Eddie, too. He was an awesome character. Keep his memory alive. Don't take life for granted.