Last week I traveled to my hometown for a memorial dedication ceremony.
My father worked for a Rural Electrical Coop for 27 years. He began his career there as an appliance technician but due to his hard work and dedication he became an irreplaceable part of the organization. From managing systems that monitored the power grid to overseeing the installation of two wind turbines, his passion for work is being honored. The organization chose to renamed that second wind turbine he oversaw the Randy D. Rigg Memorial Wind Turbine.
This tower of steel and technology is located at the edge of town, it overlooks a community he loved. It has become a part of the landscape. His legacy and dedication will live on not just from the work he did but the lives he touched.
Seven years ago he was seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident, it changed parts of him. Not just the things that could be seen as he lived in pain for much of those seven years but in how he saw others. He had an acute way of sensing when someone else was suffering, be it physically or emotionally. In the time after his passing countless stories were shared about kind words or concerns expressed by him to others. Some of those coming at a moment when they had thought the pain would swallow them. He wanted others to know that someone understood and was there listening.
You know how special a family member is but to see in others how much they meant is touching. It has been hard to talk about my father, but what his work family has done for all of us has given me some words. They needed this, a way to honor him and to show how much he affected their lives. One finally Thank You.
He is missed by many. As I write this I am fighting back tears. I miss you Paw.
It is inscribed as follows: ” Randy D. Rigg Memorial Wind Turbine named in loving memory of our dear friend and trusted co-worker. This wind turbine stands in tribute to Randy Rigg and his 27 years of dedicated service to Adams Electric Cooperative. As we look heavenward and see the blades spinning on this incredible machine, we are mindful of Randy’s hard work, high standards, and perseverance that helped make this dream a reality. Randy’s legacy will live on as long as the wind blows. Presented by the employees and directors of Adams Electric Cooperative. October 20, 2017.”
Well this year has brought a great deal of change and some heartbreak. In January of this year we sat down with management and were informed that they needed us to fill some slightly new roles. Abigail was needed in-house as project manager for new and relaunching programs. Josh was needed in the field for some tours that were having troubles. He has a keen ability to come into stressed situations with a clear head and patience to fix problems. Abigail has a knack for sorting through huge lists of tasks and keeping it all organized, detail work. As you can imagine we were both excited at the opportunity to increase our skills and help out the company.
Well that was January, it’s now May and we are still on separate programs. Not to say we have not seen each other in five months but it has been limited. For two people who are used to and enjoy working together, the separation is wearing on us. The other difficulty has been the passing of Abigail’s father. While it’s never easy to say goodbye to a parent, Randy was only 60 and leaves behind a very close family.
We are two people who consider each other partners in life and in work. While some joke about how nice must to be get a break from each other, it’s not. We enjoy working together, sharing our work. Being apart while one of us going thought such a hard time has made this all even more taxing. It has also helped us look at some things differently, as grief does to anyone. We appreciate our partnership even more, thankful to have found another person who makes you feel good about yourself. We have to share our work day happenings via an evening phone calls now. Most of these conversation include a moment where you realize “wow, you are the perfect person to handle that”. The work we have both done this year really has helped us both grow and set our focus for what the rest of the year might hold.
Randy and his Fairlane