19 November 2014

Visiting the Colorado Carsons

Kent and I went together to visit Tyler, Rachel and Andrew in Fountain, Colorado at the beginning of November.
We enjoyed spending time with their family and getting to know Andrew better.
 I thought this was a sweet picture of Andrew with his hand on Kent's knee.
 Andrew with his mommy. You can see it wasn't very cold outside even though it was November.
Andrew discovers the joy of sitting on the door of the dishwasher, as most of our grandchildren have.
 One of the things Kent did while we were in Colorado was to help Tyler work on finishing his basement. They hoped to get the drywall up while we were there, but the job didn't go as quickly as Tyler had thought it would.
They did make some progress, though.
This was pretty much Andrew's reaction whenever I tried to hold him. 
He was much more cheerful when he wasn't being held by grandma!
On Monday we went out to see where Tyler works on Fort Carson.It was very cool to see Tyler's name as the platoon commander.
Here are some of the helicopters that Tyler works with.
 I love this family shot with Andrew at the controls of a helicopter.
 Andrew loved to pretend he was driving. Tyler did too, when he was that age.
Another cute family picture.
 We had dinner with our good friends, the Brooks, who live about 30 minutes away from Tyler and Rachel. We always love to see their family when we go to Colorado.
It was a great visit with the Colorado Carsons, and as always, it was over too soon!!

05 November 2014

Remembering Robby

 As Elaine mentioned earlier, My little brother Robert passed away on October 29th, 2014.  All the rest of the family flew in to attend the funeral - or really the memorial service as Robert's body was cremated.  Ashes will be scattered at a yet to be determined time in 2015.

Remembering Robby

Remembrances of my talks at the “Remembering Robby” Memorial service held at the East Vancouver United Methodist church on 2 November 2014. 
“Thank you all for coming today as we share our memories of my little brother Robert.

We are gathered here to celebrate the life of Robert Carson, to remember him, and to give anyone  that would like to share your own memories of him, happy or sad.

Over the years as I would fly into town for family reunions and gatherings, Robert would arrive late, or sometimes not show up at all.  Well, he did it to us again today, did not show up for his own funeral.   But this time he has a good excuse.

I want to start off with a story, then have a 10 minute slide show of his life, and then will open up the mike for you to come up and share your thoughts or memories. 

Earlier in the week when I flew in from Virginia, as I got off the plane I called Joe to let him know I had arrived.  Joe told me Robert had died about an hour ago, and that Marty would come pick me up in the red car.  I was a little in shock, as I had hoped to have a chance to say goodbye.

As I stood out by the arrival area watching for my ride, a car pulled up a little bit away from me.  A guy got out that looked just like Robby,  same size,  same baseball hat.  He smiles and waved at me (so it seemed).  

My first thought was “Robert had come to get me instead of Marty”.  The I remembered Rob was gone and it could not be him.  Then I watched as a woman standing nearby me went to the car and greeted him.

The guy looked so much like Robert.  He was happy and smiling and seemed to be waving goodbye to me.   It’s like it was Robert telling me he is ok and happy and everything will be OK.   The thought brought peace to my heart and tears to my eyes.  “

Slide show.  Played with the music:   Introduction to the “Fountain of Lamneth” by Rush, “Awesome God” by Piano Chillout, and “Wish you were here” by Pink Floyd.

After the slide show several people got up to speak, including Marty, Joyce, Joe,  Linda, Virginia  and several of Roberts friends, Scuffy Shoemaker, Scott Randall, and others.  About 75 People  attended.

As the speakers wound down, I played a special request for the younger generation that was there.  Meghan Agee wanted me to play “Stop crying your heart out” by Oasis because it reminded her of Robby.

I took the opportunity to talk again, share some more thoughts and feelings and memories before the hour was over.   The following are things I can remember, but not necessarily in this order.

“ I came from Virginia as fast as I could once I heard he was given only about a week to live.  I wanted a chance to say goodbye one last time, and wanted to ask him to forgive me for not being a better big brother to him over the years.

We all lost our father when we were young, and I suppose I was struggling myself to find my own way in life and the meaning to it all.

We all need to be forgiven for the things we did, and the things we did not do  but should have.  You can never know how todays choices we make will come out a year, or even 10 years from now. 

I can remember when we were  all young I was more interested in hanging around with my friends, and would try to “ditch” little brothers.

I was the one who introduced him to his first adult beverage at an age when he was way too young to be exposed to such things.  How much of my actions influenced Robert? 

But ultimately we are all responsible for our own choices in life.  Robert made his own choices and lived his life the way he chose.  He was a true free spirit. 

There was a time when I was younger  that I hung a guitar around my neck and tried to play.  When I left home Robert picked up the same dream and took it much further than I did.   At one point I wrote him a letter telling him he could have all my old musical equipment I had let him borrow.  He was using it all along anyway, so he could do with it what he wanted.  ( he had probably already sold it)  I told him there comes a time when we put away one dream for another.  I had done that with my guitar that I sold after carrying it around the world and almost never played it.   My youngest daughter told that the first time she remembers seeing me cry was when I sold my guitar.

We all hoped Robert and his band would hit it big and buy us all a big house and fancy car.

Robert never cared much for the things of the world – the things money could buy.  It does not matter how much money you have, or don’t have.  If you drive a fancy car or live in a big house.  What matters is the love you share with others, with the friends and family around you.  That is the kind of thing that was important to Robert.

We never know when the end will come.  Don’t put off until tomorrow the words of love or friendship you have for others.  Tell them today.

Ultimately there are three questions in life we would do well to find the answers to.  Where did we come from?  Why are we here? Where do we go once we leave this life.  Robert knows the answers to those questions, but he cannot tell us.  We all search in our own ways to find the meanings of things.  I hope we all can do that.

Farewell my little brother, until we meet on the other side.  We love  you.”

Try as I might I just can’t remember much the others spoke about, except Virginia and her experiences with Robert at Hospice just after he died, and her testimony about Robert going to heaven.

Roberts Obituary – as listed in the Columbian Newspaper.

March 16, 1965 ~ October 29, 2014

Robert "Robby" D. Carson, 49, passed away peacefully after a long struggle with health problems. Robby worked in construction as a sider when able. He was a musician, playing guitar in bands in the Portland, OR area, a driftwood creations artist and lover of animals. Robby is survived by his mother, Dorothy; sister, Linda; brothers, Marty and Joe, all of Vancouver, WA; as well as sister, Joyce and brother, Greg from Texas; brother, Kent from Virginia; his dog, Bree; and many friends in the area. He was preceded in death by his father, Forrest Dale Carson in 1971.