Bob was a wonderful husband and father. It is hard to express just how much I cherished and loved him, and will miss spending time together. Bob and I spent 30 years together. When I look back at the time we spent together, I can only remember a period of bliss and wonder.
The first time I saw Bob, he was sitting across a crowded room full of other students, way up top in the back. There he was, tall dark and handsome, and very hard to miss … taking the same abnormal psychology class as I was. This may seem a little unusual, or even intimidating, I mean who wants to date a person in a psychology class, much less an abnormal psych class? But we both had a love of counseling and caring for people.
I remember trying desperately to come up with an idea to get to the other side of the room quickly to meet him, since I had chosen to sit down in front. So, I took the gum I was chewing out of my mouth, passed directly in front of his seat, smiled widely and as sweetly as I possibly could, and said, “Have to throw my gum away,” and nearly shoved it in his face.
He probably thought that I was the type of person that needed counseling, but that small gesture led to a cup of coffee, and another, and eventually the two of us feel in love, and ended up marrying.
Bob had a love for the mountains. We would spend our free time hiking and climbing each and every peak we could find, and camping out during warm winter nights. I remember spending evenings sitting under the stars, talking about our dreams, our hopes, and our desires. Eventually we would hear an elk or other wild beast come by, and huddle together by the campfire. It was always something magnificent, and inspiring.
When we had our children, Amy and John, our life was only even more enhanced. Bob would spend every evening and weekend playing with them, teaching them new things including how to fly fish, or how to build an igloo during cold winter days. He was always there to catch a stray tear, or to fix an amazing ice cream Sunday during a family Friday movie night.
Bob was committed to working long hours to support his family, but also gave back to the community. We spend Sunday’s donating time to our favorite local non-profits. He was well-known in the community, helping to raise money for any cause he fond worthwhile. I remember we used to participate in various 5k races to raise money for different causes. Two years ago, Bob decided we should try the 10k. I thought I would collapse near the end, and nearly quit, but Bob was right there every step of the way challenging me on, pushing me to yet another adventure. That was his style. Bob was a man to the very end that would challenge not just me, but everyone he knew, to share another adventure, to step up to the spirit in themselves, and to live life to the fullest.
In memory of Bob, I encourage each and every one of you to live your life to the fullest, forging ahead and making the best of everything that comes your way. Whether that is a 10k, or simply solving the mazes that life throws you. I know that Bob is smiling down on us, giving us his best. We love you Bob, and look forward to a day when we will see you again!