Seven Years

2007 Bob & Robbie at SheaSeven years.

Seven years since we lost Robbie to leukemia.

The first year was the toughest, as you might expect. The five year mark had a certain weight to it. The seven year mark definitely feels like a chunk of time has passed but it lacks the significance of the every-five-year cycle.

Still, his passing deserves recognition. Deb, Kate, and I find ourselves speaking more freely about him, with less pain. I no longer find myself hesitating in answering the question, “Is there anyone other than Kate?” In fact, this past weekend, a good portion of our Sunday dinner conversation was reliving Shore Leave Masquerades from the past, the many ensembles he was a part of and some of his solo efforts. The stories were told with ease and laughter.

But there are those moments I still think, “Robbie’d love this…” or “I have to tell him about…”

And there are the moments when my mind is drawn back to those final days rather than the happier ones. I don’t dwell often on the past and wish I could train my mind to bypass the pain but its there in stark realty, visiting me unbidden and lingering before vanishing.

His legacy remains. It’s a shame the usual organizer of the Robbie Greenberger Memorial Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament could not be at Shore Leave this year, nor would she let any else run it.  Farpoint continues to hand out the Robbie Greenberger Most Original Award although we’re now reaching participants who never knew him and it feels weird.

Friends continue to remember him on his Facebook page and is still mentioned in other anecdotes. I have to admire the impact he made among his peers in a brief 20 years and sometimes speculate what sort of adult he would be today. I can’t safely predict the career he would have eventually wound up in but I do know he would still be funny, a devoted friend, and a follower to his own beat.

Not a bad legacy.

9 comments

  • Dean

    Your posts on Robbie have always been touching, I really admire your strength and resilience through such a tough event.
    Funnily enough, as a reader of comics for far too long I actually remember a letter column you wrote in Starman for DC when you announced Robbie’s birth back in the early 90’s ( issue escapes me, as it’s from memory!).
    As I said, nice words well written.

  • Susan Wasser

    Bob So beautifully written. I can only know the pain through my sister who lost her daughter when she was only 17. Life will never be the same and Devon will always be missed. But now there are moments of laughter in my sister’s voice and we can talk about Devon (not without pain) but with love always.

  • Peter David

    Very nice tribute, Bob.

    PAD

  • Jim Honeycutt

    Bob, Robbie had a profound impact on our family as you know. He is always with us. His rubber ducky will always be with Marianne. We remembered him today while away on vacation and he will be remembered at dinner tonight. We stop every time on a walk when we cut through Ludlowe H.S. and sit on his bench for a few minutes to remember. Perhaps his memory is our taste of eternity…

  • Tom Galloway

    Nicely put, in the opinion of someone who went through the mirror image (my father died of cancer when I was 11).

  • George Sylvie

    Nicely said, Bob.

  • Robin Webber

    So proud to call you cuz. My heart aches for your loss and wish I had know Robbie.

  • Jeff Moss

    Dear Deb and Bob, Thank you for spending the evening with us. Bob, your tribute to your son is beautiful and speaks volumes of about your relationship with your son and the lives of many who Robbie touched. While time passes and perhaps the pain lessens, the relationship that you, Deb, and Kate have with Robbie is everlasting.
    As Always,
    Jeff

  • Mike Flynn

    Robbie’s early departure will always blend joy and sadness for those who knew all four of you. I can’t ease any if the pain, but I’m glad for the joy.

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