Jaerik (jaerik) wrote,
Randy W. Pickering
Specialist, United States Army

December 1st, 1976 - December 9th, 2007

The Department of Defense has confirmed that our friend Randy randymonki was Killed in Action in northern Baghdad on the morning of December 9th, 2007.

It still hasn't really completely sunk in yet. I just saw Randy a few weeks ago when he was on leave up in San Francisco. I'm not really great with words when it comes to these things, but I will do my best.

I think I've learned more from Randy over the years than I've learned from any other friend.

The story of Randy's life is particularly less than idyllic. Through his short 31 years, the world hit him with far more shit than any single person should ever be required to endure.

Through it all, in the face of colossal odds, he never lost sight of his dreams. Despite seemingly insurmountable hurdles, he always managed to keep his own particular positive outlook on life. Through his artwork and comics, those of us lucky enough to call him our friend were able to get a glimpse of the extraordinary creativity and enormous talent that he kept inside, tirelessly striving to improve his skill and share with us the fantastic worlds that he had envisioned, even through long, scattered patches of homelessness and hopelessness that would have probably utterly crushed anyone else.

He was the primary inspiration that got me interested in learning to draw. His unflagging, exhuberant encouragement and support of me, not just in drawing but in all aspects of my life, got me through some particularly difficult times over the years, even while he was dealing with his own situations and circumstances far worse than anything I've ever had to endure. I still treasure the fan art he did for me when I was feeling particularly down. The quick sketches he did of our FF:Online characters. His uniquely upbeat yet tongue-in-cheek outlook, his scruffy determination and perseverance, taught me that while life can get pretty shitty at times, how you react to hardship -- not the hardship itself -- is what defines us as people.

I'm going to try to come up with a more fitting tribute over the next few days, but for now:

Rest in peace, good buddy. Wherever you've gone to, may you find the peace that seemed to always elude you in life.

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