September 2, 2013

great loss

August wasn't a fun month; between the heat, the back-to-school lines at stores and the mix-up with my immigration documents, it just seemed to drag on and on.

So I woke up yesterday, the first day of a fresh September, feeling like a weight had been lifted off my and Bobby's shoulders. I had all the confidence in the world that, going forward, things were going to start looking up.

But we make plans and God laughs, right?

Bobby's father passed away yesterday evening. He got the phone call from his mother shortly after we'd finished dinner. I don't want to get into details about his illness but I would like to say a few words about him.

I'd only met Bobby's father on two separate occasions. I would have liked to see more of him but he lived way out in Montreal with Bobby's mom and logistically it was a challenge. But two times was enough to understand the kind of person he was.

After Bobby's divorce to his wife who was not only very successful but 10 years his senior, I was nervous about what his parents would think of me, a 20-something who was still in college and jumping from one minimum wage job to the next. I was sure they'd judge me on sight and wonder just what the hell he was doing. I didn't expect to be taken seriously.

But his parents warmed up to me the moment they opened their front door. His father gave me a hug, a kiss, and a heartfelt "It's so nice to meet you," and from that moment I knew I was somewhere safe. Joseph only cared that Bobby and I were happy together. Everything else - the superficial stuff - didn't interest him.

He was soft-spoken and kind. After a few days of staying with them, he privately told me that he liked how nice I was to his son and how happy he was that Bobby and I had found each other. I've never met someone so completely accepting in all my life. He was a gentle and loving person on the simplest level; what you saw was what you got.

Even in sickness he tried his best to crack jokes, oftentimes at his own expense, just to see the people around him smile. He was strong-willed and fought much harder and longer than any of the doctors thought was possible.

I wish I had known him better and had the opportunity to spend more time with him, but I'm grateful for the time that I did know him.

The world has lost someone very special.


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