Raymond was not born into our family, but my mom and I had just joked with him and my brother a few days before his death that he must have been, and had only been lost for many years. To see us together, you wouldn't know that he and I were not brother and sister, we "picked" on each other and joked just like I do with my biological brothers, there was nothing that we couldn't, or didn't talk about. We were always giving each other a hard time, or calling each other names, once I called him a "chigger", he didn't know what a chigger was and thought that I was making a racial slurr, you see, I am irish/indian, and he was hispanic. I explained to him what a chigger was, and from then on when I would call him a "crazy mexican", he would tell me, "that's chigger to you and don't you forget it. He even threatened to have it tattooed across his stomach.
Raymond loved his family, his parents, sisters, Rachel, Palmira, Lucy, Corrina, Isabel, Blanca, and Ceneida, and his brother's, Sammy, Daniel Jr. and Roy, his grandparents Juan and Carolina Rivas. He loved his extended family here with us, and also at his job with Kent Oil.
Raymond was always smiling, and could usually be found in the back yard, surrounded by my son, Scott, his friend, Greg, and several other neighborhood kids who would show up to play basketball. He was like a big brother to all the kids, and would come in from playing ball with them, grinning and telling us how he "beat them again", and that he loved to play with them, cause he COULD beat them. Scott always came in from school and the first words out of his mouth were, "where's Ramsky?" Raymond loved kids. I remember him coming in from the movies with his girlfriend, Mary, who had a small baby, he had bought the baby a stroller and was so excited, he made sure that he showed me everthing it could do or had that was "cool", even the "sunroof" as he called it.
Raymond had just bought a car, he was so proud of that car. I took him to look at it on a Friday, he wanted that car so much, I thought that he would drive me crazy before the weekend was over and he could get to the bank to have it financed, he was so worried that someone would come up with cash for the car. I took him to look at the car, to the bank, everywhere he needed to go on the day that he was to pick it up, he was so excited, and almost drove me crazy with his talk of that car and with the Tom Petty tape that he played over and over. I threatened him, told him that I was going to throw that tape out the window of my truck. Finally, he got "his baby", a 1980 Monte Carlo. He was so proud of that car, he was always talking about what he wanted to do to it. I remember him passing me on the street and not even acknowledging that I was there, when I told him that he was stuck up, he said "damn right, when I am in my car I am", then just laughed at me, giving me hell.
About a month after he bought his car, he had gone to visit his parents. He was on his way home from his parents house, on a rural road, he went off the road and when he overcorrected he rolled his car.
Raymond would have been 20 years old the next week, he had told us, "I won't be a teenager anymore." Now my "brother" you are eternally a teenager, we all miss you, we will always love you.