To Bob


To Bob -

In life, all who knew you well would attest – that –

right or wrong – you did what you thought best.

You were stubborn, determined, and right to the end, you were my lover – my headache – my friend.   

You had all my love and I know that you knew- my heart would be broken were I to lose you.

You were brave, so courageous, with courage so strong, but no one could fix all the things that went wrong

You were such a good sport when things got so rough, but the day finally came when enough was enough

The food and the shelter I so gladly shared were to me just a token of the way that I cared

But to you, after years of paying your way, were painful reminders of life gone astray.

You were good at your job, but as any proud man, when your earning power ended, your dying began

Although you spoke often of using that gun; we discussed and we argued and I thought I had won.

Your answer to all of my ifs, ands or buts was to say, “Oh, don’t worry, I don’t have the guts.”

And now in these weeks since you left me behind, I’ve gone over and over those days in my mind --

To find the one moment that might have been changed, your actions to alter, your plans rearrange

You were so tired of hurting and fighting and trying that the only way out, as you saw it, was dying.

If only you’d known of the void you would leave – how friends you thought had forgotten would grieve –

“I had no idea he was feeling so bad”

“He said ‘let’s get together’, I wish now we had”

“If only I’d known he was feeling so lonely!”

“If only I’d called him” …..  if only …… if only…..

But all those ‘if only’s’ cannot change the fact that you carried it out, that unspeakable act

Of your death, as your life, you have taken control, and may God understand, and be kind to your soul?

I will see you again, this I am certain of

I forgive you – I miss you – You still are my love.

~Jeri Livingstone – September, 1987