Some days before Ronnie left us some internet media already reported that he already died an so I was shocked and browsed the whole internet for news on Ronnies condition. So all the fans browsed the news for official statements but luckily there weren’t any. So I was worrying more and more – like all the fans did. In April the news said that Ronnies condition is better so it was great news and positive vibes but then rapidly bad news were on its way in May. Well but lots of fan groups opened way after it was official that Ronnie has got cancer. I joined some groups too and we all posted and sent prayers for Ronnie to be heard. Also I sent a personal letter to Ronnie with positive thoughts and prayers also included a CD of my husband`s band to send positive vibes via music as music is what Ronnie loved best. It was really touching me writing this letter but I did it with all my love for Ronnie. And so hoped that he could read it and had the strength to read lots of his fan-mail during his hard battle… sure it was tons and tons of letters as thousands of fans all around the globe send their personal wishes to Ronnie.
So it was the day which changed my life once more… May 17th 2010. It was a Monday and I was at work. Still Ronnie on my mind. Then I was about to check my short messages with a blink of a second I found out that my husband sent a text telling me: Hi sweetheart, Ronnie is free and out of pain, he left us. Don’t be sad he had a fulfilled life. Even now as I write this tears fill my eyes. So I was speechless and sad. Even if I know he had a fulfilled life and such it hit me hard. I was totally down and sad to the bones. At this moment I wanted to cry and scream all at once. But as I was at work no chance for an immediate crying-session. So I worked on tally out of my mind and waiting for the time to get out of the office. So the moment I got into my car I cried and cried – was so sad. I sure knew that Ronnie was at a better place now and without pain but I asked myself how to live a life without holy Ronnie without my master of metal? Really unbelievable and up to this day it still is… well so I let my feelings out while driving to my mom… with tears in my eyes I drove to my mom – once reached her I had to whipe the tears from my eyes and then I told her that my legend Ronnie died… and when I went back home same thing driving with tears in my eyes another hard drive. And so this crying-session with many tears lasted a whole week – it was the same feeling like a close family member died. It was and still is so hard to imagine that there won’t be another Dio show nor another concert.
The good thing was that I kept on listening to the Dio albums and all Ronnie related albums all the time especially when I drove to work and back.. followed by many many tears from time to time. Well but if I would have stopped listening to Ronnie back then I think the sadness kept me away from listening to Dio Songs ever again. You the fans and members of the band and family sure know what I am talking about here. Well but still hard for me is the fact to watch DVDs with Ronnie and it is still hard for me to this day… so I am only watching them once in a while. Well a whole week of sadness paid its tribute. It was really a hard hard time and hard to get through to it. Ronnies music always guided me through some very hard times and also send a spark of light in those heavy times and is still doing it since the day I discovered Ronnie for myself way back in 1993. Ronnies magic was always there any still is and gives me support, shelter, great stories and magic. So he was like a virtual dad for me. I always admire Ronnie for what he did and what he achieved. Ronnie was loved by all and Ronnie taught us so much – in any case. Every time I listen to his songs I find something new by following the lyrics and that is also magic and very special. For me there is no other vocalist with such a generosity like Ronnie.
And now up to the special Dio family I met over the years – I thank you all for being a part of my life… Dio fans are the best most lovely people in the world. Thank you for being there in those hard times and beyond. Wouldn’t know what to do without you. Also a very very special thank you to all of Ronnies real-life friends and bandmembers which I met during the last years. Thank you for becoming friends. I know you are and forever will be Ronnies pride and joy!!! And I am so proud to call you my friends… I am honored Ronnie sent YOU his friends my way as he knew how sad I was and still am. As Ronnie knew that I am so sad he sent me the best gift and so took the action and sent his friends my way and I am really so thankful for that! So thank you to all of YOU for being there for me that means the world to me. So I hope that I can meet you sometime when you are back in Germany would be most special for me. So let me know once you are in Germany and I try to arrange a meeting to get in touch and to say HI in person! YOU ALL ROCK. As Ronnie would say “WE ROCK”.
Another special personal thank you to Tim Ripper Owens for the personal meeting in 2011 (Bochum with Dio Disciples) for making this possible! Tim you are the best and I really admire you for what you do and for being you – I am very proud of you! Also thank you to Steve Mignardi for a short talk backstage. Means so much to me! Well my husband and me joined backstage back then and well I am not sure if you Craig, Simon, Scott, Toby remembered this day and remembering this? But hope you do. As you had other friends from the Netherlands backstage and were about speaking with them my hubby and me don’t want to disturb you and don’t want to be intrusive so we didn’t interrupt those conversations. But I have to say that I am also happy to made a new friend LILLY. Shortly just a day after the show Lilly found me on facebook back then and I was happy bout that and feel honored to be her friend too.
Now where do we go?
Rowan Robertson (ex-Dio guitarist)
I still thank my lucky stars that one of the all time greats in rock and roll music plucked me from obscurity and said I had the talent to play for him. I sincerely miss him and cherish the memories I have of him. Cheers Ronnie!
Colin Heart (ex Rainbow tour manager)
For Ronnie. A diminutive figure of a man with a giant heart and an even bigger voice. The world misses you.
Joacim Sandin (ex Bai-Bang)
„He was the nicest person I’ve ever met on tour. It was on the monster of millennium tour 2001 and I played with Bai Bang and also was the bass/git tech for Ratt.“
Jeff Pilson (ex-Dio bass player)
„Ronnie was one of the most generous, talented and accomplished musicians I’ve ever worked with. There’s hardly a day goes by where I don’t think of him. I miss him so very very much but am glad his music and legacy will live on.“
Steve Mignardi (road manager and personal assistant)
Ronnie and I have been friends since meeting in 1981. In 2002 I had the honour and privilege to take over the position as his road manager and personal assistant. Needless to say this was the best job anyone could ever imagine. Ronnie was a true gentleman in every sense. He truly loved his fans and would spend hours after a show to meet with them and listen to how his music not only inspired them but helped through difficult times in their lives. No matter how many people lined up to see him he always stayed until the last autograph was signed and picture was taken.
I believe that band members became better musicians from working with Ronnie. His quest for always being the best he could be and putting on the best possible performance every night inspired those around him. Not only the musical world but the entire world lost a great man that had so much more to contribute when Ronnie passed away. His legend lives on through his music and in the hearts of all of us who loved him so dearly.
Scott Warren (ex Dio, Dio Disciples keyboarder)
Special thanks to Rowan Robertson, Jeff Pilson, Joacim Sandin, Steve Mignardi for writing something for my article – you are the best!