Today is a very sad day. Someone that I have become good friends with over the past year lost his battle with cancer. Those of you that follow me on twitter have probably seen many tweets lately about my friend Bob and the fight for his life. Well, I felt that this site was the best place to express my sadness over this loss and celebrate his life, as music is what brought us together.
I have written before about the Phish twibe. People think it is crazy, but I have become so close with so many people through twitter because of our love for this band. Now that I have met so many of them, it is hard to think of a time before the twibe. If you want to read more about it, check it out here (courtesy of RunawayJim), but the quick version is that we are a group of people who share a love for Phish and tweet to each other about it. Then we meet up at Phish shows and basically become family. Bob was part of my family. I had probably been tweeting with Bob for at least a year before I finally met him this past summer at Summer Camp Music Festival. I spent the weekend with him and several others from the twibe who quickly became some of my best friends.
How do I describe Barefoot Bob? He is like no one I have ever met. He saw the good in everything and was truly a lover of life. And man, did he like to talk. But conversations with Bob were just about the best conversations ever. And he remembered everything you ever told him. The first time I met him I told him about DSMVibe and he immediately became my biggest fan. Not only did he take tons of awesome pictures for me at Summer Camp, but he would call me to talk about how I could make this website better. And whenever I said I couldn’t do something, he would talk my ear off until I was convinced otherwise. And the conversation ended with him wanting to know how he could help me get to where I wanted to be.
You could get Bob talking and tweeting for days about music or sports, but many of us also heard stories about his wife and their two kids. My heart aches with insane sadness for this family. I have never had the pleasure of meeting his wife or kids, but reading the blog that Danelle kept while Bob was sick astounded me at the grace and strength she portrayed. I hope she finds comfort knowing that Bob will be an angel in her life and the lives of their kids.
It is hard to put into words what I am feeling and thinking right now. I am angry. I am sad. I am overwhelmed. It was amazing to read the tweets today with stories about how many lives that Bob has touched, and many from those that had never had the chance to meet him in real life. There are several people that would have never even met each other if it weren’t for Bob. The power of social media is incredible. It is absolutely possible to have strong connections with people you have yet to meet.
I 100% believe that every person you meet comes into your life for a purpose. Some people you have relationships with for years and some for only a brief time, but each person enriches your life in some way. Bob was in my life for only a short time, but he brought so much with him that the power of his spirit is simply awesome. And his spirit will live on for a long, long time. He made me laugh, he gave me courage and support, he sent me files upon files of music. He never made me feel dumb for not knowing everything there is to know about The Dead or Phish. He tried very hard to get me to dig Umphrey’s McGee the way I dig Phish (they are growing on me more and more). But most of all, Robert Eckhart showed me what it means to really live life and to never give up. Just a month ago he was talking about hoping to make it to MSG for the Phish New Year’s run. He never gave up. And neither will I. So Bob, may the good Lord shine a light on you, and make every song you sing your favorite tune.
It is with a truly heavy heart that I say goodbye to a friend today. My heart is broken and aches for his family. Please consider making a donation to the trust set up for his kids. It is our turn to give back to someone that has given us so much.
Peace and love~