I WON'T BACK DOWN

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

IT TOOK A WHILE … BUT WE FINALLY GOT THERE ;-)


6 days from now will be our Wedding Anniversary.

If Elohim hadn’t needed Bob to be Home, we would be looking forward to celebrating 45 years of constant togetherness and never-ending love.

But, when Elohim calls - you go.

So, this year …

I will be – alone – reflecting on the GOOD LIFE Bob gave me, and continuing to love him with never-ending love.

Some of the things (things that are okay to share publicly ;-)) I will be thinking on out loud, are how Bob was ALWAYS a handsome fella. And he was ALWAYS smiling – or laughing.

Even from the beginning of his life.

I feel BLESSED to have been a recipient of that overflowing love.

He had so much love to give.

And he gave ALL of it TO ME in 1974: the smiles, the laughter, the never-ending love :-D

This is how it all began: 1949. Bob's baby picture: handsome with a ready smile; even then.

1950. Bob’s baby picture before he was burned.

Bob was in a house fire when he was a baby; the house they lived in at the time, caught on fire. His dad had only one chance to save Bob’s life – he ran around the house to the window where Bob’s crib was, wrapped a shirt around his hand/arm & punched the window in; making a wild grab, that he hoped was where Bob was lying - Bob Sr. knew he only had 1 chance to get Bob out alive. He grabbed a handful of blankets and pulled it through the window: BOB WAS IN IT!

Thank God!

But that bunch of blankets was in flames.

His little red wagon was toast. I don’t think he ever got another one, because he had to learn to walk all over again. And that took time.

Bob was severely burned in that fire. His feet, legs, and arms were scarred by the flames - those scars were very visible when he tanned. His throat & lungs had been seared: and all his life Bob had to have foods that were moist in some way. He loved sauces & gravies on his foods … so that is how I cooked for him.

For a while Bob was self-conscious of those scars. But I would kiss them ... ALL OF THEM, and tell him his body was beautiful. And the self-consciousness disappeared. Bob had a beautiful body. And the scars didn't matter.

Bob & his Grandpa Smalley in Rosburg, WA  1952 – I think. It looks about right to be that timeframe.
Bob’s Kindergarten picture. 1955. Those beautiful Asian eyes! And that smile ...

Even THEN, he was a handsome fella; with those adorable Asian eyes and easy smile that could melt a heart ;-)

Our grandson looks like Bob – I am so glad there is such a resemblance to Bob. Azariah will grow up to be one handsome man!

September 1956 – Bob’s 1st Grade picture. 1956

Just look at that little cutie!

He is a little more self-assured now; having been out and about, socializing for a whole year.

And he was totally oblivious as to how his life was about to change. LOL

Here … in the PNW, he was skipping rocks across water, playing with his siblings (I think Ralph & Merry had joined the family by then), and making friends in the Valley: he had NO CLUE whatsoever that across the USA, I was getting ready to be born ;-)

It would have been nice if Elohim had whispered that in his ear – it would have spared Bob a divorce later on. LOL

December 1956 - Naval Hospital, Great Lakes. Illinois

Meanwhile, across the country, in the Midwest, I had finally arrived.

There were no Angel choirs announcing my arrival; so, Bob still was not clued in. He just kept on doing whatever it was that 7 year old boys did throughout their days.

My parents were pretty excited though ;-)

Fast-forward to 1965/1966 timeframe: Bob was a teenager, working his first ‘mature job’, that was not family-related – he started work in Illwaco, where the family lived at that time, working Charter Boats. I can tell, in this picture, that he was feeling nervous by the way he pulled his shoulders up – and the way he rolled his foot: no one else would notice these things like I do. I KNEW him. I loved him …

My father, Jay Brockway, had at this point in time come to the PNW looking for work (and we were still in Minnesota; we had not yet joined him). Bob, though he did not know it then … was working with my father: Elohim STILL had not clued him in.

BOB. 1967

In 1967, Bob was 18, and a handsome man.

My mother, and us kids had, by now, joined my father in the PNW – and was living in Skamokawa. Bob lived in Cathlamet.

We went to school on the same school grounds.

“The Face” caught my attention when he walked by!

I was only 10 … but I KNEW he was THE ONE for me: Cupid’s dart hit me hard & my heart told me there was no doubt – none whatsoever. I waited, every day – with baited breath – for him to walk past me so I could get my fill of eye-candy. LOL

But Bob did not see me. His mind was on other things: he was not interested in a little girl, standing at the corner of the school building with a heart full of love.

Bob did not know what I knew: his heart was fickle because he had not been clued in. Somehow, when Elohim had dispatched Cupid … Bob had been overlooked with that very important message!

