1. bawstngrl

    bawstngrl learning my way around the Dis

    Apr 2, 2008
    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…

    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.
  2. beachwarmer

    beachwarmer <font color=deeppink>Thanks very much for the extr

    May 12, 2000
    Thank you for sharing.
  3. TSWJan78

    TSWJan78 NE DIva Approved Advertiser

    May 29, 2002
    Thank you so much for sharing... you all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers
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  5. Allison

    Allison DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2005
    Thank you.
  6. cocowum

    cocowum <marquee><font color=deeppink>Have <img src=http:/

    Mar 3, 2004
  7. checkwriter

    checkwriter DIS Veteran

    Oct 9, 2002
    Those were both wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. With two teen daughters, I'm going to keep that card in mind . . . . :goodvibes
  8. teacherbell

    teacherbell DW of artman

    Nov 18, 2007
    A father's love is hard to beat. Thanks for sharing your memories.
  9. farmergirl

    farmergirl DIS Veteran

    Jul 16, 2007
    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.
  10. daneenm

    daneenm Just call me Pollyanna ...

    Apr 13, 2007
    These were such nice memories. thank you SO much for sharing them with us!

  11. Pinky166

    Pinky166 <font color=deeppink>a little on the OCD side<br><

    Feb 6, 2008
    Thank you for sharing with us. It helps those of us who were not able to be with you all yesterday. :grouphug:
  12. kimbac3

    kimbac3 <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

    Jul 29, 2003
    Thank you for sharing that. It was very sweet.:hug:

  13. skuttle

    skuttle Counting the days until our next trip! Nov. 2016!

    Apr 23, 2000
    Thanks for sharing. :hug:
  14. CinderellasSister

    CinderellasSister DIS Veteran

    Jul 16, 2006
    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.
  15. elemusing

    elemusing <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    Jan 22, 2001
    Thank you so much for sharing with us.
  16. *NikkiBell*

    *NikkiBell* The WDW Merchandise Walking Bible Moderator

    Jun 27, 2005
    Thank you for letting us hear that.
  17. parrotheadlois

    parrotheadlois DIS Veteran

    Sep 30, 2001

    thank you - I hope your Mom is ok too.
  18. wdwscout

    wdwscout <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

    Jan 9, 2007
    Thank you.
  19. bettyann29

    bettyann29 <font color=blue>Heres my contribution for today..

    Dec 30, 2003
    Thank you for sharing that.. :hug:
  20. macheath

    macheath Got Dole Whip? No, really. Get me one and no one

    Apr 10, 2008
    Thank you for allowing us to hear your wonderful words...:hug:
  21. LovesThumper

    LovesThumper Mouseketeer

    Jul 4, 2000
    What a beautiful way to be remembered. Thank you for taking time to let us know Bob a little better.

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