It was a Saturday, September 27th 2003. We had just returned from our Family vacation and several days on the Farm of Floyd & Loretta Robbins (My Mom & Dad) in Benton City, WA.
As my little family prepared our home for winter and I tended to my two young sons – at 12:38 p.m. I suddenly had the ‘reminder’ to call my Mother to say ‘hello’. I located my cell phone and dialed. My mother had gotten a ‘cold’ the day after we had left their Farm (we’d been home only 4 days), and there was distress in her voice.
I stated my usual cheerful “Hi Mom”… but could tell she wasn’t well. She spoke with Austin and then me. She immediately told me that my Dad was not doing well that he had come in from the barn – which was about 100 yards from the house, he was sweating (which wasn’t unusual in Benton City heat), was pale, and had sat in his recliner chair and yelled at her to bring him some Rolaids (antacids). His chair was located in the living room, she was speaking to me from the kitchen. I asked her to check on him as a chill began to run over me…
She walked to the living room and said to my Dad, “Oh no, oh no, BABY, BABY, NO PLEASE BABY”, as she let out a cry I knew immediately… she stated to me with a desperate cry “He’s Dying”…As she watched the Love of her life slip through her hands. My heart broke as I was too far away to help them… I screamed, “Mom — hang up the phone and call 911 – NOW!”. It was 12:47 p.m. I hung up. I hit the floor in panic and prayer — I ran outside and told Mark to PRAY – NOW – “My Dad is having a heart attack”! My children watched with wide eyes as their Mother hit the floor…
As I prayed, I felt my Dad’s presence with me – I thought that was quite odd. My mother called me back in despair at 12:59 p.m. as the Emergency Aid had not arrived and at one point drove PAST their Farm… as minutes passed I tried to walk her through CPR on the phone, fully knowing that too much time had passed, yet praying for a miracle. Aid arrived at 1:05 p.m. and I hung up again.
A neighbor arrived and began praying with me… I hung on to hope… I prayed “No Jesus, No, Please No”. All the while I could feel my Dad’s presence… I heard very clearly, “It’s OK, I’ve got him – let go”. Again I cried, “No Lord, No”… again I heard, “I’ve got him, let go”… I began to bawl hysterically as I knew in that moment… I must let go. I did.
My Mother called me back and said, “They have his heart beating again, but he’s not breathing on his own”. I told her, “Mom, no, he would not want to live hooked up to machines, we must let him go”. She cried – I cried. We knew. I felt him leave.
This day changed my life drastically in so many ways. My parents had been married for 45 years. Sure they argued now and then, or did not see ‘eye to eye’ on every issue — but their LOVE never faltered. I was blessed to watch this unfold throughout my life. It wasn’t long after my Dad’s death that my mother suddenly took ill with bone cancer. My family and I were there to care for her off/on for the remainder of her life until she passed in 2005. She truly did not know how to live without him.
There is nothing that can prepare you for the chain of events that follow these things… and it is my belief that we do not ‘get over it’, but that we DO ‘heal from it’. I serve a gracious and loving God. I know without any doubt — there will come a day — I will be with those that have gone before me again.
Even now, as I read my Dad’s love letters to my Mother — I am amazed at what they had! Wow! What an example they gave us! Thank you Dad! I miss you so much! Save a dance for me!
Robin R. Robbins – Living Every Day in Gratitude ~~~
Please read: A Tribute to My Dad -10-1-2003 (pdf/download) Written October 1, 2003, I read it at his Celebration of Life:
Floyd A. Robbins Online Obituary: http://www.memorialobituaries.com/memorials/memorials.cgi?action=Obit&memid=109330&clientid=einans
Floyd Austin Robbins Memorial – Obit (pdf/download)
The Music from My Dad’s Celebration of Life Service:
Why She loved him so much – A Love Letter From My Dad to My Mom shortly after my Birth – EXACTLY AS HE HAD WRITTEN IT:
January 18, 1961
Hi Darling, (Robin too!)
Well here is some money for you. Not much but all the Eagle shit this time. Heh, heh. Guess I don’t have to tell you to pinch every half cent of it. You better go over and pay Chuck and Betty for those chickens though as they probally think that we are terds for not coming across at the picnic the other day, but I could care less anyway.
Well how did your modeling deal come off? Did you make a million so we could buy us a cadillac? Ha, Ha. Please don’t think I’m rubbing you wrong dear as I don’t mean it that way. How was Hazel when you saw her? I hope you told them to come see us sometime.
How are my two Dollies? I know that your as sweet as ever and am hoping that the baby is too. I don’t see how she could ever be any other way but you know how it goes sometimes. Say if you answer this right away I’ll get it before we get in Friday. They fly mail in off this tub all the time. How about that?
Well Darling I can’t think of much to say beings I just saw you yesterday so will close for now as I have to send some messages out anyway. Bye Bye Babies……. All my love ever Darling.
p.s. Hi Lover,
I’m on the midwatch… so I figured I might tell you and Robin that I love, love, love you both very very much. I will have the duty Friday so don’t expect me home till Saturday sometime. I’ll call you friday night though ok?
I love you both.