I first met Bob when I was in high school, since his son Mike and I were good friends. Bob and Betty always welcomed me – and all Mike’s friends – into their home, despite the fact we were literally the Ugly Americans. Imagine the cast of Clerks, without the manners.
Nevertheless, the Fischers treated us like family.
When Leanne was in college, she and I started dating. I was fairly confident I wasn’t good enough for her, but Bob always made me feel like I was the perfect match. After our wedding, Bob and Betty hosted an after-reception party in their home, and in the twenty-one years which followed, Bob has been the perfect father-in-law. He did nearly all our minor home fixes, electrical work, and most importantly, our taxes; none of which are my strengths.
We spent most major holiday dinners at my in-law’s home, and after such diners Bob and Betty would hand Leanne and Mike checks out of the blue. “Put it toward the kids’ tuition, or vacation, etc.” It was unnecessary, but Bob felt otherwise. A true throwback, he was the son of German immigrants, and always wanted his children and their families to have it easier than he did. He succeeded.
Cancer is a despicable disease. I’ve lost friends and family to its curse, and watching Bob’s fight was painful for all of us. He seemed to be fighting back, then it was “day-to-day,” and just like that, gone. I take some comfort in the fact Bob was surrounded by loved ones – Betty and Leanne – when he passed.
I was tasked with informing the kids of Bob’s passing, as Leanne was at my in-law’s home when Bob passed away. Kevin took it hardest, but I don’t think the reality has hit the others yet. They never really knew my father, but “Pop” was a daily staple here. I worry how they will react when they realize Bob is truly gone.
I tried to impress upon them Pop is in a better place; a place without stress or pain; a place without war or hate; a place where will be welcomed when our time comes. Until then, we must trek on, but we must never forget the man, his heart, and his legacy.
Robert M. Fischer was the most decent, selfless, unassuming man I have ever met. He is the type of person I would like my children to emulate. While only related by marriage, Bob was a father to me. I will miss him terribly.
P.S. – Posting will be light for a while, as we mourn make arrangements.