God saw he was getting tired.
My friend, who once was so strong was now so very weak. He was slipping fast and I still am not sure he really believed that it was his time to go.
I got to spent the day with him. I took the day off so that I could spend one last day talking and reminiscing about the times of our lives. We talked for hours. He was too weak to leave that hospital bed, but that day we took a trip. A trip down a well-worn path we know as our past.
It was his last “good” day.
That was one year ago today.
He died a few days later on May 16th, 2009.
It still hurts me as much today as it did that Saturday night when I walked into his room as his wife, his sons and his family were gathered around his bed. I saw that my friend, mentor and brother-in-Christ had just passed. He was no longer on his journey in this life, but he was now taking up residence in heaven. I cried…not for him. I cried for me. He was in a better place. Me… I was still here.
I am still here.
One year later and I still am not over the fact that he is gone. There are days when I pick up my phone and start to call him and suddenly remind myself that he is no longer going to pick up the call. I still cannot delete his number off my cell phone. For years I had simply picked up the phone and dialed his number. He always picked up. Whether he was driving his truck across the flats roads of Iowa or through the hills of Tennessee…he always picked up. He would answer the phone by just saying my name. Never “Hello”…just “David!!”
He was the closest friend that I ever had on this earth. He loved me like a son.
I miss him.
I am still here.
Robert “Bob” Emrich 12/20/46 to 5/16/2009
Tomorrow… I will celebrate his life.