We lost our dear TBD friend, Bob Atwell, on November 28, 2014. I thought to post something sooner, but would get caught up in memories of Bob....and just didn't, 'til now.
I met Bob here on TBD years ago....maybe 8. Hard to believe how time passes so quickly. Bob felt a need to protect and befriend me. He was very sweet...and very smart. Honest, respectful, witty, fun, down-to-earth -- Bob was the kind of guy who everyone liked. Yup, he was the 'it' guy. We started communicating via endless TBD messaging, finally graduating to long phone calls that covered the gambit from work to family to love...and love lost. He was an incurable romantic, and would call to catch me up on his dates, hoping he found "the one". A true gentleman, he always spoke well of everyone in his life.
We met in person when Bob came out to Newport Beach about 5 years ago. Although he lived in suburban Rochester, he loved California, and had lived in nearby Huntington Beach years earlier. He frequently talked about moving back one day.
We never saw each other again, but were regularly in touch. One day, he called with devastating health news -- brain cancer. His delivery was incredibly calm and optimistic, as if he were treating a passing cold. He expected complete recovery. I prayed. Hard. Bob bravely opted for an experimental course of medical treatment, and fought a fearless 2 1/2 year battle. He kept me on top of doctor's visits and his life around the house. He was always so strong and optimistic....and I would mute the phone so he couldn't hear me cry.
Strangely, I knew when we hung up the last time we spoke, my heart sunk knowing it would be the last time we'd speak...in this life. I held the phone for a long time, and just sat quietly, staring at his name on my call list until my eyes blurred. Again, I prayed. Hard.
He was gone only days after that call. My heart broke.
Bob was a great blessing to me, and I feel better knowing there's someone up there who knows me, roots for me, protects me and guides me. He has an enormous job now, because I know he's looking after quite a large flock of family and friends. Cuz that's who he is. He's my 'forever friend', and somehow I know we'll meet again.