A tribute to Bob

Maria Nann

It’s funny how life can throw things at you when you least expect it. It’s even funnier what you can learn from these experiences and how they change you.

Yes, life is funny like that, but oftentimes, it leaves us crying rather than laughing.

Several years ago, my grandmother made a big move – literally. She moved from our hometown, where she had spent most of her life, to a town closer to where my family lives. It was a difficult transition for all of us, but it had the greatest impact on my grandmother. It was not easy for her.

After her move, she struck up a friendship with an older gentleman who lived in the same condominium complex. They would go to dinner together and see shows. She would cook for him, while he came over every night to watch television. It was nice for her just to have some company, and we were all relieved that she did.

And for the first time since my grandfather died, everyone could see a spark of life welling inside my grandma.

Bob was good for her. They became virtually inseparable, and he became a regular face in our lives. He was a good man whose sense of humor was more active than he was, cracking jokes that made my grandmother’s face turn pink – jokes she felt embarrassed to laugh at. But they got along exceptionally well, and they kept each other going.

The day before Christmas this past year, Bob was taken to the hospital when he had a stroke. He never came home. For more than two months, my family spent almost every day in the hospital in Akron. We became good friends with the nurses, as well as with the people who worked in the food court. We were there for Bob, of course, but we were also there for my grandma. It was heartbreaking but inspirational at the same time just to watch her handle the situation and stay so strong.

She never lost hope of him getting better. In a way, I think we all were shocked by what had happened, but we expected him to sit up one day and say, “Fooled ya!” That would be so like him.

I never got to thank Bob for everything he did for my grandma, for my family. Bob passed away in February. I think we take certain things in life for granted, and we never truly understand the significance and meaning they have until they are no longer around. But we should never forget the impact they have on our lives.

The truest, most sincere form of love and appreciation is the effect we allow people to have on us. Families such as mine are better for having known someone like Bob, and whether it’s noticeable, they are changed forever.

So here’s to Bob and everyone who has affected each of your lives in a profound way. For their sake, let us breathe deeply, love fully and laugh often – and never forget.

Maria Nann is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].