Two days after Rob's accident I was walking home from dropping Josiah off at school. The words below flooded me and I wrote them down when I got home. I knew I had to speak at Rob's memorial service. I want to share this here, not only because several people who couldn't be at the service have asked about what I said, but also because I simply want to honor him and the man that he was to me. I want others to know the Hope I have, and where I place my trust.
My Dearest Rob,
In the past week I have been brought to the lowest, deepest, most unimaginable depths of heartache. But had I not been brought to this place, I likewise would never have known the rushing rivers and unmapped depths of love our sweet heavenly Father has toward me. In one moment you were running, and in the next you were experiencing a glory that has no words. Yet even still, in the midst of that heavenly glory in which you now exist, I know you never would have chosen for me to walk this road I'm now on.
I didn't always honor you the best in this life. I didn't always attentively listen to the words you had to say. I didn't linger in a moment the way you always did. Every single time I left the house to go run, go to the store, go anywhere, you and Josiah would race out to the car and see who could kiss me goodbye first. You always let Josiah win so he'd be happy and run back inside. And then you'd linger. You'd kiss me, I'd pull back because I was ready to leave, then you'd pull me back in and say "Just one more!" And you'd linger. I wish I'd lingered one extra second before you walked out that door for your run. It might have made all the difference.
I can almost hear your voice right now telling me not to entertain that regret. You would tell me how proud you are. You would hug me tight and tell me that no one else on this earth could have loved you better than I did.
All this week I have been telling stories about you with friends and family. You had such goofy things to say sometimes. Just last week you joked that I only wanted you for your money. And I said yep, you're just my sugar daddy. To which you replied, Well, I'm more like high fructose corn syrup since I don't make much money. I wish more people knew how witty you could be.
I'm going to miss my gym partner. I'm going to miss giving you a hard time about everything. I'm going to miss trying to prove I could be as strong as you. I'm going to miss counting all of the bad drivers we encountered on every single drive, and every single run. How could I have known it would be one of those drivers who would take your life?
Rob, I want you to know I forgive that man. You would never want me to carry a burden of hatred and anger. And so I forgive him. He has to live with what he's done. But I hope that he is able to know the depths of God's gift of grace and forgiveness. I'm so grateful that gift is not restricted to anyone, and I hope that one day you will be able to hug as brothers as you experience the eternal glory of God.
There is no doubt you will be missed. I will ache. I will weep. I will groan with loneliness. But I will have hope that this isn't the end. This story is far from over. It is only just the beginning. Until I see you again in eternity, I will linger longer in these precious, God-given moments I still have in this life. I won't take them for granted ever again.
I love you, Captain.