Monday, December 9, 2013

To Robby- You'll Never Expire

 Robbo- I never thought I'd have to write these words or your obituary. I didn't ever think we'd plan your memorial service or that you'd be the first of us to go home, especially so soon. These past 12 days have been the worst of my life. Next to Kelly, Kristi and I are your big sisters and we can't wrap our heads around the loss of our little brother. I'm not sure where I'll go from here but I know I'll carry you with me.  Dang it, Rob. You were supposed to take care of us in our old age. Rest in His arms, sweet baby brother. I'll love you forever. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Milk has an expiration date. Oil in our engines, it runs out. Bread gets moldy. Plays have their final scenes. But you, I thought… I thought we’, I thought you- I just thought you'd be forever.

You're as much a part of me as the sun is to the sky. You make my family whole. You made us all so wholly beautiful. So abundantly light. You made us. I remember life before you and then I remember you and I remember it being better. Infinitely better. I close my eyes and I feel the sun streaming through our hair and we are just in our nightshirts, sitting at the kitchen table. Perhaps we are eating grapefruit before we are allowed the good stuff. The waffles. And I see your chubby cheeks and you’re smiling back at mine.

There we are again...the night before Christmas. Too antsy to wait for the grownups so you, Kell, and I tell each other what each of us will unwrap that night. We are excited for our gifts. Giggling to ourselves, so pleased with our trickery. I'm holding onto your magic, the magic that you still believe. You never let that fade. You always had that magic, for all your days.

When you were born I was no longer the youngest. You were our baby. But together we braved the role of being the youngest ones. We would talk to each other about how that role had its ups and downs. Sometimes we’d forgot that we were on the same team and I would be a jerk and laugh at your sensitive tears because for once they weren't my own and then you'd quickly point out that I was getting acne at the ripe age of ten. But then we’d come back together, cheering each other on. Robbo and Kato.

Oh Robbo, I see us so many places. Out on the trampoline. Tailgating at the Giants. At Tahoe. At Woodleaf. In Vegas for your 21st. Dancing with you, in your tux, at my wedding. Of course you were in my wedding. Watching you play volleyball. Listening to you play the piano. Cuddling on the couch.

My favorite place I see us though is face to face in some of the most beautiful and real conversations I've ever had the privilege of having. We have had many in the 25 years together. One just a couple weeks ago. I loved looking into your eyes, receiving your smile, even sometimes sharing your tears. You my brother were beyond genuine with me and that to me was the greatest gift you ever gave me. Because travelers like us, know that being real can sometimes hurt but being real with the ones you love is a rare and true gift. And in this one life we all want the chance to grow deeper and realer. And you most certainly did.

We often run around this life wishing for more, waiting for our big moment, for the right time, or space, or quite honestly I dont even know. We don't realize we have an expiration date. That we all have a day that our time here on earth will end.  It will just be up and done- kinda like milk. Or moldy bread. Somehow though Robby, I think you just got it.

It’s not that you didn’t have dreams or aspirations. Oh you certainly were headed places. But you weren't running around. You were present. You were living. In every moment. Truly living. Greeting every moment with extraordinary joy. Every interaction you ever had with anyone was deemed worthy. You made us all worthy and royal. You crowned our very existences. With your smile and hugs and laughter and precious words we were loved. You weren't waiting for big moments like the rest of us are. Or how we are looking around thinking about if life will ever really start. You just lived big. You were above any silly expiration date and for that your very memory in our lives will never expire. How could it?

How you attended to me, to each and every one of us. Stopping everything to just focus on the who. I smile- knowing that’s just what Jesus is doing with you now. He is simply just attending to you.

You my brother will always be everywhere we are. When we gather you'll be there, for your love and how you loved us can't expire. Each holiday I'll see you. Your magic it never can fade away. I will remember you when the rest of us say I do and all of the babies will know their Uncle Robby just like the lucky Kellen and Jax. I'll see you in every sunset and remember you every time I blast the stereo high. Each day I'll try to live big because you deemed me worthy and your memory shall never expire.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. Rest in Joy, sweet brother. See you when I get there, Robbo."


  1. Katie - you really painted the picture of family and love. How true that life is precious and fragile. I'm hugging my children and dear ones a little closer in in my heartl Love you Katie. It just doesn't seem fair that Robbo blinks an eye and he'll see all his loved one, yet on our side we must wait. Apparently the gifts he offered were so powerful that the memories you hold onto will carry you until you all meet again.Sounds like an amazing young man.

  2. Thank you, Katie, for sharing this beautiful message. I knew Robby from Woodleaf summer staff, June 2009, and you really captured his way of life so eloquently. "Greeting every moment with extraordinary joy." Your words have really helped me shift my focus from sadness to thankfulness and readiness to live life better. Thank you!