It is also a goodbye of sorts as I don't think I will be posting again. In fact, scrappbooking is something I'm not sure when I can get back to. So thank you all. I know some of you have sent / are sending thoughts and prayers and we truly appreciate them all.
This is my eulogy to my husband. I will miss the very essence of him every day.
My heart is broken today. All of our hearts are broken. How we will ever move on from this is truly an idea I cannot begin to fathom. And yet, I know that Bob would gently laugh at me and say ‘You can do anything you set your mind too”. He said that to me a number of times for a number of different things. His support of me in whatever I was doing or attempting to do was 120%. He would often insist that I didn’t know my own strength but what he didn’t know was how much I depended on him.
I am sure that Bob the husband wasn’t much different from Bob the boss or co-worker. He wouldn’t often request something of someone if he knew they couldn’t do it. BTI was such a huge part of his life and he was proud of his accomplishments within it. If you worked for Bob you may have heard that same phrase. He truly believed that. He was a man who travelled the world and always came home with stories about the sights he had seen, the colleagues and friends he spent time with – from the saunas with the Swedes to the many varied adventures with Andre in South Africa. I’m sure there were memories made there that I will never know about. He always enjoyed hearing Andre’s laugh and getting caught up in his energy. Lucio, Oscar and Edgar from Lima, Peru were also special friends. In fact, there is a picture on Bob’s facebook in which he introduces his hosts Oscar Torres and Edgar Ramirez. These gentlemen are the nicest people you will find in the world. I strongly recommend Peru as the country to visit in South America because the people are so nice. Both Oscar and Edgar were in the accident with Bob. Edgar also lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with both families.
One of Bob’s colleagues said to me the other night that even though he didn’t work for Bob as in Bob was not his boss, Bob was his boss. He went to Bob for advice, and when Bob requested something from him, he worked hard to get it done. He described Bob as a King of Men and his shining light. From the many chats with other colleagues, it seems you all would describe him the same way.
As much of Bob’s time was spent away on business, his heart was always at home with me, his five kids and four grandkids. He tried hard to talk with each one before he left on a trip. He also tried to be in touch on all the birthdays even if he was travelling. Mike, he felt so badly that he wasn’t able to call on yours a few weeks ago but I know he talked with you before he left for Peru. He wasn’t afraid to say “I love you, big guy” to David almost every time he saw you. His pride in his Red’s accomplishments were evident to everyone, his love for her enormous; his love and affection for Rebecca, with her newly developed parenting skills overwhelmed him; and he adored the very essence and spirit of Aislyn so very much. I know every conversation ended with I love you.
Bob was enjoying his role as Grandpa Bubba. He was witness to each of his grandson’s arrival and held newborn Kein and Alex in Japan, Peyton in Halifax, and Greyson in Ottawa. He somehow was the ‘putting babies to sleep’ guru – pacing with them, singing gently in their ears, holding them until they were good and heavy in his arms.
We have been talking a lot this week of the wonderful unexpected unusual gifts of time we have had over the past year. From the week spent in Ottawa waiting for our newest grandson Greyson to arrive followed by the week celebrating his arrival; the off duty times Pam was able to come home and the time we spent at her & Mike’s house this summer; the fabulous two week road trip out east with our grandson Alex; an opportunity to welcome another pseudo daughter, Sarah, to our family; last month Kein and Alex spent a week with us and we all had so much fun. Time well spent. And a last weekend that was perfect.
The gift of time was also given when he rearranged his work schedule so he was able to spend a weekend with our youngest daughter Aislyn while she spent 6 months in Australia. He helped Mike move and spent countless hours with him on the phone discussing the many peculiarities of life. David and Bob spent time together golfing this summer. Apparently, he played his best year ever.
