Dear Rob – Three Years

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Dear Rob,
Tomorrow it will be three years since I lost you. So much continues to change since you’ve been gone. I have realized that this constant change is inevitable, until every piece of my life is in the place it needs to be. It’s a death of self; who and what I thought I was is all but a “used to be.”
I decided that I would be completely open with my letters and writings to you. Not only is it healing for me, I also hope to help others going through the same pain. Putting myself out there has never been hard for me; I have always been an open book. Somehow, I feel a little more vulnerable when it comes to you, us and everything that surrounds this.
So….. Let me start with what has been going on.
The past nine months have been quite difficult. I have lost some people in my life that were significant in my journey relating to your death. In some ways, I really don’t think that I would have made it through without them. In other ways, they taught me hard lessons about people that maybe I needed to learn; however, I am still really hurting.
Before Grampa died, I lost my true self. There was so much going on; taking care of my father through his cancer journey, saying goodbye to him before he died, then laying with him as he took his last breath. At the same time, things were chaotic at home. Dad was drinking heavily and your behavior continued to escalate. I was losing every important man in my life. At some point, I think I checked out and went into self-survival mode. And… then you died! I immediately started doing anything I could to distract myself and run from the pain. I didn’t want to face the life in front of me. Looking back, I think I was terrified that if I stopped running, I wouldn’t be able to survive my new reality, but as time went on, it got harder and harder to avoid what was in front of me. Before long I started changing, and I realized that I was becoming a strong and independent survivor. As these changes were happening, I noticed that the wrong people started leaving my life, which gave way to the right people entering my life. Never in a million years would I have imagined that someone I loved and trusted with my darkest time would betray me. It still hurts, but I am thankful that the relationship has ended. Unhealthy relationships have a way of ending when the time is right. Other relationships that have come and gone during this time in my life taught me so much. I still miss certain ones, but I am able to see them for what they were and put myself first now.
Death teaches us valuable and important lessons. I continue to receive so many gifts, and I thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for me. I thought it was my job to raise you and guide you through your life. It turns out; you are saving me and helping me to become the person that I am meant to be. I can look in the mirror and be right with me now. Thank you for guiding me and helping me to get to where I am today.
Rising Above Addiction continues to grow. Changes are happening and lives are being saved because of you. It is an incredible honor to be a part of something so important. We are getting ready to hold our 3rd Annual Skydive Fundraiser. We have about a 100 people signed up already! I still can’t believe that I jumped out of a plane! Being able to spread your and Grampa’s ashes during the free fall was an incredible experience that I will never forget. After the Skydive, we have a SpookFest and then a music tour. Jesse has joined Rising Above Addiction. You would like him. He helps me to understand some of the struggles that you may have been having. It’s great for me to be around young men succeeding in their recovery.
Tim and Brittany have been a huge part in helping me to continue on. They have showed me what survival looks like. They have both dedicated their lives to helping others. They are doing great things, and I am blessed and honored that they are in my life.
Reclaiming My Life, named after you, is up and running. These ladies are working hard on their recoveries. It is wonderful to be able to provide a place that they can call home. Your bunk beds are in one of the bedrooms; I love that!
My beautiful Rob! It’s been a long three years. I think about that day. It was a Sunday, and it was beautiful outside. Everything was normal; I lifted, went for my run and showed a house. You were at home, safe in your bed sleeping; that’s what I thought. I wish I would have checked on you. I always checked on you, but that day I didn’t. I think about how I could have saved your life. Even the night before, I was suspicious, but after a conversation, I concluded that you were okay.
I am so thankful that I got to talk to you the night before you died; it was meant to be. I don’t remember the details of our conversation; however, I remember it was nice. It was just you and me, and as you went up to bed, I said goodnight and I Love you. It was very unusual for me to be up that late. I guess again, it was meant to be. I wish I could remember if I hugged you. I miss your hugs so much. I miss you telling me that you love me; you said it all the time. I miss that smirk you wore on your face that always made me laugh. I miss your sensitivity. I miss cooking for you and a million other things. I just miss YOU!
So Rob……..
Keep me strong, keep me going, and please continue to help me heal. Keep guiding Rising Above Addiction and Reclaiming My Life; I promise to keep the energy right. Keep your sister safe; she is a beautiful young lady and she deserves happiness. Keep me close Rob, and don’t ever leave me.
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