Recently our famiy learned how quickly your life can change in ways that you would not have imagined possible. On October 26th, our beautiful son Robbie passed away unexpectedly. As you can imagine, we have been left with a gigantic hole in our hearts and our lives will never be the same. From the day Robbie was born we adored him and always knew he would grow up to be someone special. I just never dreamed his life would be so short.
Let me share a little bit about who Robbie was. Growing up he was a great kid, he always liked to have fun and was most definitely one of the smartest children I had ever been around (which he certainly did not get from me!). To his sister Sarah, Robbie was the best big brother you could ask for and he remained so until his very last day. In May, Robbie graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. While he was at Purdue, he worked at the Union Rack and Roll (bowling alley), and he also drilled balls in their proshop. He was a member of the Purdue Intercollegiate bowling team for four years, which was probably his most treasured part of his life. He was an amazing bowler. One night when I was having stamp class, he called me to share that he had just bowled his first sanctioned 800 series. One week later he called again to tell me he bowled a 300 game! After graduation he came back to WI and lived with us, while he looked for a job. Robbie had just started his new career as an engineer a few weeks before he died.
During the past few weeks we have learned so many wonderful things about our son that we didn't even realize. He had a huge impact on so many people that he had met through his adventures and we have been overwhelmed by the beautiful stories his friends, teamates, coaches and coworkers have shared. On November 2nd we had a beautiful celebration of Robbie's life at our church and we followed that up with a luncheon in the banquet room at the bowling alley where Robbie bowled. After the luncheon all of his bowling friends from Milwaukee and Purdue got out and bowled a tribute game and it was really quite amazing. These are all of Robbie's bowling friends and his coach, that were with us to celebrate his life.
You learn a lot of things about life when something like this happens to you. Some things that I am grateful for are that we have always been a very close family, and we have always shared and expressed our love for one another. We are thankful that during the four years that Robbie was bowling for Purdue, we traveled to almost all of his tournaments. How lucky were we to get to share that experience with our son while he was in college. We got to know all of his friends, and their families. We are thankful that after he graduated he came back home to live with us and we had almost 6 months with him here. When Robbie started his new job, he had to be to work at 6:00 a.m. I got up every single morning and made breakfast for him, and that is not easy to do when you stay up until 2:00 in the morning stamping! We are grateful that nothing was left unsaid between us, and that we had so many great times and great conversations with this beautiful person who we will miss for the rest of our lives. The only thing I regret is that I did not take more videos on my cellphone of those simple little things that you treasure about your children. Robbie loved to yoyo and he was really good at it. I cannot tell you how many hours he stood in our family room yoyoing while I sat on the couch and talked to him. In all of that time, I never took a video of it. Thankfully one of his friends did - and he posted it on facebook. I cannot figure out how to add it here, but I will give you the link where you can see it and hopefully those of you who have kids and grandkids will remember to make fun little videos and treasure every moment you have with your loved ones.
In closing I want to thank all of my stamping friends who have sent cards, who were there with us that horrible week, and who have kept us in their thoughts and prayers. I am going to share some of the beautiful cards I received tomorrow. I am grateful for all of my stamping and creative friends and honestly if I didn't have this to keep me busy, I am not sure what I would do.