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Rest in Peace, Vicky – 1989-2022

Here’s a thing I never thought I’d be writing. Much less to be thinking about, or have to be dealing with. Last Wednesday, early in the morning, my girlfriend Vicky suddenly passed away. She was only just 33. It happened so damn quick, from one moment we’re peacefully in bed, to the next where an EMT crew’s telling me that they tried everything they could and I should immediately take her in my arms and let her go peacefully embraced by the person she loved the most. All in a span of about fifteen minutes.

Vicky and I have been dating close to a decade, and worry not I won’t go into much private and unnecessary detail in that respect other than to just say that we were on the cusp of really starting life together. We had been actively house hunting, trying to collect all the funds for a mortgage or a security deposit so that we could finally settle down in what we called our ‘forever home’ and really start a family together. But yeah, that’s not looking like it might happen now due to this sudden shift in… well, everything. My writing here is usually a swear-riddled, jovial or at the very least a overtly-apologetic kind of type and I did struggle for a while with even convincing myself to write anything here at all. “It’s kinda tasteless to slap a picture of your sweetheart on the top of a blog post for the world to see and use it as an excuse to be tardy with your emails”, I was thinking. “Can’t put any clever title so you’d have to go with the gut-wrenching ‘rest in peace’ one, but its kinda cliché too”, I kept thinking. But then I thought, she loved the work she put into this website and especially the customers. So I’m writing this for her, to honor her and to obviously shine a light on why I have been gone from any kind of responsibilities for a week.

But not only for her, no, also for those who read this. Those who left the super, super kind messages to us when Vicky suffered a sudden stroke in September. You see, she read every single damn one of them. We’ve had emails, we’ve had messages, we’ve had comments, we’ve even had two cards! Two of you beautiful people who sent us a card from halfway across the world. I’m just a graphic designer with an borderline autistic obsession with 1970s and 1980s graphics packages for cars, who writes funny words and stumbled into creating a webshop with his girlfriend who constantly cheered him on to do so. What the heck did we deserve all this kindness for? I just couldn’t believe it, we wept like kids in the bedroom when we read them. Just the notion of the thoughts, the prayers, the brief but super-duper pleasant and kind emails and comments… It lit a fire in our hearts to keep us warm for ever. I just cannot express how thankful we were and still are. Thank you. All of you. Those who’ve bought decals from us. Those who bought through Joe Morgan of the Rays Decals North America Facebook page. Those who just popped by with a kind message. Those who just come by and check out this bizarre writings of mine. The whole heaping lot of you. Thank you. I mean it. I love you guys, I cannot say that enough.

I’m in a bad place mentally right now. I’m 31, caught between working a heavy day job and trying to solo-manage this decal business that we had shaped into a super efficient two-man machine that was only dragged down by the printing company we use being slow as heck at times. I wanted kids, I wanted a lovely home to call our own, I wanted a place to do this with a little more efficiency but that all looks to be pushed off the table for the foreseeable future. I miss this bubbly, happy-go-lucky girl something fierce and the agony of her loss is just six days old, the funeral ceremony just a day and a half. I’m hanging in there, one way or the other. I know this sounds fuckin’ cliché but she really was the ying to my yang, she completed me, man. This stuff’s left me half the person I used to be.

The October and November Prints

Now I thought I’d use this opportunity to shed a little more light on the print runs from October and November. It’s been nearly two months since the October print was placed at the printers in the UK. Between having to care for Vicky and making the files for the November print, I’ve been tardy with the emails I’ll be honest. Though unfortunately, it’s still out of my hands. If you want a refund, you’re more than entitled for it by now so do contact me at ray@rayskits.com if you do want to, I can fully understand. That being said, I would truly love it if it wasn’t necessary. In late October I learned that their color printer fully crapped out and they had to buy a new one overseas. I had to re-do all of the print files in the middle of the week out of the blue when they mentioned they would be using new paper stock and a new printer, but assured me that it would be printed ASAP. Two weeks passed by that moment, their ALPS printer died instead and the new paper stock hadn’t arrived yet to boot. The November print was just submitted at this point, so they felt obliged to give me an update which I appreciated. So far, the outlook is to be either this week or the next at the time of writing.

This situation’s shit with a month and a half of waiting, I fully understand – hence why I can fully understand if you’d prefer to cancel your order and call it a day with a refund. And to those who’ve ordered with the November print, it’s also been two and a half weeks for them, and I apologize just as much. I’m desperately hoping they’ll be shipped by way in a week. I’ll be doing both print runs by myself, so packing may be a few days too but I swear I’ll plow through it as quickly as I can without cutting corners.

I’ll be answering the week’s worth of emails today and tomorrow, I swear. I’ve been everywhere and nowhere with my mind these last few days, but through the power of utter soul destroying sadness, alcohol and energy drinks I will get through them in a timely fashion.

The Future?

Man, this is the thing I’m dreading the most though. I have no idea what the hell I want. This decal business is fun, the designing is my favorite bit and its like a vacation getaway when I get to do a set I’ve been itching to design for months, if not years. But now, in truth – I’m just a sad, lonesome guy with a desperate need for distractions. I might close up the webshop at some point for a short wile, to recuperate, to catch up on the plethora of orders that still sit open, I’m not certain yet. The Facebook reseller, Joe Morgan will be receiving whatever he orders no matter what I end up deciding, so if it does happen he’ll still be the definitive source for decals just as much as I am myself. All I know is that I miss making new sets, it’s zen to me, it’s practically twice the fun as making a model kit used to be and I know just how weird that sounds. But mostly? Deal with the pain of missing this beautiful woman, this person that completed me.

I love you Vicky, and I miss you. I’ll be missing you every minute of every damn day until the day I check out, and at our age… That’s a lot of days.

6 comments

  1. I am very saddened for you Ray. I’ve liked to see a fellow modeler and hate to see such tragedy. I almost died a few years back at 39 and I cannot imagine my wife or family’s life after it. I hope for peace and comfort for you in the years to come and God bless you.

    1. I appreciate it man, it means the world. Since all this stuff took off I haven’t been able to touch a single model other than to create decal sets, reading your articles always helped me unwind. Especially during these times, so thanks for both the kind words and all your efforts, man.

  2. I just wanted you to know that i had lost a fiancee in 2007 and that loss was very hard for me. I know exactly what you are going through. All i can say is it does get easier as the days progress but you can only take them one day at a time. Remember, she is in a better place and you still have life ahead of you to live. She will always remain with you my friend. The first year will be tough i can say that. But keep your chin up. Praying for you “Ray” I bid you peace in the new year. Joe will be a source for me for my future needs. Take a vacation for the both of you and take time to reflect on everything, not too long though i have a plethora of kits to build and they will need the best decals ive ever had the pleasure of using Thanks to you and Vicky.(RIP)
    I bid you peace sir.

  3. Don’t worry about the decals, they can wait. Rest up and always cherish the memories you had with Vicky for such a short time,. God Speed, eric

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