Posted 02 January 2007 - 09:09 AM
It was so nice to find this thread!
I have a little to add...
I used to get some very funny messages on my voicemail from RLR and I often saved them to hear them again. On my way home from a class on Bainbridge Island a few days before he died, I called him from the car while waiting for the ferry. He didn't answer, so I left a message teasing him about avoiding my call but forgot to tell him I was in the car. After about 20 minutes, I checked the voicemail at home and had a message from him which said, "If I knew you were calling, not only would I have answered the phone, I would have baked a cake!"
That was my last phone message, and I wanted to save it but didn't know how. Someone reminded me of picture frames that would record the voice of the person framed, so I bought 2 (in case one failed) and recorded that message once for each frame just hours before Verizon would erase it.
For people who have this idea, I want to suggest that you do it AFTER you put the picture in the frame as the playback is motion-activated. So every time I walked past the empty frames or moved them I heard Bob's voice. It was pretty painful for awhile, and I put them in the hall closet on a shelf. Sometimes I forget they're there and I can open the doors of the closet and nothing happens. Other times that big voice booms out, "If I knew you were calling........"
I've gotten past the painful part of this and now get a kick out of the times it happens -- the timing is often sort of funny because I know what his other comments would be at the moment about what's going on in my life.
While Bob did little on his own to celebrate Christmas, I loved sending him presents to open. He was fascinated by my preparations which involve decorating the house with some garland and lights, a wreath, a big tree in the living room with over a thousand lights and 300 ornaments collected over my life, cooking, having a big dinner party for my local friends and at least one holiday meal for my family. Sometimes I'd call him frazzled and his only comment would be a dry, "As long as we're having fun."
We always talked through his birthday on Christmas Eve and usually had a conversation on my cell phone Christmas day -- but brief. He hated my cell phone because he had trouble hearing me on it.
This Christmas morning I was expecting the family for breakfast and I went down to the kitchen early. I looked out the south window at the small but favorite (tropical) winter-empty garden. All of a sudden dozens of birds flew into the bushes, onto the small picnic table, into the bare Japanese maple. I had towhees and robins and flickers and bushtits, my two hummingbirds, finches, and below the winter-burned tree fern, a big squirrel. On the ground below the squirrel was the bluest blue jay I've ever seen. I'd never in my 23 years here seen so many birds in the garden at once. I picked up my big Maine Coon cat, Flap, so he could see the scene. The birds stayed for about 4 minutes and then all left at the same time.
I thought, "That looked just like a winter scene on a Christmas card." I decided it was a Christmas card from my friend.
Thank you for remembering him along with me.
East of Seattle & Lake Washington