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bawstngrl
05-04-2008, 09:11 AM
My husband, Robert, wanted me to share some words with you because he regretfully couldn’t be here today.

“My introduction to Bob wasn't exactly what you would call smooth. I had to call Florida and speak with someone to explain that Erin (his daughter) was in a car accident, but was ok. Seems noble enough, however when a man picked up the phone instead of Erin's mom I sort of panicked and simply said, "Who's this?" to which the voice answered back, "You called me, who's this?"
Then I got on with my story and explained that I was Erin's NEW boyfriend, and she flipped her car six times, but she's ok.

From that start, however, I got to know more of Bob through Erin's stories of him being very strict, but very encouraging, and how he was always there for her and her brothers. When we met face to face, it was another rocky start. Erin and I had to explain that we were starting a family. Bob was sure to let me know he was less than thrilled. But as we all know he loved my boys, and my boys loved Puppa.

From these beginnings, a new bond was forming. It started as he and I just busting on each other. But after a short while we were taking little adventures whenever we were around each other. A few that come to mind are: in NJ, near my home, and he had to have the Arizona Stress Tea. We went to every store I could think of until we found it, making sure to harass every store employee without Stress Tea along the way. When we finally found some, Bob bought every bottle in sight stating, "I don't want to go through that again."

When we moved to Florida for a short time, he and I spent 20 hours straight, unshowered in the truck together. I won't really go into detail on that, but he knows what I mean.

Our last adventure was to Kennedy Space Center last summer. Like his grown obsession for Disney, his childhood obsession was rockets and the space program. Once again, a kid in a candy store.

Bob Varley was more than a father-in-law, more than a mentor, even more than a friend. I was honored to be a part of his life and honored to have earned the designation of his "favorite son-in-law" (by default, but who's counting?). Bob will always be a part of me, and forever in my heart and mind as the first thing I think of when I see anything having to do with Disney.
You're the famous one, Bob.
Love you always,
Your Favorite Son-In-Law
Rob Shirhall”

Some of you may only have known Bob from recent years in Florida. I wanted to take a minute to share with you the Bob that I knew, the Bob that became a father to me when I was four, and influenced me to become much of the woman I am now.

1. He was a phenomenal athlete before he hurt his ankle. He helped his high school cross country team to 2 state titles. He could hit a softball like Papi hits baseballs. He coached Matt in midget football. He was a former Little League baseball president.
2. In Mansfield, he was the president of local cable access for several years.
3. He taught Matt, Brian, and I to build and launch model rockets. He and I made a rocket R2D2. Sadly R2D2 exploded into tiny pieces at about 10 feet in the air.
4. He made the best Boston baked beans.
5. He took us camping every summer since I met him.
6. He could cook a rotisserie turkey over a campfire… if you could wait until midnight to eat it.
7. He and mom never took a vacation without us… until we were grown ups.
8. He got the chicken pox at age 30-something. They were not nice to him. If you haven’t had them, get vaccinated!
9. He made us clean up our messes… but never cleaned up his.
10. Orange was his favorite color.
11. Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch were his favorite cereals. If he caught you eating them, you’d be sorry.
12. He loved hot air balloons.
13. He had no trouble hollering at people (speeding cars, bullies, litterers, boyfriends who beeped the horn out front instead of coming to the door) to stand up for justice.
14. He sneezed upwards of three times to signal to his dinner party that he was full… finally.
15. He never called “his boys” (Brian, Rob, Gavin, or Mason) by their names unless they were in trouble. He called them all “Buddy”.
16. He regularly drag-raced the kahts with Matt, Brian, and Rob up and down the neighborhood.
17. He could engineer a discount on a discount on a discount on any item he wanted to buy… if he couldn’t just get it free altogether.
18. He taught us to reach for the moon, knowing we could reach it (not just hit the stars if we missed, like the saying goes).

I want to leave you with one more message. If you are here today, you undoubtedly have been wrestling with grief, shock, maybe even anger. For me, the stress of this week’s events have had me on a roller coaster… not exactly the happy kind you’d find at DisneyWorld.

Believe it or not, over the years, Bob struggled to manage his tightly-wound personality. He stressed out easily, usually because he had to deal with a drama-queen of a teenage daughter. It took me 18 years to learn not to battle head-to-head with Bob because the exchange of words back and forth only made the situation worse. Since Bob was usually right about things, I did eventually learn to nod my head, and say, “Ok, Dad.”

As I poured through the drawers of my house, looking for pictures of Bob to share with friends and family this weekend, I came across that Bob had given to me after one of these confrontations. I have no idea what the problem was about, but I think you’ll agree that he found exactly the right words for handling how we are all feeling right now.

