When one lives on the income from their investments, as I do, life is a little tenuous. Sadly financial decisions become more challenging when one does not have a partner to bounce things off on, and where monthly income yo-yos up and down, sometimes dramatically. Last month when I considered on impulse signing up for the French Escapade trip to Provence in May, the first thing I did was to call Rob, my broker, for advice. We’ve been at this management/decision-making task for about twenty years, even though he is much younger than I. At times he feels like a wise old father, at other times like a caring adult son, but most of the time I think of him as a trusted friend. Well, trusted, and caring both. He has guided me through the deaths of my mother, my sister, Lee’s mother, and finally Lee. It’s been a rich and tender relationship for us both, even though we have little in common in the usual sense of things.
As always he listened carefully to all the pros and cons, checked the market, my portfolio and speculated on the economy. Only then did he advise me what to do: “Go for it.” I made the decision the next day, and just yesterday Sandy advised me the final leg was confirmed (2nd class, 4:57 pm-8:11pm TGV train from de Gaulle airport to Avignon, $162.)
The day I made the trip decision Bob advised me thoughtfully how he would juggle things a bit to make all the expenses come out ok.
When I called him two weeks ago to confirm stock arrangements he had hardly any voice, but he assured me it was because of a problem with a stopped up ear; that he felt just fine.
A phone call today at 10:30am from his boss advised me that Rob died this morning at 9:15, in his sleep. Just recently he fulfilled a lifelong ambition to go to Hawaii to learn to snorkel, which he did with his wife and adopted daughter. I guess he too decided to “Go for It.”
Rob has been battling pancreatic cancer ever so bravely for over three years, going in and out of remission. From first diagnosis, Steve Jobs has been an inspiration to him.Last week I was rejoicing that Kodi, my dog, did not have a terminal disease. Suddenly my mood is reversed. My spirit is truly sagging, and it feels like a black cloud moving in on me. The photo above was taken a couple of weeks ago from the deck when a storm was coming in. I hope I can put on a happy face for those coming to my art show this weekend, and if I can’t that they will forgive me for the tears that are currently under all the happy flowers and children I paint.