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.