Sunday, November 24, 2013

Life Without.

The one year mark has come and gone.

Fourteen ever changing months without Bobby. As the days, weeks, and months have passed... things are different. We all still have our moments, those will never stop. But now there is a new pain that fills my heart. We are learning how to live without Bobby. 

He still crosses my mind every passing day. For that, I am thankful. It hurts knowing not to expect him anymore. To no longer wonder where he is, why he isn't at the dinner table or on the couch beside me. The confusion has somehow left my subconscious and I now know, he's not coming back. 

Getting caught up in the day to day routines and the simple struggles of life have distracted me. I can relate when my mom says she doesn't want to let go, and doesn't want people to forget. It's astonishing how quickly time has passed. How the heartache has slowly eased. How we can talk about him casually and laugh instead of cry. 

I hope anyone reading this will always remember the sweet boy who was taken too soon. Always remember his laugh and his signature smile. Always remember that he loved you, loved everyone he knew. And remember that life has and will go on... but he is forever with us. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Team BobbyStrong

The Dirty Dash has come and gone. This year we organized the first annual "BOBBYSTRONG" team. Doing something fun, messy, and challenging was the best way to honor Bobby with a smile on our faces. We've done so many wonderful events raising awareness and getting the word out- but this one was purely for the fun of it. He would have LOVED it. Our team dressed in a pirate theme thanks to some pretty great inspiration.

Bobby floating the Boise River- Summer '12

The BobbyStrong team filled up quickly and we ended up with 20 dirty dashers! We sported some pretty awesome team shirts, eye patches, and tattered shorts.

The siblings
An awesome day for our family

Everyone had such a great time at the Dirty Dash- my parents even ran with us! I can only imagine what Bobby would have worn and how entertaining he would have been barreling through the mud. This was the perfect place for us to have some fun, let loose, and have a reason to laugh together again... muddy teeth and all.

For those of you who might be wondering where "BOBBYSTRONG" came from, check out the letter below. Written by Conor Cook.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A New Perspective

Highway 55 is no stranger to me. Growing up with numerous trips to McCall for the past 17 years and countless treks to and from Moscow, I've certainly seen a mile or two on this road. It was a Sunday afternoon- I had spent the weekend in Boise and decided to leave a few hours early to make sure I had plenty of time before my 5 o'clock shift at the McCall Brewing Company. The date was June 9th, exactly 9 months to the day since Bobby's accident. He was on my mind even more than usual that day. I've spent a lot of time driving by myself between school, work and home- the alone time gives me a few hours to myself to think freely. These drives almost always involve a few tears, my mind automatically goes straight to him.

I was surprised by the little traffic I encountered and was impressed by the good time I was making. I came around a corner and passed a car with people waving and honking at me signaling to "STOP". I slowed down as I saw a few cars stopped up ahead. A man came running down the middle of the highway in a panic. I rolled down my window in time to hear him tell the car in front of me that there was a terrible accident involving a car and a semi truck and that there was no help yet. My heart sank and I immediately prayed for whoever was involved "God help them, help them, help them" was all I could say over and over out loud. I could only assume the absolute worst.

I didn't know how to react. A woman in the car behind me got out and started running towards the accident, so did many others. I was able to find cell phone service and immediately called my mom with a shaky voice and no idea what else to do. Eventually I walked past about eight cars and around the corner. It was a very sad sight. You can only image what kind of damage a semi can do at 50+ miles an hour. By the time I had the stomach to walk over there, help had arrived. I stood and watched as the paramedics used the 'jaws of life' to free the woman from her vehicle. Life flight struggled to find a place to land among the heavy traffic and narrow road. I could see what was happening but was far away enough to never see her face. I watched as the paramedics instantly began CPR all the way to the helicopter.

For the next three hours we waited for the road to open. All I could think about was what had happened in the helicopter. Wondering if they were able to save her or if I had just witnessed her final hour. I drove extra cautiously the rest of the trip and kept a close eye on those yellow lines.

I've been thinking about the woman in that van, her family and everyone who loved her. It was a very unsettling experience and I'm still not sure if it was just a coincidence that I was there. It gave me an idea of what happened to Bobby the night he died. He was not alone, people were trying to help him, he went from this life to the next in a matter of minutes.

I wish I could tell the family that they'll see her again and that I feel for them on an extremely personal level. I'll always think of her when I pass that turn in the road. I'll remember to slow down and to pay attention- this precious life can be taken away so quickly.

