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  • Writer's pictureSheila Kamuda

Love. Loss. Celebration

I Love Celebrating.

Especially the people who have influenced us, supported us, encouraged us, loved us, and are gone. So today, November 11, 2022 marks the 10th year that Bob is gone.

He was special in so many ways that I could write volumes. And I guess I did. 43 journals filled with letters to him. 1,891 letters.

His morning ritual was working The NY Times Crossword Puzzle. Every day. In ink.

He loved baseball, golf, football, theatre, art, opera, jazz, dance. Some favorites: The Joffrey’s “Clowns,” the Thorne Rooms, “Take 5,” And, of course, “La Boheme.”

His favorite European City was Barcelona. Glenfiddich scotch unless he was in a Chivas mood. Deep down, he loved being called Bobby. He introduced me to the Chagall windows at The Art Institute. For that I am eternally grateful.

A hopeless romantic, Bob never missed a chance to see Casablanca and never cared that it made him cry. He was a bit like Bogie. Older, tougher, and completely sentimental.

It was very natural for him, while he’d be in the kitchen cooking up a yummy meal, to take me in his arms and start dancing.

I didn’t know anyone who respected women as much as he. He loved holding my hand (ditto). He was “old school” and would stand up when he saw me walk into a restaurant. He loved a tux.

He signed cards with his caricature. I had that caricature engraved on a silver heart necklace I wear every day. (Sydney got a tattoo.)

He was a combination of artistic, musical, analytical (the kid is very much like him)

One of his Chicago heroes was songwriter Steve Goodman who died very young and wrote one of Bob’s (& my) favorite songs “Just Lucky I Guess.”

Some Bob-isms: “Shit happens.” “It just be’s that way sometimes.” “Never complain; never explain.” “Not too shabby.”

To celebrate Bob, how fitting it is that I get to see performances of RENT playing here in Chicago. That show holds my heart forever because the summer after his passing, Sydney turned 16 and was cast in a production of RENT and started their healing journey. So... “with a thousand sweet kisses...”

If you’re in a similar situation and my message of loss and celebration resonates with you, give a listen to “Dear Bob” my interview on Madeleine Black’s “The Unbroken Podcast. Https://

P.s. working on the book “Dear Bob”. A story of love and loss and celebration.


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