Death is final, but our memories live on in time.
Death has no rewinds or do overs.
Robert’s death differed from all the other deaths of friends and family members that I have experienced. He was my friend for 28 plus years.
How I meet Robert
I first meet Robert shortly after my wife and I married in 1990. Robert and his wife Deb were living in Florida, where we had traveled for my first visit meeting Robert and Deb.
Robert and Deb had recently adopted two small children, both children were from different families.
My wife and I became family shortly after meeting Robert and his wife
Shortly after marrying my wife I meet Robert and Deb. Deb and my wife were best friends since 4th grade. Robert and Deb married in 1978 and had were married for 41 years.
They made us feel part of the family from the first meeting without hesitation, Robert took the lead, Deb and the children followed in referring to us as Uncle and Aunt. It was an honor to us to be referred to as Uncle and Aunt by a family that was not biologically link.
Over the years they were closer and closer
We lived in the Bay Area back in 1990 and so it limited our visits do to the distance. Later they moved to Arizona to be closer to his Deb’s parents. Visiting Arizona was easier and visits became more frequent. We attended Deb’s parents’ fifty-year anniversary in Arizona on one visit. Robert and Deb’s children spent most of their growing-up years in Arizona, they all later moved to Northern Nevada. We moved to Northern Nevada in 2010 and have had even more time visiting with Robert, Deb, and the children.
Robert was born in April and I was born in June of the same year. I had later learned that we both were born in San Francisco, CA. in the same year, Maybe this is something that caused us to bond. Or it might have been that our wife’s had been friends since the fourth grade, or both.
Robert served in the Service and become blinded because of a misdiagnose for diabetics. The military took great care of Robert over the years. The provided great medical care, many in home medical appliances, exercise equipment, computer equipment for the sight impaired. They even installed a pool in their home in Arizona to encourage daily exercise.
Late last year diagnose of Lung Cancer
Robert last year was diagnosed with advanced Lung Cancer and given months to live. He was not bitter, and continued to live what life was still available, from day to day. Robert continued to go to treatments and receiving medical diagnoses updates.
Robert continued to take time with visiting and seeing family and friends. He would not hold up at home and say “Poor Me”, it was life to the very end for my friend Robert.
My last visit with Robert
I spend several hours with Robert on a Tuesday and he passed on Saturday. I had made frequent trips to see him. In the beginning we would go out for hamburgers, but later it was just visiting. On the last visit he could not use his hands and wanted a halos clementine, his favorite. I peeled the clementine and hand feed him. He really enjoyed the orange. It was a very humbling experience to feed my friend.
Lesson learned from Robert
Robert was never bitter about life, he was not pissed about what life had dealt him, nor the conditions were upon him. He was always happy, living life. And did until the end.
Robert’s Wife passed away in her sleep four months after he did
It was Robert’s choice to be buried at a Veteran’s Cemetery. On veteran’s day, we meet Robert’s wife to visit the grave and enjoy the Veteran’s Day Ceremony. I recall that day while visiting the gravesite, and she said out loud “I miss you.”
It was clear she did; being married for 41 years. That was 2/3 of their both of their lives. They both know every day that the other person was there and loved you no matter what came their way.
We miss them both, but have the memories for our life. Thanks Robert and Deb for allowing us to observe true love.