|Robin's high school graduation photo, 1961|
Lou Gehrig...Pride of the Yankees...wait...WHAT???!!!
I cried for three days. Then I pulled it together, reminding myself that many ALS patients live for five to ten years post-diagnosis.
|Robin holding me as a baby, 1972. We both look a little unsure of the situation, LOL.|
During that year, I did the things which I had been meaning to do, but never got around to. I wrote up some memoirs and sent them to him for his last Christmas of 2003. I wrote about my very first plane trip in 1986. Robin was with me and I recalled sitting in the Portland Airport with him, spilling my hot cocoa all over myself with nervousness. He said that happened to him all the time (nope, it didn't!). We boarded the plane and proceeded to sit on the tarmac for three hours due to a malfunction. We eventually boarded a different Boeing. All the while, Robin reassured me that everything was fine, as though every flight began with a three hour wait on the aircraft with no A/C!
|Robin's appointment to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation was one of the final acts of J. Edgar Hoover.|
I also made him a huge scrapbook of his life, from his time growing up with my father in Oregon, to his days as a Marine, to serving in the FBI and raising his family. He actually called me and said it was the most beautiful gift he had ever received. I had meant to make that scrapbook years before...
|Me (rockin' the 80's Aquanet hair) at age 14 with my cousins Rob, Trent and Uncle Robin.|
On March 16, 2004, I was rushing out the door with my three-year-old son when the phone rang. Normally, I would have just left. But I followed my gut instinct and answered the call. It was Robin. His speech was slurred, but we had a wonderful chat. He talked with my son. Then I got back on the line. I told him I had to run, but that I loved him.
“I... love... you... too........... Julie............"
|Robin and his wife Julie, somewhere in British Columbia.|
This was taken shortly before he started having symptoms of ALS.
Tell people you love them! I believe at the end of our lives we regret that which we do not say, much more than that which we say.
With love always,
Robin J. Tomlin, Distinguished Flying Cross Link
ALS Association Website