Rob came into my life at a time when I least expected to find joy. I was settling into my forties, enjoying life with my children but feeling alone. And unhappy.
He came into my life on a flurry of laughter, good sense and shyness. And he stayed. He made me laugh, he talked, explained things I'd never understood and he held me tight. We walked for miles in our two years together, literally miles - In footsteps and in thoughts. Exploring, talking, listening, sharing, discussing. And all the time, we respected each other, deeply. We took nothing for granted. It was too special.
Happiness was Rob's default setting. He'd say: “life is good, I'm well, I have everything I need. I'll never be rich, unless my silly book is published but, everything is great! I'm so happy with my life”. He was endlessly proud of his children, enjoyed his job, delighted in his allotment and had really good close friends.
The happiness showed: every time I visited him he had music playing and something delicious cooking, plus a new innovation for the flat - A comprehensive medicine drawer, a brilliant slow cooker, a new pair of jazzy curtains.
Some months ago he asked me to buy the most multi-coloured rug I could find in Ikea. (The brighter the better he said.)(Really! I said) When he rang me in the evenings we were apart he'd say: hello, I'm sitting on my flying carpet right now, thinking good thoughts...
His book, Alloted Span, was far from being silly as he constantly called it though.
It represents everything Rob was: clever, lyrical, funny, imaginative, spiritual.... It still needs editing of course, his words came out so fast sometimes that he forgot, (exasperatingly!) to punctuate.
"That'll take me years to do" he'd exclaim.
"I'll help you" I said.
And I will. Although it'll be tricky because I'd never let him tell me the ending - Simple reason - because, selfishly, I didn't want the story to finish. Ever.
He was also a great comic writer and gained many friends in the blogosphere, all of whom have sent sincere condolences. And I mean this, they've all contacted me. He'd have been so touched...
And for those who didn't know he blogged and who may be shocked at some of his more surreal moments, I'd say this: Rob told me - it's all made up and it's also all aspects of me. And then he would grin, a mischievous grin and refuse to be drawn further. That was Rob, the whole creative genius package.
Last summer we went to Brussels for a wonderful holiday and had so much fun touring art galleries, seeing the European Parliament and eating mussels and chips. Next weekend we were going camping, he'd planned everything with glee, to our first music festival. And in the summer, another holidayin the pipeline, this time to Prague. Everything was fun and interesting when we were together. There was so much to look forward to.
I told him quietly, not so long ago: "we're two of a kind you and me. We're the same inside, have you noticed?"
" I know" he said. "This is magical, I've got you and you've got me. We've got the rest of our lives together, haven't we?"
"Oh yes" I said, "oh yes we have".
I cannot actually come to terms with losing him. At all.
We were in the middle of conversation, in the middle of a hug.
I hope I will accept it in time. I've learned now that life is indeed - fragile.
And I can see the reason to seize each day, Carpe Diem, like he used to say!
Rob gave me the confidence to be myself - to be strong and content. He put the smile on my face - that I carried each and every day, - the spring in my step.
I close my eyes and I can see him right there, smiling. He had the most beautiful smile.
He was a gentleman first and foremost. I want his family to know that -
Rob was a gentle man.
With the sweetest disposition.
I am so proud to say that we love each other.
So happy to say I was blessed.