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Today, this Father's Day weekend, we paid tribute and said "Goodbye" to my Dad's partner, Bob. What Dad wrote says it all:
Bob’s Farewell Message
June 19, 2010
Bob and I used to come down to the lake and walk out on the pier many times, especially in the summer. Most times we would have to take an occasional break because our hips, backs or knees would hurt or we’d be out of breath. We would always ask each other “are you alright”, “do you want to keep going”, and we would always answer “I can make it if you can”. It was always a relief when we reached the end of the blue railings. We never went out any farther because I was not only concerned about my own well being and safety but Bob always worried about me and feared that I might stumble or lose my balance.
We enjoyed watching the young people dive off the pier and seeing the fishermen come in with their catch of the day. We would watch the boats cruise up and down the river on their way out into the big lake or back to their docks. Most times we would recognize the boats and call out their names.
We had our own adventures too on our boat called “Easy Livi’n”. We made trips to New Buffalo, Michigan City, South Haven, Saugatuck, and of course the big trip to Chicago which I‘m sure Bari remembers quite well. Often times we just cruised up and down the shoreline or just stayed at the dock and enjoyed the company of our fellow boaters. The most fun we had though was when all of you shared in those moments at one time or another because it was special having family along for the ride.
Many times we would come out here just to watch the sunset. The sky would turn different colors and patterns of red, orange, purple and yellow as the sun slowly dropped to the horizon. Photographers would converge on the piers to capture that beautiful moment. The lighthouse in the foreground, the boats on the horizon, and the sea gulls flying over head always added a special touch to the picture.
But sadly, the sun set on Bob’s life for the last time and his journey through life came to end. My heart is broken and I ache over his loss and I miss him so much. I know whenever the spontaneous emotions and tears erupt, its only because we loved and cared for each other and they are reminders of times past. Someday we will meet again and resume our journey. Until then, every time the sun sets and I see the rays of sunshine reach for the heavens, I will be reminded of how much we meant to each other and how special he really was.
Bob touched all of us with his smiles, his laughter and his warmth. He was welcomed and became part of our families and notably became known as “uncle Bobby” to the kids. He was a great and wonderful companion to me and a great and wonderful dad to Jennifer. He will remain in our hearts and minds forever, and all the memories we have of him can never be taken away from us. I pray that God will bless us and give us strength and peace as we deal with his loss.
As I place this small portion of Bob’s ashes in the water today, they will become a permanent part of the big lake, the lake he loved and enjoyed so much. Bob, happy fathers day. May you rest in peace.