I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.
SPF had to be twisted for me this Friday.
I talked to my mother tonight and she told me that my friend, Bob Thomas had died. I know there won’t be a time when I pull into the Albertson’s parking lot and remember the shock of those words flooding through me.
Bob and I worked together at the radio station in Redding for a couple of years. During that time we created a friendship that I valued.
I would call him on Saturday morning at 6:15am to remind him he was sposta be on the air at 6:00 am. He would mutter some profanities and promise me he would be in as soon as his car could get him there. I never minded, because Bob was just one of those people that would waddle into a room and make you laugh no matter what the circumstances were.
The funny part about doing his morning shift while he drove madly into the station was having to read the news. If I could screw up the word Kawasaki by saying Sourcocky, there was no way I could pronounce the names of foreign leaders in countries I had never even heard of. He would always come in cracking up and repeating the news as if it was being read by a 5th grader.
I would throw a cart (looked like a 8 track) at him and say, “Then get here before I have to read the news!!”
Through the years he watched me finish my radio stint and move to Sacramento. He always found a way to get in touch with me.
During my divorce with Dan he would offer to come up and keep me company while I cried about all the whoas in my life. He listened. He offered to marry me and take me away from all the madness. I know he was kidding with me to get me to laugh, but he would always end the conversation with, “Alright…how about this…” and would come up with some wild scheme to make us forget our problems.
One day he decided that he was going to ride his motorcycle all the way to Sacramento, a 3 hour drive, to take me to a Brooks and Dunn concert. I surprisingly took him up on the offer. We had a blast. He had a way with joking with people who were hurting that made them temporarily make them forget their problems. That whole day, I wanted to capture all the fun we were having and I took a bunch of pictures. I have one of him standing in front of a Limo parked out front like he was ushering me in, another with his burnt forehead and my dorky smile.
Bob got sick many years ago with a failing kidney and many other problems. There was a time when I would talk to him and I didn’t think he was going to make it another day. He needed so much help. I offered up my kidney, a bladder and a slice of my heart if it would make him better. He probably made a joke about just needing a breast or two.
I went to Redding where my family lives and just like every single trip to Redding I called him on my way and left him a message telling him to meet me for coffee. We talked on the phone and he sounded like his old self again. “Did you hear I had a heart attack?” I was floored. “It’s cool though, I feel SO much better!”
Finally the Bob I had grown to love with all my heart was back.
The last time I was up there he left me a message on my machine. It was some dorky message that made me laugh so I held on to it in my archives.
Just yesterday I was clearing out my messages and I stumbled on his message, I listened to only half of it, cracked a smile and hit delete.
Today I found out he died.
My heart is broken into a million pieces and I can’t stop myself from sobbing. I know, he’s in a better place. I just want to talk to him one more time.
The only thing I cling to is, that at the end of every single conversation with this wonderful man, awesome mentor and all around good human being is…I told him I loved him.
“I’ll talk to you later okay? I love you, Bob!”
and he would, from his heart say, “I love you too.”
Rest in Piece my friend.
I hope you played, but not like this.