Tonight, as I struggle to get a few hours of sleep before a big flight, I'm restless because I can't stop thinking about Bobby.
You see, in high school, I had this amazing group of friends. Our history teacher dubbed us the brat pack, and a brat pack we were. We were this bizarre collection of random ass people. It was me and Michelle (the former yet still attached to the ghetto, latina girls), Eric (our fearless, yet at the time closeted ring leader), Ricky (our resident videographer), Miley (our actress and eccentric), Valerie (our athletic wonder girl), and Arron (our dumb blonde and resident white girl, and I say this only because she would beat me to the punch).
Now each of us came from INCREDIBLY different life circumstances, I mean we should have essentially never been friends. Except we all reveled in our differences, hated high school dramatics, and ultimately loved each other dearly. Our families loved each other too. They invited us all over, spoke to each other at big events and from time to time broke bread together.
We were a community. And because of each other we survived. As adults, though we don't maintain as close contact, we all just need to be in the same room together to really laugh and let go.
Today, I found out that one of our mothers, Arron's mom, Bobby passed away.
I think I spent hours in shock today. I cannot imagine how Arron is feeling. I want to be able to grab her and hug her and let her know that she has family everywhere.
Bobby was without a doubt one of the coolest mom's I have ever met. She was one of those mom's that you could be totally and completely unfiltered with and she would still look at you like she was proud. She gave us all love. I mean huge quantities of it. She carted us around in her car, let us hang out in her living room being obnoxious teenagers. And on random nights of teenage sleepovers, she knew how to balance being a member of the group and being a parent that would let her kids have space. She had the greatest sense of humor and not in that cliche "she was so funny" kinda way. In the, when you were around her you couldn't help but give a full throaty, clutch my belly cause it hurts laugh.
As an adult, I realize now more than ever, how difficult some times in our childhood were for Bobby. So many countless moments that I can reflect on her baring down and trudging through. Yet as kids, we never knew, she never told us. She always had a smile on her face and let us be kids. Which is more than many adults in our lives afforded us.
I have this memory that I've been thinking about all day. I had spent the night at Air's house, Air was in the shower. I was sitting on Arron's bed listening to some awful pop music and Bobby comes in the room. We start chatting and randomly she says to me "Ya'll are such beautiful girls." I laughed it off, really not able to accept compliments that heartfelt at that stage in my life. And she stopped me, she pointed to the bathroom door and said "My girl, she's amazing, I mean crazy and a loon, but she's amazing. And ya'll love so much. I can't wait for ya'll to see. You are both such beautiful girls." It was the first time anyone besides my mom called me beautiful. And I felt it. I felt how much she meant it. I felt it from the top of my awkward teen head to the tip of my toes. I remember blushing and her saying "Oh don't be such a goober, you'll get it some day."
So that's the Bobby I remember, brash, ballsy and fantastic. The first parent I knew who got how important it was to be a kid, a raving lunatic, a girly girl, and a ballsy mo fo from time to time.
Thank you for loving us Bobby. For showing us that it was okay to mess up and start over again. For encouraging us to collect as many mistakes as successes. For unconditionally loving Air enough for two parents. Even from years away, I see the impact that you made on lives. I hope that where ever you are, you are having much peace and a good laugh.
All my love,
The one formerly in pig tails