I've been slowly making my way through Bob's half of the closets. I'm not parting with any of his things, just storing them for now. Still, it's a heart-wrenching task, touching each item. The memories are overwhelming.
Work shirts, motorcycle pants, the death t-shirt he loved to wear to chemo, and at the back of the closet, his pea coat. Well, it wasn't really his, I guess. It was inherited from a good friend when her father passed. Bob loved that coat, especially when he traveled to colder climates.
He had a great story about wearing it to his first Packers game, standing there with his arms crossed, beer in hand. Somebody told him he needed to move. "Oh, I'm sorry, am I in your way?" he asked. "No, dude, there's a snow drift forming on you."
It's a warm coat.
I pulled it out of the closet, and as I did with each of his coats, checked the pockets. In the outer pocket I found his ear muffs. Well, not real ear muffs. They're those tiny, individual ear covers. He liked those better.
As I checked the inner pockets, I found what felt like a postcard. I pulled it out. On the front was a black and white shot of Lambeaux field.
I flipped it over.
See, that was Bob's first NFL game ever. It was a playoff game. And it was at Lambeaux field with his friend John, a lifelong fan who had taken Bob there to see the game.
I quickly texted John a picture of the note. It was, as I suspected, from him to Bob.
After I finished a sob fest, wrapping myself in the coat, clutching the note, and texting with John, I thought about Bob at that game, and how happy his was to be there; how much he loved life; how much he lived for "losing his voice."
Wallowing was not part of his world, and any time I do it for too long, I feel him kick me in the ass. It's time to lose my voice!