Bobby overcame odds all his life.. .
When he was born with more than his fair share of health defects, doctors suggested to his mother that she should just put him in a home, walk away and forget about him. His mother refused to give in to the doom and gloom predictions and slowly but surely the little guy responded to her steadfast love and tender nurturing..
They said he would never walk, but he did..
They said he would never talk, but he did. Oh boy, did he talk!.
He just did things a month or two later than most children...
He grew into an energetic, gregarious bundle of joy for his mother and everyone who came in contact with him. Granted, he had health problems -- mother and son beating a well-worn path to doctors and specialists at Sick Children's Hospital and Crippled Kids in Toronto -- but that did not slow him down a bit, any more than the hearing aids he was required to wear and troublesome unannounced epileptic seizures that increased in frequency as time wore on. "On our way home from hospital each time I would just hold him tight, so thankful that he was not as bad as the other kids that we had seen there," comments Rosanne in reflection.
Bob loved Superman, Spiderman, hockey, soccer and McDonalds hamburgers. His two-wheeler bike was his prized possession. One day he was gone from the apartment for an extended period and when he finally rushed through the door, his face beet red and sweat dripping from his face, his anxious mother asked, "Bob, what have you been doing?".
"I was doing wheelies (on his bike) in the parking lot, mom," was his matter of fact reply.
Living close to the Bramalea City Centre in Brampton, he frequented the mall with his friends after school. Clerks in almost every store knew him by name, likewise he was everyone's buddy in the apartment building where he and his mother lived. It was like he was his own goodwill ambassador. His mom would meet people she did not know in the elevator and in the hallways and invariably they would respond to her by saying, "Oh, you're Bobby's mother."
Always happy and with a big smile on his face, Bob never knew hate, anger or bigotry. He was unspoiled and innocent. He was his mother's son.
He was integrated into the public school system, played floor hockey, minor soccer and was a member of the Wolf Cubs...All normal and natural activities for a young pre-teen lad in the 1970s. He was the apple of his grandparents' eye and he looked forward to frequent visits with his Uncle John, Auntie Jane and their three sons, Paul, Ryan and Sean..
As a single mother, Rosanne made sacrifices almost daily in order to provide the necessities of life for a growing son. When there was not enough food in the home, she did not eat so that Bob could, peanut butter sandwiches being a staple. She slept lightly at night so she could respond quickly should he cry out. Bob always came first. She never tired. In truth, they needed each other. Two peas in a pod..
Sadly, health complications mounted for Bob in his early teens and out of necessity he spent the balance of his life in an extended care environment, removed for the most part from the mother who refused to give up on him at birth and with whom he had an everlasting bond. For those who loved him, the past 20 years are a blur -- private and not to dwell on..
Bob passed away recently, 14 days shy of his 40th birthday. If there is a deck of cards in Heaven, he is sure to be playing a hand at this very moment with his beloved Gzi Gzi (Ukrainian for grandfather) while a dauting Baba (grandmother) sits nearby offering encouragement, as she always did.
Rosanne meantime, smiles through tears as she repeatedly replays the precious first 14 years of her Bobby's life. He brought joy then, and he brings joy now.
Rest well young man. Rest well!