Saturday, January 14, 2006

Remembering Bob

Christmas Eve 1978 -- a birthday party for Jesus with dear friends

In Memory of Our Friend, Bob
April 23, 1947 - January 9, 2006
Yesterday we attended the memorial service for our friend Bob who after a 7-month battle with lung cancer had his "homecoming" Monday morning. The service brought back so many memories ... some that were tucked in the corners of my heart and mind.
I remember the first time I met Bob. It was a Sunday Evening service at Englewood. He was there with 3 Emanuel Nursing School students .... one would later become his wife. Dorral introduced us after the service and we easily became acquainted -- we were all college age kids back then -- with free time to meet for coffee etc. at a local restaurant and just hang out. In 1974 the weddings started ... we got married in June; they married in November. Not long after that we became neighbors and lived nearby for 12 years. Pregnancies and babies followed. We shared each others sorrows and joys. No matter how many changes took place over the last 17 years .... moving, new churches, etc. .... the bond remained.
Yesterday our Englewood group filled 4 pews at his service. This is the second time in a year that we have met to say "goodbye" to one of our dear friends. I remember Dorral saying that in all the churches where he ministered over the years, none compare to the bond and community at Englewood. All of us are now scattered all over the Portland/Vancouver area and attend other churches but whenever we get together we are instantly transported back to that deep level of love and friendship. I am so thankful for how they have journeyed with me over the years.
I think at a memorial service you learn something about the person that you hadn't realized before. I didn't know Bob had lived in a houseboat on the Willamette as a child or that he spent a lot of time in New Orleans visiting family as a young boy. But I also think we learn a lot about ourselves at these services. There was an "open mike" to share memories of Bob during the service and we found it impossible to go up front even though we had so much to share. I realized then that in life you can't wait for an "open mike" opportunity to let someone know how they have impacted your life ... work at doing it now.
When we left the service and said our "goodbyes" there were more hugs, more "I love you-s", and tears this time.
Thank you, Bob for reminding us to "live like there's no tomorrow."
If you stop by and knew Bob, feel free to post a memory .....

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