It’s a Melancholy Day

I’m having a hard time focusing today because my thoughts keep going to a person who passed away yesterday. His name was Bob Vandermark. He passed suddenly from a heart attack; he was only 61 years old.

Bob was one of my mom’s cousins, and I remember him well from my childhood. He was a funny guy. He was always cracking jokes making us laugh. Great sense of humor. Great heart.

He was an artist with incredible talent. He painted billboards around my hometown when I was a kid. Quite the job. He even painted a huge mural in my hometown. Beautiful. Very gifted man.

Growing up, I remember Bob running the bingo games and auction at the family reunions on my mom’s side. He was funny. He could get anyone to pay $20 for the smallest package, but I’ll tell ya, those small packages contained fantastic things. The aunts, my grandfather’s sisters, always brought photos from their collections. You could spend $20 on some of the most fantastic pictures of the fam. Freida when she was a kid. Great grandpa standing by a wagon. Ervin and Mervin and Ivo… the list goes on.

Bob was a good man. Heart as big as the great outdoors.

I remember his wife Barb and kids Robbie and Summer coming over to our house when I was a kid. Robbie’s my age, and Summer’s a few years younger. They’d play in our back yard, or we’d go to the lake. Mom and Barb were good friends; I could tell even as a little kid.They’d talk and talk for hours over a cup of coffee. Laughing, gossiping, just being there together. Good memories.

Sometimes we’d run into Bob, Barb and the kids at the county fair. Dad and Bob would talk forever and mom and Barb would do the same. Me, Jainie, Robbie and Summer just waited and waited for the parents to stop talking; cotton candy all over our faces and other knickknacks and treats from a night at the fair. Kicking the dirt and just wanting to go home after a long night. Good memories.

Bob knew Jesus, that I know. There’s something very comforting in that fact because we’ll get to see him again.

My heart hurts for Barb and Summer and Robbie. I can’t imagine the loss. Simply can’t imagine it. I know that God is saddened by this because He loves so deeply and hurts when people hurt. I’ll close with some scripture that was sent to me so many years ago when I lost one of my dearest friends. It gives me peace and comfort in times like these:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Barbara, Summer, Robbie – thinking of you.

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