circa January 2016: In every corner of our home, Bob’s presence dwells. Bob dwells in Normita’s being, who learns from him the value of unconditional love, humility and generosity; for putting up with her picture taking, her love of writing, movies, community, meetings, Sunday breakfasts, church, and many more. Bob dwells in Harper’s eyes that yearns for his dad to sleep close to him, to play, to walk, to get a haircut, to go shopping, and to give him love.
Bob dwells in his sons and their families, as a wonderful grampa to his four grandchildren, as a thoughtful brother to his siblings. Bob dwells in Shirley for treating her like his very own daughter. An Uncle Bob to many of his young friends. A colleague and friend forever to former co-workers, to Cal and GGU. A generous, humble and compassionate person to neighbors, business associates, church, gardeners, cleaning and service people. And the list goes on and on…
Present day: Pain and sorrow dwells in our home wherever I look – expressionless photographs, a rose garden that lost its lustre. In my sleeping moments, Bob’s heartbeat dominates mine and, as I open my eyes, my hope is to see him beside me, waking me to take my meds before breakfast, a start of another beautiful day for the Fenns. But he’s nowhere, leaving me to face another day with such indescribable sorrow. I pray to keep my faith alive.
I get up with a heavy heart, grab his clothes to feel his presence, while Harper looks, giving licks and kisses to console me, while Shirley offers to take me out for errands. As I sit quietly, a rush of wind blows with a whisper to lift myself to take care of things. I drive the new car Bob and I bought, not knowing much about driving it. One time this car that I thought was automatic suddenly went to manual gear; as I talked tearfully with the technician over the phone, he walked me through; in the end I told him he was among our angels.
A day of gratitude: My dear family, friends and colleagues, this may seem too melodramatic, yet every word, every expression is what I will tell my Bob if he can hear me now. I thank you all for your generous hearts, your sharing in our grief. No matter where Bob dwells, he will always treasure your embrace and your goodness. His spirit dwells in you to be our angels, to look after us, now and forevermore.
With our love,
Normita, Harper and Shirley