Tribute to Bob
This is my dear brother in law Bob. It's hard to believe that this picture was taken almost one year ago (May 21, 2011).
Next week, we will be meeting my sister and the kids, grandkids and extended family to celebrate Bob's life. You see, he died on November 15, 2011 of complications from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Because we shared some wonderful family vacations together in Hilton Head, SC, it seems a fitting place to gather, be with each other, remember and fulfill his desire to have his ashes scattered at sea.
Bob was a gift! He was one of those project guys and it seemed there wasn't a project that he wouldn't tackle! But, he was a family man too. He had such a servant's heart. If you had a problem, you went to Bob and he was always there with some kind of solution.
As I've already mentioned, we were blessed to have many, many wonderful family events and vacations together and each one was filled with fun, laughter and delight in being together. Precious memories. Bob was special and I miss him. But, you know what impressed me the most about Bob? The way he finished his life. He finished well. I'm not saying he didn't struggle. Sure, it was hard for a man who loved projects to no longer be able to do anything. For someone who loved to spend time with family, it was really hard when he got to where he could no longer talk or eat. But he never lost his smile and he expressed his love for the family in notes, nods, the plans he made and the desires he shared while he still could talk.
Yes, I am most impressed with the way Bob handled dying. He was never afraid or bitter. He had great peace and faith in God because of his relationship with Jesus Christ. You hear a lot of people talk about what they believe but Bob's total peace with dying was real. His confidence in "absent from the body, and at home with the Lord" could not be faked, missed or dismissed. He wasn't eager about leaving his family, but he was ready for eternity. Oh, what a legacy of faith Bob left.
During the trip when this picture was taken, I remember sitting with Bob at the table. He could no longer eat but he was doing his best to eat a cookie. (Chips, cheese and cookies were Bob's foods of choice.) He shared with me how much he wanted each member of his family to know Jesus the way he knew Jesus. That really was his dying desire. What a precious gift he left us.... his faith which God's says is "more precious than gold". When I read the below verse, I will always, always think of Bob. Thank you Bob for many things but most of all for your legacy of faith.
"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9