Somehow, I missed a tumultuous amount of posts regarding the passing of a very dear friend.
Robb Holmes and I met back in 1998 through my friend, Ingrid Malson. From the start, it was a friendship of great humor and practical jokes, thorough and lengthy discussions of faith, spirituality and philosophy, and fun times dining and traveling.
We both loved THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and he honored me by coming to each performance when I directed the 40th anniversary of the Broadway premiere in 1999. That summer, Robb traveled with me to Stowe, Vermont to meet the surviving von Trapp children, and to research the family. Robb fittingly purchased a bouquet of flowers, and encouraged me to lay them on the graves of Captain Georg & Maria von Trapp.
One of my favorite trips was to the Smokey Mountains with Robb, and my Ball State friend, Andrea. I don’t think there was ever so much laughing, to and from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, as well as during our visit. Ever the comedian and performer, Robb had no qualms about walking right up to Dolly Parton, during our simultaneous visit to Dollywood, to chat with her.
When I began adopting my sons a few years later, Robb had moved and we fell out of touch.
In 2009, Robb and I reconnected via MySpace, a year or so later on Facebook. Within a few weeks, my son and his daughter were also friends. Robb and I secretly hoped our teenagers might fall in love and marry. We loved joking that we could be the most fun fathers-in-law in all history.
A day or so after my birthday last week, I was looking through the greetings, and noticed I had not received my annual greeting from Robb. As I began to pull up his Facebook page, someone knocked at the door, and I completely forgot my original task.
This is kind of a sad morning, but I find myself chuckling over so many moments we shared that were always fun-filled, adventurous, and memorable. When I was experiencing, and enduring harassment from a minister at the church where I served as director of music, Rev. Robb (yes, he was a minister), provided valuable guidance. He always had a unique perspective, and approach to life that was invigorating, and practical.
A beautiful light has gone from this world, but the brilliance of its glow will always burn, somewhere… somehow.
Thank you, Robb, for being a loving friend, and confidant, and for always reminding me to laugh.
Auf wiedersehen, Robb… until we meet, again…