Because his heart never got the message (stupid Cupid!), he went on to break my heart the next school year: he never walked past my starving eyes again – he had graduated; and got married December 21st, 1968… I turned 11, December 29th. And more than just my toes were blue that year …

And again, Jay & Bob were working together again; when Jay switched jobs and started working for Durrah-Martin's logging outfit. But it didn’t matter: someone else was Bob’s father-in-law. Cupid really screwed up >:-P

 1973 - Me/July. Bob had kept this picture of me with his personal stuff: I found it when I was sorting through his things this winter - guess he liked it. He didn't know me at this point in time.

By 1970 (the year Bob's son was born), my parents had divorced & my mother had remarried. My family moved from Skamokawa “into town” in 1971, which was Cathlamet.

Bob was living in Cathlamet too.

And He and Gloria had separated November 1st, 1973.

I didn’t know that.

We were BOTH clueless.

We were both pretty angry with confused Cupid at this point in time.

Doug was doing his thing … Gloria and Bob were doing their thing (or, NOT, as was the case since they were separated) … and I still pined for "the Face”: everyone was playing the field; and no one was happy with stupid Cupid.

Here, I am wearing the Army shirt Chuck sent me from Germany – where he was stationed in the Army, in hopes I would favor him when he got back stateside. I did like Chuck … but Doug was my fella and we had an ‘understanding’ even though playing the field – we wanted to “be sure” when the noose was slipped on ;-)

And my heart ALWAYS whispered, “They are not ‘the Face’”.

My eye hungered for … and my heart pined for, ‘the Face’.

I had it B.A.D.

For someone who was fickle enough to break my heart, for Pete’s sake!

For all the {playing the field} … NO ONE really stood a chance against ‘the Face’.

It really was unfair. For everyone – me included.

1973 - Me/Wenatchee. Again, Bob had kept this picture with his personal stuff - and I found it when sorting through those things this winter. In this picture, I was visiting my stepfather’s relatives. I was 16, and this trip was a “settling my mind” trip – there were a lot of questions about where my life was going … and there were no concrete answers.

Doug & I were still playing footsies.

I was still getting reminders & queries from Chuck: this situation was complicated.

Stupid Cupid finally woke up and snapped to attention – Elohim was dispatching him again; and this time, he would get it right ;-)

The next year I would be married to Bob.

April 19th,1974. Our 1st Date

It was fate. There had really been no escape from this date … but because Cupid had been off-mark for 7 looong and frustrating years, it took a while to happen.

And things got complicated before Bob was finally clued in.

Bob got married, and was in the midst of a messy divorce with a 4 year old son.

I grew up.

We FINALLY MET face-to-face!

And Bob noticed me.

All grown up & footloose ;-)

Elohim finally clued Bob in, and Cupid’s arrow aimed true this time. Bob picked up his phone, and called me for a date, April 19th, 1974.

((((HAPPY DAY!))))

Doug and I had played footsies for SO long, I tired of the game and quit ‘understanding’.

THE FACE WAS IN MY LIFE!

I was walking on a cloud.

And I broke the news to Chuck that though I liked him – I LOVED BOB, and always had. I was dating Bob; and praying like crazy for a more solid relationship – not necessarily marriage, but something similar.

Bob and I started dating in earnest the middle of April. We were together constantly. But marriage scared me – and I thought Bob was a glutton for punishment to want to get married again, so soon after a failed marriage. By Summertime, I was basically going home just to sleep and refresh my family's memory of what I looked like. LOL

And Bob kept hounding me to get married. And I kept procrastinating. I loved him desperately – but marriage scared me: I had never seen a happy, or successful one. Ever.

By the end of August 1974, Bob & I were married: he finally talked me into marrying him ;-)

It was the BEST thing he ever talked me into. And I never regretted it.

Chuck did come back Stateside, and really tried to like Bob. He eventually got married himself. I was happy for him. He was a good guy … but he wasn’t meant for me.

Bob was meant for me.

Always.

And he was finally clued in.

Bob’s Senior Picture (1967) & our Wedding Picture (1974): talk about 'taking the long way home!' It took a while ... but we finally got there ;-)

Those looong 7 years of loose ends were finally securely tied.

And that tie was never severed; until December 14th, 2018.

From now on, all I will have to keep me company on our Anniversary, will be a picture of when our life together began - and a little Remembrance Urn with some of Bob in it (to be laid to rest with me when Elohim calls me Home). And maybe a beer - for old times' sake: we did have a beer the night we got married ;-) But, if Rainier Beer falls by the wayside, there won't be a beer included ...

Bob graduated to a higher & better life, but he is always present.

In my heart – forever: nothing in that aspect has changed … and never will. There will never be another man in my life. No one has ever – nor can they ever – compete with ‘the Face’. When I fell in love, it really was forever.

In his children & grandchildren … and great-grandchildren (if there are ever any): he left his DNA behind - and that will move forward as long as time moves forward and his DNA multiplies.

In the lives of those who came in contact with him – family & friends. No one could help being affected by his character, mannerisms, or encouragements: they can’t help passing this small part of him on, because imprints become a part of human nature. Those imprints will move forward as long as time moves forward: people, even unaware, pass on imprints.

I love you, Babe.

Always.

OX

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