I came across a poem that I had written for my friend Robert in Germany. I knew Robert while living in Germany, but it wasn’t until he was dating my cousin that we became closer aquatinted. Robert was the life of the party and if I had to sum it up in a few words, he was the biggest goofball you’ll ever meet. He didn’t take things all that serious and just wanted to have a good time. While most were so proper and concerned with how to act in public, not being too childish and bringing a certain grown up seriousness to life, he didn’t care of what others thought of him and he didn’t mind to make a fool out of himself, as long as everybody had a good time. Robert was in the literal sense someone who you might title as “for real” in today’s society. He was himself without fear of approval and his simple yet refreshing nature spoke to me in many ways. He was surfing against the grain, standing out and he didn’t care. My life had been serious and adult like since the passing of my Dad and I believe Robert brought an element to my life that allowed me to forget about the seriousness and indulge in childlike abandon. He was good for my soul, while bringing much laughter, even though I couldn’t articulate and explain that back then. I only knew that I had fun and felt good in his presence and we became best of buds with our friendship growing stronger long after the split from my cousin.I still remember the day I got word that Robert had slipped at the pool, while vacationing in Spain. His neck landed at the edge of the pool which severed his spine in multiple places and ultimately left him quadriplegic. A split second, a freak accident that shattered a life that would never be again and was changed for all eternity. In an instant and without warning his childlike nature was diminished and confronted with some very serious issues. All quality of life was removed and it was painful to witness, even from an outside perspective as it was affecting those around him just as equal in some sense. It was the beginning of driving in silence for me, without music and noise as I struggled to comprehend the news and Roberts new fate.
Robert managed somehow and stayed with us for a few more years, fighting battles only he knew in depth. We would never play with childlike abandon again and he had good days and dark days that seemed to increase as hope was slowly fading. But I got to repay him some of the kindness he had shown me and as much as I had enjoyed him dragging me out of my struggles, it now was me who did the same for him.
I remember struggling to find the words that would breathe hope into his battered skinny body. His features had grown harsh and the mischievous sparkle in his eyes was replaced with deep set eyes that were filled with pain and despair. I still feel guilty for the days I wondered if it would have been better if Robert wouldn’t have survived this accident. Bad enough to suffer through a tragedy like this, but remaining with little to no quality of life, a burden to others like he often felt, seemed like torture. Of course this was something I never shared with him and it was hard to be there in the sense of how he needed me to be from across the miles and living in a different country. But when I was home, Robert was a priority and I made sure he had reasons to smile. I knew from his Mom that his friends came to see him less as life was going on for them and I know that he was very lonely towards the end. She always reminded me of how much hope and life I gave him and she mentioned after his passing that the poem I had writing for him was his greatest inspiration. It makes me happy and sad at the same time, feeling that there should have been so much more then just the lines on a piece of paper that he held onto. Lines that came from m heart, framed within an Angel frame who spreads it’s wings.
Coming across this poem again and how it came to be, I feel it remains relevant to others suffering and perhaps it can shed a ray of hope for all that need a little inspiration during the dark hours.
Here it is and it’s called “An Angel spreads it’s Wings”
An Angel spreads it’s Wings over you by day and night,
an Angel quietly sings when you wonder what life brings.
When everything is gray and makes no sense,
he brings you strengths, comes to your defense.
He takes your pain and lifts your sorrow,
you’ll see it gets better, just wait till tomorrow
With patience you will face each day,
finding new means in every way.
You find hope and courage, the sun begins to shine,
each day will bring new progress and everything is fine.
It’s a new beginning but never the end,
your life goes on, an Angel was sent.
An Angel spreads it’s Wings to help through the night,
to conquer every mountain, to join you in the fight.
Robert was buried with his Angel poem and he is a special soul that is missed beyond words.