Love, that which drives us to give of ourselves, to be happy in the company of another, the essence of all that is meaningful, and why we miss someone.
The main story about Robert is about friendships and friends sticking together. Love is what remains after Robert is no longer with us on earth. Memories may fade, but the heart remembers. How blessed is Robert to have friends! Robert teaches us: without love, we are nothing.
Submit a memory to the Love Blog.
Got memories? Photos, and videos? Please contact Us.
Meditation, Thoughts, Hope
Remember Jimmy, may he Rest in Peace. Comfort his family with love.
Remember Morrey, Rodney, and Rose's son, who died too young.
Remember with thanks those blessed with rich lives - Jeanette, Ted, Stephanie's dad, and Floyd's mother.
Remember the victims of drunk driving, including the three teens from Magruder HS, who died in the car crash in Olney, MD, May 2011.
Remember dead pole vaulters, including Leon Roach and Kevin Dare. Pray the schools and NCAA fix their safety issues, so no more students will die.
Pray for those hurt by severe weather disaster and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We hope for the strength of families and friends who lost loved ones.
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, then what am I?
If not now, then when?" - by Hillel
One thing we learn is everyone has some pain. You lose someone you love. You struggle to make ends meet. You were rejected. You suffer pain and winter's cold. Then people reach out to say, "You are not alone."
Have hope and give hope. Can you reach out beyond the safe zone to comfort and encourage others? Make new friends, and make friends feel good.
By, Sandra Giger, originally posted on the Remember Robert home page from June 1 through December 11, in memory of Jimmy.
It has been a year, Rob
You’d now be 21 years old
I think constantly of you
and all the stories you once told
Not a day goes by
I do not think of you
and it will never change
until the day my life is through
Your life ended too abruptly
We couldn’t believe the truth
Not one of us was ready for a world
without someone as amazing as you
Everyone was affected
by hearing of your loss
We’d do anything to get you back
at any and all cost
Sometimes I wonder where you are
and how you fill your days
At least I know God cares for you
in all His loving ways
I know He must laugh
on even His worst days
when you act totally ridiculous
and mention to Him “Thats okay”
As I sit and ponder of you
I have so many questions
For instance, how is it possible
you left such an impression
How do things work up there
way up in the sky
When one of us is feeling sad
are you allowed to just drop-by
Can you see us constantly,
or just when we are feeling bad
Do you know when we are happy
or just when we are mad
Do you play games in heaven
like hop from cloud to cloud
When you see something funny
can you laugh out loud
Do you miss the feel of sand
and grass upon your feet
Are you responsible for setting
up heaven’s track meets
Do you hold concerts for everyone
with your astounding voice
When you sing for them
do even the angels rejoice
Can you hear the songs we sing
as we think of you
Do people get sick in heaven
Can they catch the flu
Who do you hang out with
up there the most
Do you split your time
between the angels and the ghosts
What kind of classes
does God himself teach
When I fly in a plane
are you just out of my reach
Do you have a lot of time
for the things you did not learn
Can you play with fire up there
and not get burned
When the sun is out are you
overwhelmed by its heat
When God calls for a meeting
can you get a seat
Can you stop a rain drop
and tell it where to fall
Is it even possible to
hit God’s curveball.
Is there a special number
to reach you on the phone
Are there quiet places
you go to be alone
Do you walk on rainbows
till the colors stain your feet
Will the angels know my name
when at last we meet
Are you really far away
or always very close
Is heaven bright and sunny
or in the winter does it snow
Can you pole vault to the moon
or other planets in the sky
Do you now know the answer
to the eternal question why
Do you hear me sing Insomniac
and know I sing to you
Are there still big dinosaurs
Does heaven have a zoo
Are the clouds really bouncy
Can you jump really high
Now that you have wings
please tell me you can fly
Can you lift a mountain
if only you dare try
When there’s forest fires
does smoke get in your eyes
Can you swim the seven seas
and never take a breath
Can you light a candle
inside a robin’s nest
If I am weak and lost
can you lead me where to go
When a tree is chopped down
can you help a new one regrow
As I walk the unseen road
balancing my fear
If I start to falter
will you whisper in my ear
Do you long for the day
we will meet again
Do you know how much I cherish
you being my friend
Do you know the answer to one last question
I really hope you do
Do you know Robert Giger
how much I love and I miss you.
