Surreal these last few hours! Enjoying the solar eclipse with grandsons to reading on Facebook the eclipse exploits of my best friend Bob Libbey. Then night falls and off to bed only to hear a phone ringing in a dream but I answer it and no one is there. Then the phone rings again, again I answer it but no one is there. Then the third time it rings and I hear the message left sound and then I realize I am no longer dreaming the phone calls are real. I am awake and it is Karla Libbey leaving me a message, “when I get this message call her no matter what time”. I call Karla and my thought is don’t tell me something has happened to Bob! Unfortunately, that is exactly what she tells me, I can hear the sobs in her voice, and she advises Bob has passed, taken to the hospital, and she received word from Norma Jean, Bob’s mother. Numb, instantly numb!
I walk out of the bedroom, put my hands on my chair, and let out an expletive! Diana, my stay up late wife, wants to know what is wrong, I tell her we have lost Bob. Bob who she asks, and I reply Bob Libbey! Instantly tears on her part and a hug for me which I remember but do not remember feeling. Then I remember Karla said Susan was alone, my thought process find Susan, call Susan, guess what I don’t have her number but Diana does. Call Susan and she answers asks if she can put me on hold, I said just tell me where you are at coming your way, she is home.
The drive to Susan’s house in the rain is nothing but thoughts, thoughts of the good times with Bob Libbey! The good times of him calling the races, the Platte County Fair, the building of cabinets, the wood working, the time when we stayed with Bob and Karla after our house fire, the announcement of moving away to Phoenix, the NASCAR banquets, the roofing rebuild and him telling me what to do if I fell through the ceiling which he did 5 minutes later, his encouragement to start my own fantasy football league (now up to 3), my table he made me last Christmas, Taco Tuesdays at Margaritas, our Fantasy Football traditions (he flew back for the drafts on Labor Day while in Phoenix), his wedding to Susan and the invite to be best man at 10 P.M. the night before, teaching my youngest son to announce at the age of 13, his wedding to Karla and how we got in trouble for the streamers staining her car, even though I missed this party Baa, Baa, Bob, installing cabinets in the C.A.R.B. Hall of Fame trailer, the C.A.R.B. Banquets he emceed, Wave to your favorite car, your favorite color, your favorite number, your favorite driver, all these thoughts in such a short time, gone. Thanks for the memories.
Meeting with Susan brought back memories of Diana’s Brother-in-Law, Mark Miles, passing at the same age a few years back. We shared memories of Bob, shared memories of his newest passion Pickleball, shared memories of when he first introduced us to Susan, shared memories of Susan’s daughters, shared memories of Susan’s youngest daughter and my niece being best friends. We all three knew Bob’s wishes, cremation after donating his body, and instead of funeral he wanted all his friends and family to meet one last time and share a drink in his honor. Look for an announcement concerning this in the next couple of days. Please everyone in the racing family, pickleball family, train family, woodworking guild, Platte County Fair family, RC Racing Family, when the announcement is made if you can please make it a point to be there! Susan wants to hear the stories, Diana wants to hear the stories, I want to hear the stories! It will be a celebration of Bob Libbey’s Life.
Mike Johnson has been on my case to tell my sons I love them. We Green men just assume it is understood we love each other, but Mike is right, tell each other we love each other. Don’t ever assume. I have been working on it because this just proves life is too short! Everyone mentioned in this article I Love You. Everyone I called starting at 7:15 this morning and continuing throughout the day, I love you. Some of you that did not get a call were on my list, it is just you saw it on Facebook and responded before I called. Life is not forever on this earth. The hardest thing is remembering the last words we said to someone and what we really want to say is Goodbye! I love you transcends time, I love you transcends life, I love you transcends everything, share the love, say it to each other.