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Son, father, husband, friend, brother – Bob was all of these things and so much more. He was the sort of person who considered you his friend (and you could count on as your friend) as soon as he met you. He never hesitated when asked for a helping hand; he considered being there for others just part of being human. He never really talked about it, he just lived it.
Humour was a big part of Bob’s personality. If he couldn’t find some aspect of a situation to make others laugh, then it truly had to be a serious situation! His humour put many moments for many people into a better perspective for them. Life was too short, he said, to take things too seriously.
He was the sort of person who liked to have attention focused on him, which wasn’t really hard for him – he had a way of lightening the mood of a room just by walking into it. Recently, going through the many letters sent after his death by people he came into contact with, I was reminded of just how much everyone missed his cheerful presence and how much of a hole his death left in so many lives.
One of his many commitments was the one he made to our local volunteer fire department. He was always ready to drop whatever he was doing to rush to the aid of a family whose house was on fire, or an accident scene requiring the fire department’s assistance to extract victims from vehicles. The sometimes horrific or heartbreaking experiences this exposed him to were often difficult for him to deal with. While he outwardly took them in stride, they definitely took their toll on him on the inside. It seems appropriate to use the crest of this fire department from one of his favourite jackets to symbolize Bob on the quilt.
Bob died at the much too young age of 36. Ironically, his favourite song was one by Alabama that begins, “I’m in a hurry to get things done….”. We used to tease him that it suited him perfectly because he was always on the go – either working or helping someone out. In retrospect, it seems he was in a hurry to do as much as he could in the short time he was given to be with those who loved him.
Organ donation did not take any deliberation for Bob – it was just a perfect extension of who he was and how he chose to live his life.