Maybe the answer is: Do something great with your life.
When you make a difference, you do something great. Even just take a little step. However small, the difference you make is proof the world needs you. When you help, when you have passion: You do great things.
The greatest honor to Robert, is to remember him when you are at your best. Just as the baseball player points to the sky when he hits a home run, there can be no greater honor to Robert and your friendship than to remember Robert fondly when you are at the top of your game. That's the message to Robert's loved ones, "Have a wonderful life, and while you are at it, THANK You for remembering him too in your happiness." Robert is like the patron saint of Joy (not Pity). I'm sure he will be happy when you are.
Some of the funniest memories are from when Robert would decide to sing to somebody who didn't even have a singing valentine ordered for them - namely, teachers. I still remember when we sang "Toxic" for his male English teacher. Just like all the others, we made the teacher sit down in a chair in the middle of the room and surrounded him while on our knees. Robert could not stop laughing during the song and the teacher could not have looked more uncomfortable.
This Space is Reserved
for your memory of a
(if you have a memory, contact us.)
The world that was born in me when I met Robert... that world is so much more full and multi-faceted than all other overlapping worlds I previously lived.
Of course, I enjoyed the surface stuff: getting dressed up and going out, sharing meals and inappropriate jokes, dozing on his bed while he played videogames, back-cracking hugs whenever we saw each other... but underneath that there was something else.
It seemed that Rob came to us just knowing something big - something that I didn't get and am still struggling to understand.
Though none of us are perfect, Robert was able to exude some sort of focused energy that helped me to make myself feel better, safer, and stronger. And even when I wasn't able to feel those things, he was still there. After his death he still makes me feel good. When I step back and consider what an incredible person he was, I feel so... honored that Robert chose me, that he chose us, to share his life with.
Somehow Robert managed to bellylaugh his way through life.
He interacted with everything around him with the practiced grace of someone who had lived before (______) and recognized what was and wasn’t worth getting upset over. Despite his almost seamless selflessness in dealing with his own personal issues, he invariably honed in when he noticed someone else was distressed, whether he knew them or not. But he wasn’t just “on-duty” when someone was sad: he was so tuned in to the people he surrounded himself with that when we were happy he made a point to share and heighten our elation.
Many people that knew Rob are saying that they’re trying to live life the way that he would’ve wanted them to. I’m not sure what Robert would have wanted me to do.. what message he would have given me if he knew what was going to happen.. if he even would have wanted to tell me anything. But if I can take only one lesson that he taught by the example of his life, and paradoxically by his death, it is to value my friendships. It will continue to be rough without Rob here, but through this new world that was born in me I think I got some tools (or at least an introduction to the manual) to help make myself and others feel the way that he made me feel.
was a leader in the Honors Chambers and Chorus classrooms. His musical talent allowed him to learn a new part of a piece before anybody else. He was always one of the most expressive singers, as he could quickly move beyond learning what notes to sing and transition straight into recreating the feeling that the composer was trying to convey. He was always the center of attention of the class whether he was calling to a friend all the way across the room (he seemed to know everybody) or forcing Mrs. Ingram to yell at him in the middle of a song because he wasn’t singing what was written. Even she couldn’t get mad at him though – his wide-eyed, child-like grin made it impossible for her to do anything but forgive him and restart the song. Robert ensured that chambers never got dull. Singing had to be fun, and he demonstrated just how fun it could be. Robert could spice up any piece with the addition of a hip-hop dance move or ridiculous facial gesture. In short, Robert is what brought Chambers Chorus to life.
