Robert was a unique, one of kind, special person. I’ve known him since he showed up on my property eight years ago and began renting from me. He was the kind of guy that most people were drawn to because he was always cutting up and loved to talk.
Robert loved the out-of-doors and would sit outside of where ever he lived with a few empty chairs around him. He would have a cup of coffee or whatever beverage of the day was on the agenda, and encouraged all of us on the property to join him. I would plan on a moment or two of chat, just to be polite, but would find myself still there listening and sharing, four hours or so later. By then we were usually barbecuing and I was kicking myself for lolling about letting another day go by.
Robert didn’t see it like that, I don’t suppose. To him, human interaction was the most important, valuable thing in the world. Taking time to visit and laugh with friends or family ranked up there as a really good way of spending one’s time. Most of the time, Robert could cheer me up if I was down, and visa-versa. He never took things too seriously. He was a productive person and had worked as an over-the-road truck driver most of his life. In his later years, he became a tree doctor and began his own company.
Robert dropped in and out of my life through out these last eight years, always returning to rent from me, letting me know that he felt at home with my daughter and I and enjoyed the many animals and happy chaos here. When I didn’t hear from him for nearly three years, I kind of thought he might have passed away, but he was visiting his brother and eventually returned here about four months ago.
Unfortunately, during the three-year sabbatical, Robert had aged, grown weary, and perhaps a little tired of life. He was seventy-two years old and seemed a little depressed and beaten down, but strolled up the drive way, his pick-up parked in front, collapsed into one of the patio chairs and grinned up at me. “Got a cup of coffee?” I just stared at him wide-eyed. “Robert!” My daughter bounced around in happiness at seeing him.
The last four months have been busy but rarely did I not enjoy Robert’s company. Sometimes I felt as if I was mothering him, especially when he became very ill with flu-like symptoms and I was over to his unit bringing him hot soup, roast and veggies, and other sundry hot meals to help him get better. I good-naturedly lectured him about eating more and stopping smoking, and he seemed to appreciate my concern. My little girl visited with Robert daily, as she and he rescued two baby kittens and were raising them together over at his place.
Eventually as the weather grew colder, Robert took to the bed and became so ill that we had to telephone EMS. Robert went into the hospital and never returned to our happy home. I finally reached his family a few days ago as things became more serious and they took over making decisions for his care.
Robert passed away this last Monday evening about eight o’ clock pm. My daughter and I have lost a very dear friend with a wonderful sense of humor, who had the gift of gab. I remember inviting Robert to our church, which is very different and lots of fun. People can wear blue jeans if they like; no one dresses up much or puts on airs. Robert loved our church and our lead pastor with the English accent. He seemed to want to go back again until he became so sick.
I was finally able to find the right moment to talk with Robert about God and the salvation of Jesus Christ when he was in the hospital. I hope he was able to find a relationship with our Lord in the time he had left on this earth, and pray he is under the care of our Father who art in Heaven.
Robert, you will be greatly missed. We loved you dearly and will always remember you. We thank you for coming in and out of our lives and blessing our family with your wit and silly antics. My daughter loves you and I love you.
May God bless and keep you, Robert, and now we let you go knowing that we loved you well, the best we could, and thank you for your friendship.