UPS Driver Rick Story: One Less Kindhearted Soul

Have you ever crossed paths with someone who just seems to make the world a bit brighter? I mean those not-so-well-known folks who intermittently cross your path and leave you with a smile on your face and a lightness in your heart.

Rick Story

At my old house, Rick the UPS guy was one of these souls. I was lucky enough to be on his route, so every now and again, when I had ordered something, he would pull up in the drive. It was always a pleasure to be in his presence because he seemed genuinely happy. Truly joy-filled. Even on the coldest days, he wore the uniform brown shorts and drove with the door open. He always had his signature cigar in his mouth and a moment to chat and check in. I don’t know how he managed to do all his deliveries, because I’m sure he treated everyone with the same convivial loveliness.

And then there were the dogs. Just like Pavlov’s canines, as soon as they heard the truck, all four would congregate at the door knowing full well there were treats to be had, and Rick loved to dole them out.

He rolled up on the drive about a week after my husband died and I happened to be in the breezeway. There was an abundance of flowers on the table and he whistled as he said, “Wow, something special must be going on around here.” I sighed and told him what happened. Ever the gentleman, he pulled the cigar out of his mouth, gave me a hug and then pulled out a chair for me. We sat for a while and he shared some personal stories about his love of jazz and his children. He made me laugh and, of course, I cried.

“I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I’m pulling for you,” he said as he got up to leave. All told, he sat there with me for half an hour, a long while to be off the delivery route, but he never let on that it made any difference to him. For the next four months, while we prepared to move, he always asked how things were going. I happened to see him the day before we left and he gave me a big hug and said, “You take good care of yourself and those kids and remember, I’m pulling for you.”

I found out this weekend that while driving up highway 395 last week, on his way to a fishing trip, Rick Story was hit head on by an alleged drunk driver (I’m told it is a second offense.) He died at the scene.

I sat in disbelief when I heard it. I still can’t quite bring it into my reality. How is it possible that this jovial, kind-hearted human can be gone just like that? I truly struggle with these senseless things that happen in the world. Even after all I have been through, I still can’t get used to the way we recklessly intersect one another’s lives and wreak irrevocable damage.

It’s strange because I never really knew much about him, but he was just one of those humans — the really good kind that left a trail of radiant happiness wherever he went. His death reminds me to live the hell out of each moment. His life reminds me that kindness is a priceless gift.

Wherever he is, I hope he knows I am pulling for his family.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  12 comments for “UPS Driver Rick Story: One Less Kindhearted Soul

  1. August 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    What a touching story. I too, sometimes struggle with some of the things that seem senseless. How wonderful to know the impact this gentleman had in your life. Thanks for sharing.

    • Dianna Bonny
      August 22, 2013 at 8:03 am

      He was a gem. Wish he hadn’t crossed paths with the senseless. Appreciate your thoughts very much Anne. xx

  2. Denise Dudek
    August 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    How wonderful that you were able to experience this mans kindness and love for others. It is the small things in life that mean so much. I am sad for his family that he is gone. Very nice tribute.

    • Dianna Bonny
      August 22, 2013 at 8:00 am

      I feel lucky to have known him Denise. So true that it’s the small things and so tragic that he is gone. Thank you for your kind thoughts. db

  3. Tina (Story) Liaos
    August 22, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Dear Dianna – As I struggle with my brother’s senseless death, it warms my heart to read all the beautiful stories and tributes Rick’s friends along his route have written. I always knew he was a great guy, but I never knew how he touched so many lives just in the routine of his job. He truly cared about everyone he crossed paths with giving out hugs when needed and always smiling. I miss my brother so much and feel such a hollowness inside. I pray for his four children and hope they, too, find comfort in knowing how their dad touch so many people’s lives.

    • Dianna Bonny
      August 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Dear Tina: My heart is holding so much space for you. I simply can’t imagine but I am so glad that you know how much he was loved. He always made me smile. I hope that time will help heal that hollowness -it is a journey. Wrap yourself in the love that your brother sent out into the world. He touched many lives. Be good to yourself. I am thinking of you. With love, Dianna

  4. Anna B
    August 25, 2013 at 9:07 am

    He was my neighborhood UPS. My car battery died once on my road and he stopped, more than ready and eager to help give a jump. He was always smiling and waving, but polite and refined. I am so sorry for your loss and ours. He was a gift and joy to our neighborhood and will be missed.

    • Dianna Bonny
      August 25, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Anna: That sounds like Rick! UPS trucks make me think of him – maybe his presence will remain in the neighborhood via the brown truck. Really appreciate your thoughts.

  5. Michelle Mangan
    August 28, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Rick was the ultimate kind hearted gentleman. My whole family got to know him over the years. Always a smile. He was the kind of advertising UPS could never have afforded to buy. He didn’t just do the job, he actually cared. His customers became his friends. My condolences to his family.

  6. Linda Bechtel
    September 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I am so shocked & saddened to hear of Rick’s death. Rick was a neighbor of ours when we lived in Encinitas. He was such a wonderful guy, loved his children, & so full of life & had the best sense of humor. He was so much fun to hang out with and talk to. He will be missed by everyone that knew him.

    Our prayers go out to his family .

  7. Peter Pupping
    September 6, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Rick was a great friend of the neighborhood. I new Rick as the UPS driver at our office neighborhood and discovered he lived in my neighborhood in Encinitas. I would seem him just about 5 times a week in his truck and one summer ended up in his front yard on July 4th. Rick was a front yard kind of guy. He was open to everyone. He showed love and respect to everyone and you always came away with a feeling that you were his best friend. I’m sure hundreds of people felt that. A person with a heart filled with love affected everyone with love and friendship, that was Rick!

  8. October 10, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Rick would deliver pottery supplies to my home studio in Olivenhain and pick up pottery for delivery. He would often walk around my studio, to see the new artwork that I was creating. He would also bring biscuits for my two dogs. Always a happy smile on his face! I was so shocked to here that he had died, like I had lost a friend. I’ve saved the photo you posted of him in this article. Whenever I see it, it will bring a bit of joy to my life because I knew him.

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