See you later, Gator. {I promise.}

This brilliant and complex man passed away on a calm Friday morning.  Josh and I walked in the room right when it happened.  It was shocking, but in retrospect seems appropriate, somehow, that he would breathe his last just as his youngest grandson- his legacy- breathlessly burst through that familiar door in search of some Granddaddy-time.

Life devastates you some mornings.

Then all of the sudden those you love grieve as son and husband become pallbearer and mourner.

The sadness sweeps in.

And in parting I say: Dr. Roberts, I loved you.  You could be frustrating at times and you held close to your own opinions, but you never, ever waivered in your support of me.   My fan club is small but you were active among them, rallying me in the difficult moments just as I was sinking.

You could see the end result when all I could see were the endless diapers.

You looked in your grandchildren's eyes and found what was fine and rare and worth praising when all I could look at was immature behavior, frustrating words, and messy faces.

Thank you for always reconciling with me when either of us got mad. (What was it that upset us again?)

Thank you for being tender and thoughtful in the times when I expected toughness.

Thank you most of all for raising the man I love.  Your best qualities shine brightly in him.

I am glad for that calm Friday morning when we came searching and discovered that peace had already found you.

Millard Mason Roberts 
December 18, 1930 - October 10, 2014