Last week I mentioned I had slowed things down a bit after suffering three big losses. The first one was the loss of my last furbaby, Fiona. Today I want to tell you a little bit about Bob.
I come from one of those families that has a large generation born 80-120 years ago. I have relatives that I don’t even know, even if they all know me. When I was little, Bob and his wife Erma were a part of an endless throng of these “relatives” who would visit. Bob’s trademark laugh and sense of humor made him stand out from the crowd. I apparently dubbed him “That Funny Man” at a young age.
As I grew older, I got to know them better, especially in my young adult years when we all ended up moving to the same town and got together frequently. They taught me a lot of important life lessons.
I learned that people needed to take care of each other. Even in their advanced years, Bob and Erma did whatever they could to help others, whether providing a meal, helping with transportation, lending a listening ear, and so much more.
I learned about love and respect and the importance of friendship in your relationship with your significant other. You could tell they were best friends and had a playful relationship that got them through even the worst times, such as burying two sons. They would have celebrated their 75th anniversary this year,
And then of course there is the laughter. I can’t tell you any specifics of any of our amusement, but I have so many memories of laughing, even in those dark and sad times.
Sadly, the last time I saw Bob was when my mother died. I remember having the opportunity to spend some together both at and outside of the memorial. When we said goodbye, we pretended we would see each other again, even though we knew that was unlikely.
About six months ago, Bob started randomly calling me at different times of the day about once every one to three weeks. The conversation was always the same.
“Hello, darlin’. Just wanted to see how you were doing and to let you know I love ya.”
One time I even missed the call and he left that message on my voicemail.
My aunt decided that we should try to get home this past fall and visit Bob, but unfortunately, he contracted COVID and other complications popped up.
We said we would try to go later this year, but in my heart of hearts, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. A few weeks ago in February, my beloved Bob passed away at the young age of 99, just weeks away from his 100th. Even though we knew it was coming, it was still devastating to get the news.
Over the years, Bob had become more like a bonus grandfather to me. My parents used to refer to him and Erma as their aunt and uncle. I know the feeling was mutual. It’s just so weird to have all of them gone now. But I do at least still have that voicemail to listen to. And I try to keep wrapping myself in the warm memories and knowledge that they have finally been reunited.