The card states:
“All stressed out?
Sometimes it helps to think of happy scenes.
Maybe a pastoral field…
A field with a babbling brook.
You’re there on a lovely summer day…
Holding someone’s head under the water…
Now you’re letting them up for a second…
Then BLAM!
Back into the freezing water
Over and over again…

There,
Feel better?”
Bob had written, “I do. Sorry about last night. Love O.T.” ( edited:his old CB handle, Orange Tornado)

I hope you all remember to laugh with the happy memories of Bob as you deal with his sudden departure.

I will always love him as a daughter loves her father, and I know he will always be with me. Afterall, he is a huge part of who I am.

beachwarmer
05-04-2008, 09:30 AM
Thank you for sharing.
:grouphug:

TSWJan78
05-04-2008, 09:42 AM
Thank you so much for sharing... you all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers

Allison
05-04-2008, 09:43 AM
Thank you.

cocowum
05-04-2008, 09:58 AM
:hug:

checkwriter
05-04-2008, 10:03 AM
Those were both wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. With two teen daughters, I'm going to keep that card in mind . . . . :goodvibes

teacherbell
05-04-2008, 10:16 AM
A father's love is hard to beat. Thanks for sharing your memories.

farmergirl
05-04-2008, 10:21 AM
Thank you so much for sharing those beautiful pieces with us. You all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. We think of you often.

daneenm
05-04-2008, 11:11 AM
These were such nice memories. thank you SO much for sharing them with us!

--Daneen

Pinky166
05-04-2008, 11:11 AM
Thank you for sharing with us. It helps those of us who were not able to be with you all yesterday. :grouphug:

kimbac3
05-04-2008, 11:21 AM
Thank you for sharing that. It was very sweet.:hug:

Kim

skuttle
05-04-2008, 11:33 AM
Thanks for sharing. :hug:

CinderellasSister
05-04-2008, 11:45 AM
What touching words from you both. Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us all. May your memories give you strength through this difficult time.

elemusing
05-04-2008, 11:46 AM
Thank you so much for sharing with us.

*NikkiBell*
05-04-2008, 12:02 PM
Thank you for letting us hear that.

parrotheadlois
05-04-2008, 12:18 PM
:hug:

thank you - I hope your Mom is ok too.

wdwscout
05-04-2008, 01:04 PM
Thank you.

bettyann29
05-04-2008, 01:10 PM
Thank you for sharing that.. :hug:

macheath
05-04-2008, 01:14 PM
Thank you for allowing us to hear your wonderful words...:hug:

LovesThumper
05-04-2008, 01:29 PM
What a beautiful way to be remembered. Thank you for taking time to let us know Bob a little better.

O2BNWDW
05-04-2008, 01:48 PM
Thank you for sharing that with us.

Annette_VA
05-04-2008, 03:16 PM
Thank you for sharing that with us and helping us to know Bob a bit more :hug:

DVCsince02
05-04-2008, 03:36 PM
Thank you for sharing your memories with us. (((hugs)))

mickeyluvr004
05-04-2008, 03:47 PM
My husband, Robert, wanted me to share some words with you because he regretfully couldn’t be here today.

“My introduction to Bob wasn't exactly what you would call smooth. I had to call Florida and speak with someone to explain that Erin (his daughter) was in a car accident, but was ok. Seems noble enough, however when a man picked up the phone instead of Erin's mom I sort of panicked and simply said, "Who's this?" to which the voice answered back, "You called me, who's this?"
Then I got on with my story and explained that I was Erin's NEW boyfriend, and she flipped her car six times, but she's ok.

From that start, however, I got to know more of Bob through Erin's stories of him being very strict, but very encouraging, and how he was always there for her and her brothers. When we met face to face, it was another rocky start. Erin and I had to explain that we were starting a family. Bob was sure to let me know he was less than thrilled. But as we all know he loved my boys, and my boys loved Puppa.

From these beginnings, a new bond was forming. It started as he and I just busting on each other. But after a short while we were taking little adventures whenever we were around each other. A few that come to mind are: in NJ, near my home, and he had to have the Arizona Stress Tea. We went to every store I could think of until we found it, making sure to harass every store employee without Stress Tea along the way. When we finally found some, Bob bought every bottle in sight stating, "I don't want to go through that again."

When we moved to Florida for a short time, he and I spent 20 hours straight, unshowered in the truck together. I won't really go into detail on that, but he knows what I mean.

Our last adventure was to Kennedy Space Center last summer. Like his grown obsession for Disney, his childhood obsession was rockets and the space program. Once again, a kid in a candy store.

Bob Varley was more than a father-in-law, more than a mentor, even more than a friend. I was honored to be a part of his life and honored to have earned the designation of his "favorite son-in-law" (by default, but who's counting?). Bob will always be a part of me, and forever in my heart and mind as the first thing I think of when I see anything having to do with Disney.
You're the famous one, Bob.
Love you always,
Your Favorite Son-In-Law
Rob Shirhall”

Some of you may only have known Bob from recent years in Florida. I wanted to take a minute to share with you the Bob that I knew, the Bob that became a father to me when I was four, and influenced me to become much of the woman I am now.

