Saturday, September 22, 2012

There seems to be a theme........

Yet another beloved person has passed.  This time it was my Uncle Bob, Dad's brother who succumbed to the lung cancer that he had been fighting for about 12 months.  I didn't have a close relationship with Dad, but I adored his brother.  Bob was just the nicest person.
I didn't see him that often, and I didn't ring to talk to him as often as I should have, but I did email him with my own updates, and to let him know when I found various things relating to the LORINGs or the SULLIVANs.  And I thought of him often.
John, Bob and Joan SULLIVAN
 One of my earliest memories is of the time when Joan left to go to England, supposedly for 6 months.  She is still there today, although after 16 years away she did return for a number of holidays.  I clearly remember the day at our house when Joan gave me a celluloid doll.  It was very old and fragile then, it must have been hers, but I don't know its history before that.  This photo of Mum, Dad, Joan, Bob, John, Me and the doll was taken a couple of days before Joan sailed.  I remember the day clearly.  I also remember going to Aunty May's house to take some of Joans belongings down to the ship, and then waving goodbye at Station Pier.  I remember going on to the ship.  And Bob was part of eachof those memories.
Just prior to Joan leaving for England Feb 1958
This photo was taken at an Indian restaurant (Bob and Lin's favoutire) on the occasion of Bob's 70th Birthday.  It is thanks to this event that Bill and I are so keen on Indian food.  The photo of Bob and his boys was taken the same night.
Bob at his 70th Birthday
Bob and his boys at his 70th Birthday

Joan, Bob and Dad at Dad's 80th Birthday
 Another occasion to remember was Dads 80th Birthday at another Indian Restaurant.
In 1982 Bob was still married to his first wife, Bev - and we all got together at Aunty Rene's unit in Rosebud.  The date could even be a little earlier - I have the photo labelled as 1984, but Uncle Newman died in 1982.
The SULLIVANs as they were in 1982(?)
 I have so many memories of Bob.  He had a lovely German Shepherd named King.  He was Bob's companion, because he didn't marry until he was 33.  At one stage Bob was living in a converted garage at the home of some Dutch people.  King lived there too.  One day a friend of the people pulled King's tail, and he reacted and bit the man.  Sadly, the man insisted that King was viscious and must be put down.  King wouldn't hurt a flea!  As kids we used to ride on his back.  I can remember feeling outraged that a silly man could have such a beautiful dog destroyed for something that he had provoked.
Another memory I have is Bob singing a song, and he told me that when he was about 4 he sang it on the radio.  The song was "Little Mister Baggy Britches".  I hadn't thought of this song for years, but as we were driving back from Merimbula so we could go to Bob's funeral it popped into my head out of the blue.  Apparently it has several verses, but I only remember Bob singing the chorus:
CHORUS: Leetle Mister Baggy Breeches, I love you!
If you'll be mine Sunday fellow,
I'll patch 'em mit purple, mit pink and mit yellow;
And folks will say as you lean on the old sea wall,
"Lena's been patching her Yahcob till he's got no breeches at all."

Yah! Yah! Yah! Patches big, patches small.
Yah! Yah! Yah! He's got no breeches at all.

I found this link to a Youtube Video:

I remember that Bob liked to put jam on cheese in a sandwich.
When I was 15, Bob (and his then wife Bev) gave me the best birthday present ever - a new cousin.  My Dad and his brother had both had their first children on the same date, 15 years apart.
I was saddened when Bob and Bev separated, but he was so happy when he met his second wife, Lin.  I was proud to be one of a select few people who were at Bob and Lin's wedding.  If I remember rightly, I was also a witness.  Maybe someone will correct me if I am wrong.
Every year, without fail, Bob would ring me on my birthday.  I know this year I was so afraid he wouldn't be well enough  to ring, or even think of it.  But sure enough, the phone call came.  I was so happy.  He sounded cheerful, and full of spirit.  I told him we were planning a visit.  Little did I know it would be the last time I spoke to him.  I will be forever grateful that my last words to him were "I love you".
I love you Bob, and always will.  You will never be forgotten.