This tragedy gave me a whole new perspective. As if from the outside looking in on what we've recently experienced. I was on the same drive exactly one week later and stopped when I saw her beautiful cross- it was an entirely different feeling on that road. Rest In Peace Kristen Marie Scott

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bobby's Tree

Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. ~Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies, 1928
In April, we held a very special event; a tree dedication for Bobby. It was wonderful to see family and friends join together for an evening of remembering, love and support. Homemade chili, corn dogs, and baked potatoes were a hit- guest speakers, music and live singing made for fun and light-hearted afternoon.
Around 6 o'clock we took a short walk across Tully Park to find Bobby's tree. The group gathered around our family as a few words were spoken. My dad announced that this tree was placed between two baseball fields where Bobby played little league growing up.
The plaque is perfect. Bobby loved anything and everything Nike- "Just Do It" fits him to the T. The beauty of a tree dedication is that it will continue to live and to grow for many years to come.
Thank you to everyone who was apart of this beautiful dedication.

Photos: Jed Davis

Friday, April 19, 2013

Doing it for Bobby

If you're from Boise, chances are you've heard of the Race to Robie Creek. It's been termed the "toughest race in the northwest" for its grueling hill climb in the Boise foothills. When I heard about registration for the 36th annual race, I was pretty curious. Once I realized where the race course was, I decided I had to run it. Reserve Street takes you up towards table rock- the same road Bobby went up that night and never came back from. I now have a lot of mixed feelings about these particular foothills. The day we drove up to visit the accident site, I held my breath as the hills got steeper and steeper. I can only think of Bobby when I see the cross lit up at night or when the sun is rising above those hills. Visiting his final resting place is a mix of both heartbreaking and somehow peaceful. It's hard to explain but I feel closer to him when I'm up there.

My goal is to gain some positively after this race and have a new way to look at that road. I know he'll be there pushing me along and helping me get through it. "Doing it for Bobby" because he loved a good physical challenge, accomplishing things and earning some bragging rights. My new goal in life is to try things that scare me, I know Bobby would do just about anything- and since he can't now, I'll do it for him.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Dash

The Dash
By Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
From the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of his birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That he spent alive on earth
And now only those who love him
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile…
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Our Dragonfly

Water Bugs & Dragonflies is a short book explaining death to young children. My mom read this and passed it along to me- now I'd like to pass it along to you.
(I know it looks long, but it's a quick read, and very touching).

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. they were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. 

They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more. 

"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another." One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you suppose she is going?" Up, up, up it went slowly. Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return. 

"That's funny!" said one water bug to another. 

"Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second water bug. 

"Where do you suppose she went?" wondered a third. 

No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. 

Finally, one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. "I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why." 

"We promise," they said solemnly. 

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water, and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above. 

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly.

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. 

By and by, the new dragonfly landed happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were, scurrying about, just as he had been doing some time before. 

Then the dragonfly remembered the promise: "The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why." 

Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. He hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water. 

"I can't return!" he said in dismay." At least I tried, but I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies, too. Then they'll understand what happened to me, and where I went." 

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Thousand Word Picture

Luke shared this with me tonight. He recently wrote a memoir in his senior English class and is letting me share his very personal journey with anyone reading this. 