1. He was a phenomenal athlete before he hurt his ankle. He helped his high school cross country team to 2 state titles. He could hit a softball like Papi hits baseballs. He coached Matt in midget football. He was a former Little League baseball president.
2. In Mansfield, he was the president of local cable access for several years.
3. He taught Matt, Brian, and I to build and launch model rockets. He and I made a rocket R2D2. Sadly R2D2 exploded into tiny pieces at about 10 feet in the air.
4. He made the best Boston baked beans.
5. He took us camping every summer since I met him.
6. He could cook a rotisserie turkey over a campfire… if you could wait until midnight to eat it.
7. He and mom never took a vacation without us… until we were grown ups.
8. He got the chicken pox at age 30-something. They were not nice to him. If you haven’t had them, get vaccinated!
9. He made us clean up our messes… but never cleaned up his.
10. Orange was his favorite color.
11. Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch were his favorite cereals. If he caught you eating them, you’d be sorry.
12. He loved hot air balloons.
13. He had no trouble hollering at people (speeding cars, bullies, litterers, boyfriends who beeped the horn out front instead of coming to the door) to stand up for justice.
14. He sneezed upwards of three times to signal to his dinner party that he was full… finally.
15. He never called “his boys” (Brian, Rob, Gavin, or Mason) by their names unless they were in trouble. He called them all “Buddy”.
16. He regularly drag-raced the kahts with Matt, Brian, and Rob up and down the neighborhood.
17. He could engineer a discount on a discount on a discount on any item he wanted to buy… if he couldn’t just get it free altogether.
18. He taught us to reach for the moon, knowing we could reach it (not just hit the stars if we missed, like the saying goes).

I want to leave you with one more message. If you are here today, you undoubtedly have been wrestling with grief, shock, maybe even anger. For me, the stress of this week’s events have had me on a roller coaster… not exactly the happy kind you’d find at DisneyWorld.

Believe it or not, over the years, Bob struggled to manage his tightly-wound personality. He stressed out easily, usually because he had to deal with a drama-queen of a teenage daughter. It took me 18 years to learn not to battle head-to-head with Bob because the exchange of words back and forth only made the situation worse. Since Bob was usually right about things, I did eventually learn to nod my head, and say, “Ok, Dad.”

As I poured through the drawers of my house, looking for pictures of Bob to share with friends and family this weekend, I came across that Bob had given to me after one of these confrontations. I have no idea what the problem was about, but I think you’ll agree that he found exactly the right words for handling how we are all feeling right now.

The card states:
“All stressed out?
Sometimes it helps to think of happy scenes.
Maybe a pastoral field…
A field with a babbling brook.
You’re there on a lovely summer day…
Holding someone’s head under the water…
Now you’re letting them up for a second…
Then BLAM!
Back into the freezing water
Over and over again…

There,
Feel better?”
Bob had written, “I do. Sorry about last night. Love O.T.” ( edited:his old CB handle, Orange Tornado)

I hope you all remember to laugh with the happy memories of Bob as you deal with his sudden departure.

I will always love him as a daughter loves her father, and I know he will always be with me. Afterall, he is a huge part of who I am.

Hi Erin, My condolences to your family i had to add that boy this sure reminds me of my father whom we lost 3 years ago :sad1: but i want to thank you for making me laugh and remember my father who so much resembled my dad same personality, as a child we couldnt go anywhere without running into someone he knew and he always made friends anywhere he went, as the saying goes only the good die young my father was 62 and i miss him everyday i think about him all the time and i wanted to say remember all the great times you had and he is most certain at disney as we speak he will always be around all of you and if you need a friend to talk to pm me and i would love to talk take care debbie

LilGMom
05-04-2008, 04:04 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this. :hug:

figment13
05-04-2008, 04:05 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time during your grief to share your beautiful thoughts. I talked to your father on many occacisions on the telephone as he always helped me get the best deal on trips to the world.
He was a wonderful caring man. He will be missed by all.

disneycruise05
05-04-2008, 04:34 PM
Thank you for sharing these memories. Your father was a great man. We're certainly going to miss him. :hug:

IWISHFORDISNEY
05-04-2008, 05:55 PM
Thank you for sharing and letting us see the Bob you knew. :hug:

miss missy
05-04-2008, 05:57 PM
Awe that was just precious! thanks for sharing that, you all are treating us so well knowing we want to be there. Thanks so much for that.

Cyrano
05-04-2008, 05:57 PM
Thank you for sharing :goodvibes

DisDarling
05-04-2008, 06:36 PM
Thanks so much for sharing. :goodvibes

Amy

dpuck1998
05-04-2008, 06:43 PM
Thanks for taking time to share with people you may not know but share a deep caring for the same person.

cruisinpenguin
05-04-2008, 10:14 PM
Thank you for sharing about your Dad. My best to you and your family.