I felt lucky to be with you as the breath left your body today. I felt honored to have a closeness with you and Candy that allowed that to happen.
You are the only family member that genuinely understands two of my loves: mountains and opera. The only one who really “got” it when I didn’t want to make my home in Dallas – without the mountains – because I craved that connection to nature.
More than my own connection, the unforgettable love you gave to my aunt (your “Annie”), or any of the many hats you wore, I will remember one of your other roles.
I will remember that you were Henry’s first male role model.
You were present. When we came back, you showed up for Henry every week. You made silly faces and did silly voices. Heck, you talked to him, even though he wasn’t speaking yet. You wanted to hold him any time he was around you. In fact, I remember one time, Henry was crying and you told me, “Give him to me.” I reluctantly did so, I never gave Henry to anyone when he was upset. Of course, Henry quite abruptly stopped crying.
He asked for “Bob” all the time. Including today. When we arrived, he asked Candy, “Go see Bob?” Not today, Henry.
I want to thank you for being the first man that Henry reached for, the only man that made him a priority, and the perfect man for me to point to when I encourage him to learn to ski and play golf. I think I will point to your example about a great many things, Bob.
The journey from father to uncle to great uncle was a long one for you. I know that. I also know Henry was the beneficiary of all the wisdom you gathered along your path.
After you left us today, Candy closed the door, which was covered with butterflies. Henry looked at me and said, “Bob sleeping, Bob gone now.” I don’t know if he was asking or telling me? You two had a closeness for which I am and will remain eternally grateful.
I suppose that answered my question. He was telling me.