Rob died a year ago today. I started to write about him one month later and promised to stop on the anniversary of his death. And, just like that, here we are.
I had a lot of ideas about how to end this thing—going to the cemetery and leaving rocks on his headstone, revisiting the last time I saw him, taking a one-year AA chip—but then I realized that there’s really only one way out. I wrote the ending 20 years ago in the Esquire story about adopting Robbie, never thinking that I’d ever have a reason to use it again.
You are the sand, little boy, and I will always be the water.
And that was where I intended to end this letter until you came padding into the room in your G.I. Joe pajamas. “What are you writing about?” you asked. And when I told you it was a story about you, you asked, “Is it going to be in a big magazine?”
And I said, “Yeah, how do you feel about that?”
And you said, “Scared.”
And I said, “How come?”
And you said, “Because I’m going to be in it alone.”
And I said, “No you won’t. I’ll be in it with you.”
And you said, “I love you daddy.”
And that’s when I had to stop writing.