A Thousand Word Picture
by: Luke Rogers

            It’s kind of weird starring at your naked arm knowing it’s never going to look the same in about five seconds. The first touch of that stinging needle injecting ink into my skin was the most regretful moment of my life. It wasn't the pain or the strange looking guy awkwardly grabbing and positioning my body, it was the thick line permanently curving up my arm towards my shoulder that had me thinking twice. Once I started there was no way that I was about to stop, all I could do to reassure myself was hope and pray that I would look like a badass when it was all over. Luckily I already do so it couldn't take away from anything anyways! It took about two hours for the artist to get done drawing on me, by that time I was pretty much done being poked by sharp mechanical needles for the day. I was so excited to see the finished design on my arm, but my mom peeking over me to see it and having a completely blank stare on her face, then faking a smile and saying “it looks good” kind of had me worried. My parents are not a fan of tattoos. I walked over to the mirror bracing myself for the new look of my right arm. I was right; it totally made me look like a badass!
            One day on my way home I got the strangest phone call I could have ever gotten. My friend Bear called and was asking about my little brother Bobby. He was freaking out asking if he was alright, so I said “Yea man he’s fine”. Then I asked why he was so freaked out, he said “Well Tiffany died in a car accident last night and they said Bobby was in there”. I was in shock; I had already tried calling Bobby that morning to see how his night went. All I could say was “I’ll have to call you back” I was so worried about him. I couldn't even hang up because my hands were shaking so much. I tried to call Bobby twice and I was so frustrated not knowing what was going on because he still didn't answer. He always answers me. I was going down eagle road as fast as my truck would go, I was in a panic. When I came around the corner to my street I just saw cars, and all of them were familiar. They were on both sides of the road as far down as you could see. This made my heart sink lower than I thought possible; at that point I knew something had happened to Bobby. I parked in the middle of the road not even caring what I was doing and ran to my front door. My dad was watching for me, everyone was. Nobody wanted to tell me what had happened I knew it. He met me out side before I got through the front yard, all I could do was stare at his face, I had never seen this look on anybody’s face in my life. I stopped and I stood an awkward ten feet away from him because I couldn’t move. I looked straight into his eyes terrified and somehow got the question out “what happened to Bobby?’. His eyes were beat red and his voice was shaking. He starred right back and said “Son, I have some really bad news… your brother was killed in a car accident last night”. That was the worst pain that I have ever felt; I’d rather have been shot and died a painful death than have heard those words. I remember my chest felt like it had caved in on itself. My arms and hands were so weak I couldn’t move them, and just complete numbness came over my whole body. My family piled outside after me trying to comfort me but there was nothing they could do. My Brother Matt put his arms around me and I didn’t let go of him for forever it seemed like. I never wanted to let go. Bobby was my best friend; he was the closest person that I had. I felt like I let him down not being there for him that night. I was always looking out for him; I never let anything bad happen to him. I loved him so much; I never knew how much he meant to me until he was gone.
            One night within the week after, I was missing him like crazy; looking through all of his pictures seemed to comfort me more than anything else because I was in a ton of them. I found a picture he took from about a month before and it was of a tribal tattoo that he drew up in class. He was an artist he always was drawing something. He told me that when he turned 18 that he wanted to get this tattoo with all of the brothers and wear it as a symbol of brotherhood because that was something very special to us. My cousin Jake and I would let him draw all of his tattoo designs on us; they were in sharpie so it was on us for at least a week or so, but now were so happy he did. We forgot all about those, they actually looked really good. We took the best picture that we had and redrew it on paper. I put the word brother in there and we all decided that we need to get it. So all my older brothers talked me into it; that was my argument to my parents. I’m actually still surprised that they let me get it, they weren't too happy about it; but they had nothing to say because it was wrong to argue against it.
            The whole point of getting that was to remember Bobby for everything that he was. We have the strongest brotherhood I've ever known. I think that’s awesome that all of my brothers and I have that now. To us it means an unbreakable brotherhood and it will never let us forget our brother Bobby. It’s amazing how much of an affect he had on people and how many lives he touched. If you met him, you would never forget him. I’m glad that I have this design on me that Bobby made and I can look at it every day for the rest of my life and know how much meaning it truly has behind it. I will never forget my little brother, but I know there are going to be times when I won’t always be thinking of him. Bobby was really a big part of me and I know I was a big part of him. This can just be a reminder of Bobby and how much of an impact he had on my life to make me want to put his design on me permanently, now he really is a part of me.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Sun Will Rise Tomorrow

“The sun will rise tomorrow. It always does, and all the wishing in the world for the way things were, or for what they could have been, won't change that. It won't change how things are.” 
  -Elizabeth Scott 

I absolutely love this picture of Bobby. I miss that sweet smile and those big brown eyes more than ever these past few days. If I close my eyes I can put myself right there next to him... warm sunny day in McCall. We're in the boat, feet up, rocking through the waves, sunshine on our faces and an occasional cold splash from the water below. Maybe we're telling stories, laughing. Or simply laying there enjoying another summer day. I've been there too many times to count but all I want is to be in that boat, beneath the sunshine- with him.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Year Brings New Challenges

2012 is a year I'll never forget. We seemed to survive the 'world ending' but this world is certainly different. As the seasons continue to change, so do the emotions that tag along. This year will be full of challenges for each of us. Yesterday marked four months since losing Bobby- where did the time go? It feels like just yesterday I saw him running around with Luke, laughing, having fun.

As the snow is finally sticking, I think of Bobby often. He loved snowboarding with his buddies every chance he got.. some of the best days were on the mountain with him. I recently spent the day at Bogus and all I could think was that he should have been there with us. On the drive up we had an extra seat up front, the emptiness was hard to ignore- that's where Bobby should have been. Even on the slopes I could feel him missing. He used to wear a bright blue jacket with block numbers on the sleeve- I saw someone wearing the exact same jacket. It was impossible not to do a double take, to have a tiny thread of hope expecting somehow, it would be him.

While spending time in McCall each season reminds me of different memories with Bobby. Covered in snow, I picture him building jumps in the backyard and sledding down the steepest paths he could find. I remember him as a little kid with the cutest one piece, maroon snowsuit and rosy cheeks. Or trips to Brundage from the first year he learned to ski, to this last winter on his new snowboard. Snowmobiling, walking across the ice, snowball fights, trips to the gravel pit and sledding... he's everywhere.

I can only imagine what kind of snowboarding he's doing in heaven. I know he's right there beside us in everything we do- he wouldn't miss it.

I love you Bobby, missing you every day.