My children know Bob as their Pop Pop. They know him as the nicest and sweetest and most positive man they have ever met. But, he was much bigger than that. So much bigger.
When I was in the third grade Bob entered my life. I remember the first time I met him. My mother had been dating him for a few months and finally brought him home to meet me and my sister. I remember wanting an orange and my mother telling me no. He pleaded with her, “Come on Mom, let him have an orange. It’s good for you.” She relented and with that I was a fan. Over the years Bob would become my biggest cheerleader and my biggest source of strength.
Even though him and my mother would have an off and on again relationship for the next 15 years, he never left my life. He would sneak over and take me or me and my sister out to dinner. On one particular occasion, after him and my mother broke up Bob took me to dinner to tell me how much he loved me and how much I had going for me. You have to realize, I had a tough childhood. Before Bob entered my life it was filled with some of the most horrid things a child should ever have to go through, and listened and made sure I knew he was there for me. It was the first time that I felt like I was worth anything. Bob was that kind of man.