Ken and I adopted our sons from S. Korea over a 14-month period, and we got busy. I didn't visit Chicago as much, but was thrilled to show off our beautiful sons to our Chicago friends when we could. Since Robert and Pam's daughter Hannah was the same age as our two boys, getting together with them worked perfectly when we did visit Chicago. Pam was getting a graduate degree, and Robert was usually with Hannah when they would come to Stephen and Danusia's house.
I LOVED seeing Robert with Hannah and my sons! Robert, after all, was the 'old timer' parent - he had Matthew and Rebecca before our other three, and really had some practical advice.
Pamela graduated, and appeared more with Hannah. I was thrilled that she was on the same wave-length as me and changing their life to a cleaner/simpler earth-wise format. She shared her new cooking methods and new books she was reading with me, and I shared my new love of Feng Shui with her and Robert. All along, Robert was an interested and active participant as he was the stay-at-home parent while Pam worked on her career. I often thought "I want Pam's Life!" as she got to pursue her career dream and Robert did the majority of child care. Robert and I shared laundry tips, housekeeping issues and solutions and home remodel/repair angst.
Then Hannah found a niche - gymnastics! This young lady has a gift from God - her gymnastics ability. I believe she placed 8th on floor exercises in the Junior Olympics last year! Robert and Pam were amazed and humbled by Hannah's abilities. And, unbelievably, were not the typical 'stage parents' - I had to pry Hannah stories out of them.
This past summer, we made it to Chicago twice - me in June for my Godson Peter's high school graduation. I saw Robert and Pam only once as it was a 3 day trip. Luckily the boys and I went to Chicago again in August, and we spent a lot of time with Robert, Pam and Hannah.
Robert's son Matthew spent a good bit of time with us at the lake house and also on a sailing trip. Robert was so delighted in how great Matthew was turning out - in college, centered, and growing into a very good man. ""Any parent would be proud of a guy like Matthew" "He and Hannah are the light of my life" "Matthew is like a 30 year old in a 20 year old's body" and so many great things were expressed by Robert about his children. Stephen, Danusia and I kept Hannah overnight a few times during the August trip to help keep Parker and Ryan entertained. She had a Nintendo DS! She's athletic! For gosh sake, that girl is WORLDLY! The boys were in love with such a great 'cousin'. In fact, I told Parker Tuesday night that Robert had died. He cried and said "Oh, poor Hannah! She is gonna miss that daddy, Mom!" I held him and said "Yes, we will have to be extra kind to Hannah when we see her." The first thing Parker said to Ryan when they got up the next morning and Parker crawled into bed with Ryan and me (Ryan always gets up first and crawls in bed with us) was "Ryan, you know Hannah, that girl with the DS in Chicago? Her daddy died yesterday." Ryan said "Oh gosh, that it awful. That poor girl. Are we going to Chicago, Mom?" I said I didn't know.
Stephen, Robert and I went out to dinner at Carnivale and I maybe had the best dinner in recent memory. Robert was so fun at that dinner. We shared some stories and he planned a winter trip to bring Pam and Hannah to see us in Colorado. You were going to visit us! You promised!
Robert, I am so astonished - you had never looked better or happier in your life the last time I saw you. You had a great life. You gave it up.
The priest says your death is the very definition of someone stepping outside of themselves, being 'beside themselves with anguish'. Never in a million years did anyone of us see it coming. I will never understand why you killed yourself. I just hope your wife and children can forgive you one day. I don't know if I can.