Robert was the heart of Supertonics. He elevated the group on so many levels. His incredible musical background and affinity for dancing helped the Supertonics perform. Even when he didn’t have the solo, Robert was still the one to watch. But what he did on the stage is only half the story. Not only was Robert one of the most enthusiastic performers and talented singers, but he was a fantastic friend to every group member. Because of his his spirit and enthusiasm, the Supertonics formed a cohesiveness and brotherhood-like friendship by his senior year culminating in an unforgettable group trip to Kings Dominion. He made each Supertonic excited come to practice, if for no other reason than to hear his infectious laugh and be forced to laugh with him. He didn’t lead by title, but by example. When he talked, everybody listened because they knew there were two possibilities: he was providing an insightful critique to how we could improve the performance of a song, or telling a joke guaranteed to make us laugh and bring the group closer. Robert is one of the biggest reasons that the Supertonics ever became so important and fun to me.
And so many friends, as told by two classmates
Robert was an amazing teammate, track captain, and friend to everyone. At Wootton, Robert took track very seriously but made it incredibly fun at the same time. He always gave it his all, and got everyone else energized to work hard and have a good time. He was a role model and leader to so many. The entire team, both coaches and athletes, admired Robert’s enthusiasm, dedication, and determination. Robert’s spirit and energy pushed his teammates to their limits as he cheered them on and got them pumped up in both practices and meets. It didn’t matter how good a teammate was or what their event was—Robert was there to support them with his contagious energy.
It was incredible how many friends Robert had, but the more amazing thing is that he truly cared about every single one of them and made each person feel special. It seemed like he befriended almost every person he met, and there was nothing fake or forced about it; that’s just how Robert was. He glowed everywhere he went; his laughter, smile, craziness and loudness could never be ignored, and his mere presence could make your day. Robert had the most charisma and sincerity that a person could have. His friendship qualities were so versatile, and he could be counted on for so many things: a listening ear, advice, and always a good time. Robert was truly a great friend, and a best friend to so many.
Footnote: At the Spring 2008 Track Awards Banquet, Robert's team voted for Robert to win the Patriots Award, giving for his outstanding leadership and sportsmanship.
Robert ran track at Wootton High School for four years. In those four years he saw at least five different coaches, and countless teammates but I would say confidently that every one of them have some kind of outstanding memory of him. Robert was a presence on the team. He was loud. If Robert cheered, you could hear him. He knew how to have fun whether it was playing a prank on the coach, picking you up and twirling you around, or whipping off his shirt, running around and comparing his abs to everyone else. And that fun loving and loud boy you couldn’t ignore turned out to be quite the leader. By example, he never gave up. He pushed harder, and never slowed down unless his body made him. The look on his face during any race could tell you that. By enthusiasm, he pushed others. Running beside a straggler, telling anyone he passed to “keep it up,” or screaming with as much force as his lungs could provide were behaviors not uncommon to Robert’s tenure as a Wootton Patriot. He wore his jersey with pride, pumped everyone up with his spirit, and ran every race like it was his last. Robert’s running didn’t stop at the track. He ran everywhere. In our circle of friends it was a running (no pun intended) joke that if given enough open space, Robert would stride, not walk, to his next destination. That was just Robert’s approach to life: enthusiastic, high energy excitement.
To sum Robert Yin up as a friend is impossible. To say that he was an amazing friend is an understatement. But, he was a friend to all. He even insisted on trying to bridge the language gap between him and my Cantonese speaking grandmother. Robert greeted you with the excitement of a friend you hadn’t seen in years. He even stained my soccer shorts with face paint on a pep rally day when he insisted on flipping me over and carrying my upside down over his shoulder. And you always knew when Robert was entering a room. The party started with Robert.
One of Robert's friends at Grinnell College has a book, "Departures", by the artist Lawrence Yang, who has the dubiously-named website, http://www.suckatlife.com/. Robert and friends took a liking to a certain "Balloon Angel" in the book.
On May 14, 2010 when Robert had his fatal pole vault jump, he was wearing a henna tattoo of that angel on his right shoulder. A classmate of Rob's did the henna tattoo (a natural non-permanent tattoo) for him.
In sympathy, several of Rob's Grinnell friends have gotten a permanent tattoo of the Balloon Angel on themselves, in tribute to Robert.
When a Wootton High School friend heard this, she wrote the artist. Lawrence Yang graciously sent Robert's mother the original drawing of the angel (left). Lawrence also gave permission for the patron angel to be a logo on the front of the "Team Robert" t-shirts that were sold for the 4x400 Relay in August, 2010.