Charlotte A. Jackson, Contributing Writer
Rick would have only been a young child when President John F. Kennedy said, “One person can make a difference and everyone should try.” I truly believe he heard that and planted it deep in his heart. All of us would agree that Rick “Candy Man” Johnson lived a life that was different from most in many ways, yet he had a characteristic common to all of us. He simply wanted to be loved. After Rick had accepted Christ as his Savior, he understood the importance of loving others. Rick also learned that to be loved, you have to also forgive. The outpouring of love that was shown to Rick in his final days and even afterwards, is proof that Rick lived the motto of his home church, St. John’s Downtown — “I love you and there is nothing you can do about it.”
In a world where too often there is the “all about me” attitude, Rick was a breath of fresh air. He loved unconditionally and it showed. Several months ago, when he first learned he had colon cancer, he chose not to share the news with those he loved right away. He was more concerned about how we would take it than how he felt. After two rounds in the hospital and the attention he was getting from his courthouse family, his story was shared in the local media.
I cannot tell you the joy in my heart when I was in his presence during his final days. He would always tell me how he loved me and cherished our friendship. He truly understood that life is not about us. It is always about relationships, with the most important one being with God. The joy of being around Rick was indescribable.
The feeling of loneliness has been attempting to creep into my life, but then I stop and think about how Rick chose to love, forgive and trust God. One lesson he taught me was that before we can love others or forgive others, we must love and forgive ourselves. I loved Rick and am asking each of your to honor his memory by living a life of love and forgiveness as we are in a new year.
One person can make a difference. A very special resolution was presented from the State of Texas in Rick’s honor. December 16, 2016, was declared The Rick “Candy Man” Johnson Day in Houston thanks to State Representative Harold Dutton, Senator Borris Miles and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.