Goodbye, Bob

When I signed up for this blog service earlier today, I didn’t make an entry simply because I didn’t know what I would write about. I just didn’t know what the point of my blog is. But a few hours later the purpose became clear when I received the news that a good friend had died violently. My blog is to recognize greatness in all forms, to express gratitude, to point out the beautiful in life, to share all that is good.

Robert Brooksby, D.O. – or Dr. Bob as many people fondly called him – was killed yesterday while riding his motorcycle when a drunk driver crossed the median. Being a person who doesn’t really catch the local news too often, I had not heard of this tragedy until someone called and uttered, almost unintelligibly, “Dr. Bob was killed.”

Bob was one of the biggest influences in my life. He was someone who reassured me that my “different” sense of the world was okay. He encouraged me, in fact. I think of him as a teacher: He taught me to use the subtleties of the senses and my heart to live fully. I can’t say I’ve mastered his teachings, but I do know I’m the better for them. I look at my meeting Bob and see a turning point in my life.

It was through a car accident that I met the doctor. I had been injured and needed some “help” to manage the pain. It was 1992, shortly after Thanksgiving. The first time I met Bob, he was wearing basic tan Birkenstocks and jeans. I’d never seen a doctor dressed this way – and I told him so. He offered to put on a white lab coat if it would reassure me. I knew I’d found a winner.

I never needed that white coat. Dr. Brooksby was a gifted physician. Really, he could legitimately claim the title "healer."

Over the years, we traded stories about movies and kids, work and hobbies. He chided me for being bad to myself. I took him boxes of chocolate. We exchanged goofy emails. He even came to a few of our parties – a couple office open houses and a couple of Halloween parties. To one, he came dressed as a frog prince, his girlfriend as the princess. He was hysterical in the full frog costume. Truly, it was the best costume at any of our parties over the years.

There are so few people in this world with whom I feel comfortable enough to be myself and to tell my whole truth. Bob was one of them.

Most recently, Bob had asked me, “Do you want to live?” I answered yes. “Well then,” he said, “get out and walk 45 minutes a day. I mean it. Get outside and walk.” As always, I promised to heed his advice. I even gave it a try for a few days. Inevitably, I fell of the wagon (or the sidewalk) and went back to my sedentary ways. At dinner tonight, I announced to my family that I would take a walk in Dr. Bob’s honor. And I did. And they joined me. Even the dog.

Please, Big Kahuna, watch over Dr. Bob. And, Dr. Bob, watch over me.

With my deepest love and admiration,