Bobby’s Heavenly 33rd Birthday – “Looking Back”


Birthday in Heaven

Today, April 14, 2017, is Bobby’s Heavenly 33rd Birthday. Our only son. I miss him being here on earth. Heaven seems so far away. I can’t visit there. If I’d go, I’d have to stay. God’s not ready for me yet. 

My thoughts….

I – “The Hardest Day”

Bobby lost his life on May 31, 2013, trying to save others. He died a beloved hero.

Bobby loved his job as a firefighter. He knew the risks, and he went for it anyway. He always had a servants heart and he was a very hard worker. He survived 2 tours of duty in Iraq before coming home to become a firefighter. It seems unfair to have survived a war in a foreign land, and to come back home to be taken, in the end, by a deadly hotel fire. 

II – “Siblings”

Bobby was the only boy amongst our 3 girls (plus myself), and he always felt outnumbered. Well, he was! But if any one of his sisters ever really needed something, he was there for them. They might have knock down drag out fights, but when it counted most, he was there for them. 

Lauren was 10 years younger than Bobby. He thought she was SOOOO cute. He loved it when she said and did silly things. He got such a kick out of her. I would tell him not to laugh if she said a bad word, or got certain phrases wrong (ie. New York Yankers), but he could not help himself. He was only 10, and at 10 years old, I guess that was funny to him. The more I told him not to encourage her by laughing, the funnier it became to him. I get it. I too have a younger sibling. What goes around, comes around, so don’t make fun of your siblings. 🙂

Bobby had a close relationship with Liz.They were only 18 months apart. She would draw the line with him, and he knew not to cross it. He tried it – once. He never tried that again. When she “set a boundary”, she meant it, and he knew it. Their bedrooms shared a wall. At night, I would hear them knocking on the wall from one bedroom to the other. As it turned out, they were “talking in code”. They had a special code word for goodnight. So sweet. We still use that word today. 

As children, Bobby had sort of a love/hate relationship with Nicole. She was 6 years older than he. She had to babysit him a lot because I was a single mom and I couldn’t be everywhere at once. When he got upset with her, he would yell at her, “You’re not the boss of me!” He gave her a very hard time when she needed to correct him because, well, she wasn’t his mom. But when Nicole needed some money for college, he gave her all he had – $50. No one asked him to do that, he just did. It was his heart, and she was in it.

III – “Math Whiz”

Bobby knew the value of a dollar and he worked very hard at saving. He was the only one of the kids who was able to save his money. When the girls were broke (almost always), they visited the “Bank of Bobby.” He gladly gave them a lone, but only if a proper interest rate was negotiated in advance. 😉 Smart boy.

Bobby was good at math even as a little boy. As I’ve mentioned before, when he was 6 years old, and I was trying to divvy up lunch money in the morning for the 3 of them (amidst all of the chaos), he would quickly take charge of all the coins laid out on the bed, and divide them into thirds quicker than I could blink. He never had trouble with his “math facts”. Never.

IV – “Reconciliation” 

Even though Bobby struggled with different things and with us parents as many teens do, I always knew he loved me. He would slip notes under my bedroom door a lot of times to say “I’m sorry” for misbehaving, and to say that he loved me. I would tell him that I forgive him, and we’d work out what he could do differently next time. Although it was difficult at the time, I treasure those sweet notes now more than ever before. 

IV – “Goodnight Sweetheart

At bedtime, when Bobby was about 14, I would say goodnight to Bobby and send him off to bed. A few minutes later my bedroom door would crack open. There was Bobby with his head poked through the crack, smiling, and singing to me – “Goodnight  sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrre!” He had a very good singing voice. I would say, “Goodnight”. A few minutes later, he was back – “Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrrre!” Me: “Goodnight Bobby.” Just as I was falling off to sleep, he was back – “Goodnight sweetheart goodnight wherever you arrrrrre!” Me: “Goodnight Bobby! Go to bed!” Bobby: “Ok, goodnight. Love you.” Me: “Love you too Bobby.” ❤

V – “Looking Back”

I love looking back and seeing that picture in my mind of Bobby poking his head in my bedroom doorway and singing. I wish those would have been the days of “selfies”. I still remember what Bobby’s voice sounded like at 14. You know, that age where a teen boy’s voice gets crackly and deeper? That was it. It still makes me smile. It’s one of my favorite memories of him.

At the time of Bobby’s serenades, in a very rowdy household (4 teens and a blended family), all I wanted him to do was go to bed so I could get some sleep for another rowdy day. But look now, how special it is, that God left me with some of the best memories of him ever. There are more, but this is all for now.

VI – “Love You Forever”

Now I say to Bobby, “Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrrre!” 🎶 

Happy Birthday in Heaven my sweet boy.  🚒 💙🇺🇸 Sadness over the loss of you is here to stay, but my memories of you will never go away.


“When the Children Were Little” – The Banana Suit Man



I am reminded me of the time when the kids were little and we were driving around Montrose where we had just moved to from Spring.

In Houston, TX, the town of Spring back then was pretty redneck (as we say in Southeast TX), and Montrose was widely known for being pretty much a gay community.

I decided to move there from Spring because I worked at Exxon downtown, and driving 3 hours a day was killing my back. This way, I was only 1 mile from my job. As you can imagine, it was quite a culture shock for the children especially.

So, one day while we were driving down Montrose Blvd., I looked at the kids and said, “So is everyone liking it here better now?” Liz (10 years old) said, “Mom, there is a man standing on the corner in a banana costume, and you ask us that question”? I said, “Ok never mind. I guess I’ll ask again in a couple of months.”

I tried to contain it, but I laughed. Yes I hate to say it, but I COULDN’T HELP IT!  It was SO funny for her little self to say that to me. Poor little things.  I’m certain that in their little minds that they thought mommy had lost hers.


“OCD” Mom


Instantly Cured

Oh my. If you are OCD, and longing for the day when your child begins to “clean like you do”…..I hate to burst your bubble – but let me just go ahead and warn you now.

Back in the day, when I was a single mom of 3 children, I used to be like that (completely OCD about housecleaning/organizing, etc.), and it drove my kids crazy. It was to the point that we literally ended up bickering our way through several therapy sessions ($$$) over it.

Woman working from home, three kids playing in background

The children (all under 12) told the therapist how I was “driving them crazy” with constant housecleaning, and harassing them to do the same. After all, these little “apples” did fall from my tree!

Nevertheless, one day, my precious middle child was invited to be on the 6 o’clock news to be interviewed for getting a Big Sister with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. When the news anchor asked her what she likes to do for fun, THIS is what she told the entire viewing audience of Houston, Texas (in her sweetest most innocent little girl voice): “We don’t have a lot of things to do because we’re usually so busy cleaning house.” 😦

Surely, feeling like they had misunderstood her, they asked a SECOND time to clarify. And the second time, she said the exact same thing AGAIN!!!

I was INSTANTLY cured of MY problem :/