A letter from Robert…

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 Yesteday, my mom gave me a few letters that my brother Robert had sent her from prison 10 years ago. He always claimed he was innocent of the charges, but also said it was one of the best things that had happened to him. His view of my visit was quite different from mine. I will never forget asking to see Robert and then him walking around the corner with that orange prison jump suit on, grinning ear to ear!

Robert died suddenly 5 years later from congestive heart failure. The last thing he said to me was, “Look at me, I look like Rocket Man!” and I guess he was right with all the tubes and wires poking in him in the hospital. But it was like him to find the humor in a situation and not take himself too seriously.

This letter really touched me. I wish I could have been able to tell him I loved him just one more time. So I’m telling him in writing this. I still wear the coat he has on in this picture and there’s a tie in my closet that was his. I only pull it out for special meetings where I’m going to be stressed out. Usually it doesn’t match my suit very well, but I don’t care. It gives me a sense of comfort and puts things in perspective.

On the back of the program for Robert’s funeral I put the quote: “There’s not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light from one small candle.” It was originally written on the tombstone of a little cat that had been killed in England during the bombing of London in World War II by it’s loving owner. It reminds me of Robert and how all of us shine a little bit of light in what can be a very dark world.

Take a minute and call or write that person you’ve been meaning to get connected with again and say “I love you.”

July 14, 1998

Hey Mom,

Thanks for the card. Sure is nice to get a letter. I love to read about what is going on at Lake Muddy. Sounds like a circus. So funny about Bonnie. What a mess she is. One thing is…you’ve got to love the old gal. She is so old yet so young at heart. What a personality. Just thought about her chasing that cat and then not being able to move for two days! As you would say, “she’s all stove up.”

Can you believe that I’ve been in jail for 72 days? (and counting).

My belief in God is so strong that I have never said “why me” or gotten angry. I think if I didn’t know it is His will I would be mad that they put me in here knowing I’m innocent. But when you trust God, you have a peace in your heart and know that He has a purpose for this. I know one thing, I sure do love my family and know that I’m loved by my family. What a wonderful feeling this is. George came by Wednesday. It was great to see him and feel the love he has for me. He said 3 times “I was hoping I could give you a great big hug!” Wow, what a good feeling. I sure do love him. This world would be so much better if all families were like mine.

I sure do miss you. Often I think of the three of us eating dinner then watching Home Improvement and eating ice cream and cake. (Notice I included Bonnie). She sure is part of the family now. Just thought of what you said about her jumping off my bed and landing in the hall with eyes like saucers. Anyway, hope this letter is readable. It’s late and the lights are about to go out. It’s Saturday night so I hope I’ll see you on Sunday. Miss you and love you so much,

Your son, Robert

p.s. Give the old girl a treat from me and tell her Robert misses her too.

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