Bob was a fantastic host and was thoroughly enjoying his new bar which he had named Bubba’s Work Bench. He would create new drinks every time we got together. Not quite sure how we got past the Turkey Gobbler and Bubba’s Cream Soda has become a go to drink for many occasions. Some of our many friends have had the pleasure of sampling Pinga from Chile and will never forget the experience. This past May, Bob pulled off the best 50th surprise party ever and had been planning it for months, calling people when he was driving using his trusty hands free gizmo Gladys and his newly acquired gps girlfriend Jill. He loved those girls and would tell me often how much more patient they were with him than me. Jill never yells at me when I turn the wrong way, he would say. My friend Nancy was so excited to get a text message when he was in Australia to help him with something for the party. Other people received emails with requests to help him execute this perfect two day event that I was oblivious too. In fact, I was a little put out that all he had planned that night for me was a bbq steak dinner with Dave and the boys and my parents. I thought we could go and see some – I can’t remember now – band at Casino Rama. I was so adamant that we were going to do something my way that when my sister in law called as per her and Bobs plan to say that she was planning to come up that weekend I told her that I was busy. And so that night, after a delicious steak dinner, a few friends showed up, and then a few more. And then the “sorry we are busy that weekend” family of Rebecca, Adam & Greyson showed up from Ottawa. What a lovely surprise that was. Bob just smiled at me. But even then there was so much more as the next day people didn’t stop coming to the door. All the while, Bob just smiling at me, hugging me, asking if I was enjoying myself and playing the host he loved to be.
There are so very many stories now that will have to sustain us all for years to come. David, Mike, Pam, Rebecca and Aislyn – I want you to know how deeply proud he was of each one of you and how so completely he loved you. When he said things to you that you may not have agreed with, in a few days time you would come to realize the wisdom behind his words. The wonderful thing about Bob, well, one of the wonderful things about Bob – is that he truly listened to you. He may not have always understood, he may not have always agreed, but he listened to each one of you. And he so loved you all.
Bob died much too young and we all would have loved another 20 plus years. But I am grateful in the knowledge that he was happy. He was loved. And he knew and felt it. He saw the sparkle in his grandsons eyes as they played; he heard the joy in their voices as they all called for Grandpa Bubba; he enjoyed the many conversations over the years with his children from the family meetings to the personal ones; he lovingly accepted two more sons into his life, Adam and Mike; he saw many places most people never see; made many friendships; quietly earned the respect from colleagues; enjoyed the touch of his wife who loved him so very much. He loved and was loved. He laughed and cried. He lived a very good and full life in his short 57 years.
His children, grandchildren and I thank all of you for the phone calls, food, and wonderful, beautiful support you have shown us this past week. To my angels who have brought over meals then made sure we ate them, cleaned my kitchen, looked after my dog, offered babysitting and hugs, thank you with all I am. To all of you who have come from very faraway places to show your love and respect for this wonderful man, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To all of Bob’s friends and colleagues from BTI thank you for the support and respect you have given him over the years for which you all told me about yesterday. To Frank, Lainey and Brad – I know that your visit to our home on Tuesday night was one of the hardest things you have done but I am grateful for your kind words, hugs and tears. You have been simply wonderful. I know you are deeply grieving with us. To our wonderful friend John – rock has been a vital part of my husband’s life and I know he would be immensely appreciative of how much of a rock you have been to both myself and our children these past few days. There are no adequate words to describe how thankful we are. Bob would be completely overwhelmed by everything you all have done for him and for us.
We have spent evenings this week with friends and family members who have so willingly given us tributes of what our dad and husband meant to them and for that we are forever grateful. For sharing your time, your stories, a glass of wine or two, a toast to a man who obviously meant so much to so many, thank you.
My heart is shattered. I will forever miss his smile, the tears rolling down our face laughter we often shared, his weird sense of humour, his wonderful warm hugs, the many thoughtful tasks he performed simply because he loves me; and the immense love we shared. Life is so incredibly fragile. Please hug those you love a little closer today. Find that extra time to spend together so that time will forever be a precious memory.
Thank you, my love, for knowing who I am and loving me anyway, for supporting me in everything I did, and for loving me so completely. I adore you so much and will miss you every day.