September 17th, 2017
My dearest Bob,
It is your birthday today. I wish we could share a Tim Horton’s donut – with coffee (and double cream). My preference is a mocha from Starbucks but for whatever reason, in our relationship, there was no caving in. You always got your way when it came to food and restaurants. All this despite you continuing to forget my birthday. But then, you always sent a card. Usually on your birthday. ❤
We never had enough time. We met when we were so much younger and both of us believed we’d be on this earth forever. The universe had other plans. I just wish I would have given more of my time to you. And I know you wish the same. There is never enough time.
Really – life is all about our time. I just never felt the time we would spend together would ever run out. I believed with all my heart that we would grow old together, sharing stories and laughing well into our 80’s.
As I sat on the leather sofa in your room at Lisa’s, watching you trying to breathe… that steady strong breath… I was moved by the strength of your body. How hard you fought to stay with your girls. You wanted more time and you weren’t leaving without a fight. Believe you me, you truly never gave in. Your body let you down. Your spirit was still strong. But you weren’t willing to give up and give away any time you could have on this earth. And as you gasped for air, with everything inside of you leaving as you struggled to breathe, I was choking and coughing. Gasping to breathe for you. Trying to breathe my life into yours. Because I also wanted more time.
In those moments, I felt so helpless.
I had to resign to the “gift” of knowing your body wouldn’t allow you to stay in such discomfort. To feel Lisa and Tammie sending their abiding love through the stale air of that room; your amazing brother Doug, wiped away the remnants of what was once your beautiful, healthy self, going through the motions of tenderness so you would feel safe, secure and comforted. I became a spoke in the wheel of compassion that surrounded you and my heart was touched deeply witnessing the depth of this truthful, heartfelt love.
I couldn’t stay to watch you depart. While I have been present for many transitions, I felt this moment was to be shared with your children so I gave you my last kiss, told you how much I loved you, put on my boots and walked slowly to the car. Maybe I couldn’t, on some level, let you go feeling comfortable with it, in front of your children. I just knew it wasn’t my place to be. As I drove home, the tears began to fall. In my heart, I knew you would be with the stars, in the heavens, sooner than I had wished.
And when that moment came, my screen lit up and in the tenderest of ways, your beautiful Lisa told me you were gone.
My heart continued to beat. Yours had stopped. Time froze. Our time together on earth was over. Time. Never enough time.
I called John and I cried and cried. We both cried. And we shared the stories of all the joy and laughter we shared as best friends. A moment in time that we both treasure as living legacies sharing the beauty and joy of the man you were to us.
So what do I have left now that you are gone? I hold on to the memories of all the special time we spent together. We absolutely clicked, were destined to meet and remained true to each other, respecting each other and loving each other despite our differences. We were really more alike than we were different. I truly loved the treasured friend you were to me. The friend you will always and only be for me. And I will never have another friend that meant what you meant to me as you did. Ever.
What have I taken away? That relationships – our love and our friendships measure so much more preciously than any prosperity of possessions or money one could have. How could anything – any one thing – matter more that our time together and the great joy and love we shared? Bob, you and I were truly blessed. I just wanted more time. You deserved more time. I deserved more time with you. It’s so unfair.
You leaving me was a great teacher. It became abundantly clear to me that life had an expiration date. Our time on earth is absolutely limited. On some level, I did believe we really would never grow old. Or maybe I never wanted to believe it. None of us get out of this world alive and I am aware that the time we all think we have is much shorter than we believe it will be. And in that, we must live. To honor those we have loved and lost, it is our responsibility to create those beautiful memories. So that when we are gone, those special moments can remain in the hearts to recalled at precisely the right moment. It allows those we love to carry our own life’s story forward and forever. Living our lives in perpetuity of a legacy of that love.
So I promise you I will take every breath in gratitude for the incredible joy you brought to my life. I will bathe in every sunrise and bow at every sunset. I will hold you in my heart and love you for an eternity. Thank you for the legacy of laughter and love you imprinted in my heart. In me, your life will never be forgotten.
I need to say these things because they matter to me, Bob. You loved me more than I ever deserved and I loved you with all of my heart. You were my best friend and my steady and I was yours. You trusted me implicitly and I you and we never betrayed that trust. You protected me or at least tried to keep me from hurting from my own mistakes, and I protected, defended and fought for you. We frustrated each other but our love was so strong we never held on to anything; nothing mattered more than our love for each other. We shared our deepest secrets and were fiercely protective and loyal to each other. You truly made me to believe I deserved to be loved and I validated you were worthy of loyal and true love. I repeated the lines, over and over again, that love never dies and your girls would never leave you. You eventually heard me. You gave me your truth and I gave you mine. We could depend on each other. Most of all, you were so fucking funny. In every single way. I’d like to think I opened your heart to love and a bigger brighter world. In fact, I know I did. Unfortunately, I had little influence on your eating and dating habits. We never let each other down and we hurt for each other, when each of us when in pain. Life moved forward but we remained the best of friends. I lost the chance to make up for the time I spent in Idaho. I will hurt forever having lost this time with you.
If I could give you one gift, it would be peace. If you could give me one gift, it would be to hear your laughter and loving words once again. Forever is a long time to be without you. My heart tells me we will be together again. That we will hold each other again and we will be young, beautiful, healthy and happy. The spirits of who we once were. Our best selves. And I truly can’t wait.
I love you, my bestest friend… Happy Heavenly Birthday xox