A Farewell to A Friend


Dear Bobby-

My Friend

You are truly missed for the first time.

Bless you. Thank you.

You were kind. You were true. Sweet.

I wonder if our recent reunion, our like-we’d-never-been-apart-talk, pushed you over the edge or was in the nick of time.

Lefty. Gawky and graceful. Don’t ask me how, but you were. You also were always left of center and a little south of the border. You had a quirky irreverence that would’ve fit better under a mop of that quirky, irreverent hair of yours. But you always kept it short.

The first time I saw you, Bobby, you made me miss the catch at first base. I’m still embarrassed. You were just having fun and trying to win, playing for Yokayo Elementary. You played first base, like me, only better.

The next time I saw you was in the Temple. Your family was checking it out, and then joined. I wanted to be your friend. I don’t remember how that came about, but it did. And I was blessed because of it. We had so much fun. I felt so free with you and your family, especially your mom.

And then I lost sight of you as I got more and more wrapped up in me.

And they all died… and we all died a little bit… our already broken hearts were ground and splintered some more… and then I decided it was time to bury mine.

You were gone and I was gone, and I got more and more tangled up until I was suffocated by me.

I’m feeling like I should fill up page after page for you, Bobby Stroud, like I owe you the best writing I’ve ever done… and that, my Friend, is just about me.

You were a friend, Dear Bobby. My first real friend. You made it so easy.

Thank you for showing me where I’ve come and where I’ve come up short. Thank you for reminding me that I can love and have loved.

So, you made me drop the ball. That image of you is one of my fondest memories. You running up the first baseline, the ball that will out you is being thrown from behind you. My eyes jump from the thrower to you barreling down on me and just as the ball is in flight you bug your eyes at me, open your mouth wide, loll your tongue and leap into the air with legs splayed and arms flailing.

This is how I will remember you, Bobby.

Godspeed, my Brother.

– Stephan Jones